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A Tale of Two Sales Pitches

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First off, apologies to caddycruiser and regfootball. Earning a living can be difficult at times, I know...

I stopped @ the local Ford dealership this afternoon to check out a new Escape, it was an SE AWD 1.6, priced at $27k. Usually this dealership lets ppl browse, but today a salesguy came out and started pitching.

He said "yeah, how do you like it?"

I said, "Yup, the new Focus wagon," and so the tone was set. He said with the automatic liftgate, Ford is cautioning ppl against waving your leg back and forth to open it because you can fall down. Just one kick straight ahead is the preferred way to do it. I asked if there will be a warning label to avoid lawsuits.

He got the key and let me start it up. The interior seems lifted directly from the Fiesta and Focus. I told him that. He seems to think that's OK.

I looked longingly over at the 2012 Escapes. He said they'll really have to start discounting the old ones once people see the new one. I said "Really? You think so? I like the old one better."

He said "REALLY?" I said "Yeah, they can't all be home runs I guess". I gave him the key and he let me go, all the while he was very timid with me.

When I pulled out to leave, I noticed an interesting silver automobile at the Subaru dealer across the street...

OMG it was a silver BRZ Premium. :drool:

This car is a tight little stunner in person, WOW. Saleskid was walking with a co-worker outside. He walked over and started his schpiel. From his first words, I was impressed with his professional demeanor and his knowledge of the vehicle. Subaru sent them to a demo school for it in which they got to drive it on a road race course. He let me sit in it, and I have to confess, I caressed the dash pad, ha. We talked about the FR-S and the differences between the two. He didn't have to tell me the Subaru is the nicer twin.

Two lamentable things about the BRZ: the engine cover reads "TOYOTA" and below it "SUBARU". I asked him if he had any duct tape to cover up the "T" word. He agreed it was not good.

Also, they have $1000 markup on them, for a price of $27k. We talked about the decision to limit production in order to keep prices up. I told him I know every dealership wants a car they can sell at MSRP, and that's fine, but markup is the devil. He remained professional as he stated "we'll get it because they're so rare."

He gave me a brochure with his card attached to it, told me of future allocation, but did not pressure me to give my contact info. A very good presentation on a SWEET little car.

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Very usual occurrence. I would be proud of the Subaru salesman. The Ford guy, a little less so.

I enjoy spending time with people to go over features, changes in the products, and discuss others outside of our brand. In the end, being knowledgeable and trustworthy without pushiness can pay off.

BRZ. The Subie inside me wants to see and drive one badly. Oh for a dirt cheap lease and space and time to actually have more than one vehicle :thumbsup:

On another note, I had a customer last month comparing the new 2013 RDX to the new (it still wasn't out yet) 2013 Escape they had pre-brochures on and were expecting to see an early model of at their local dealer. They felt the Acura was definitely the better vehicle and liked every aspect about it, but the Ford preview marketing and (honestly) simply the fact that the Escape was narrower from mirror to mirror led them to Ford. The wife's final decision was solely based on comfort going into & out of the garage. 2 hours, a tape measure, long discussion and point to point comparos later, I didn't have a sale but I had a very happy couple who still thank me even if they didn't buy anything from me.

The nice and helpful salesman who isn't always focused on pushing a sale but showing his knowledge doesn't always get the worm, but will be more successful in the long term. Knowledge is key.

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my neighbor stopped by to tell me the other day he traded his suzuki (his wife's)...i had no clue they were shopping (sales guys are never at home to know that stuff)...

well they told me they went to look at the new 13 escape but they decided on a 12. liked it better.... i imagine it's gonna be a split for shoppers....some like the old box and can't picture it as anything else....others want to move on and be current.

i am taking in an almost new escape on trade soon for a new wazuki so i will get my revenge that way.

by no means am i an expert or superstar, doing what i am doing these days. But here is the deal.... it's always going to have some bearing on luck of the draw and how will your personally can work with Joe customer. Sometimes you hit it off, sometimes you don't. In any instance, it pays to play it straight and be professional. SOme shoppers just come out solely to take shots at the product while simultaneously being curious about it. My job is to emphasize the positives and find out what the customer is most excited about. If a customer really starts getting neg about what I am presenting then it really does everyone the best service to just shake hands or whatever and remain friends and not put much more into it.

Re: the escape...yeah, Focus hatch 2.0. Ford's overly sleek designs will have some fans and others not. FOrd has to play in Europe too, which is used to this stuff.

I actually don't much care for the 13 Escape interior....the dash is overdone and difficult looking. I much prefer the simple and attractive dash on say, an Outlander Sport in comparison. the rest of the interior, packaging wise it's nice and efficient.

I've had quite a few new shoppers lately who have burned me, not because of the point of contact guy, bet because of the spouse, etc. Stuff like...

-wife can't see the gauges (so demonstrated that you can actually adjust the steering wheel tilt and telescope in addition to 10 way power seat...if you can't see the gauges with all the adjustments then you are too lazy to take the time or you are just using it to stymie your husband's wish). Husband badly wanted the car, wife wasn't gonna give it to him.

-just like caddy i had the tape measure folks recently. Had to measure hip points vs. existing vehicle and such to give an exact number on how much higher the new seat was vs. the toyota they already drove. also had to fit their bike the vehicle, and other stuff. Again, the husband (3 visits) wanted it bad, the wife decided to be bad cop and say no.

-today was a conversation regarding fuel economy. "your car does not get 40 mpg". No $h!. Neither does that elantra or cruze automatic you are looking at..... Hyundai has so many buyers fooled..... no, mr. customer, that Hyundai warranty is only for the first owner, no mister customer, you'll be lucky if the elantra cracks 30 mpg much less 40 mpg. ANother conversation yesterday was similar on the 6 cyl. (in this case a grand am with a 3.4) vs. a typical 4 cylinder. Of cars of the 8-10 year vintage there is maybe 3-4 mpg between a focus 4 cyl and a grand am 6 cyl. To top it off, the grand ams can be bought for less. Total cost of ownership will probably be the same and all that. Focus on the condition and such of the car at hand. Some people have no analytical skills....of course how else is toyota so popular...

I've sure learned a lot. I am sure the new Escapes are prob a tough sell right now with the new style and such but 12 Fusions and Escapes are being whored out by Ford with ginormous rebates and lease incentives, so people who pick a 12 over a 13 might be doing so because of the thousands saved........

My best success is with customers who appreciate the knowledge aspect of guys like caddy and hopefully me. Thing is there are so many LCD (lowest common denominator) folks out there that overall, knowledge doesn't always pay off as much as you'd think for selling. It's best that you have knowledge and act in the ways like caddy says above.

My two cents, I don't think the top sellers are really always people that are product experts as much as they are experts manipulating people and processes and situations. Customers or fellow employees.

disclosure, this is still sort of a hobby........

blu if you were my customer we would make a day of it and i would roll out the red carpet.

Edited by regfootball

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Interesting stuff.

I try not to buy cars from guys who are white or straight...seriously. they are too pushy and usually rude. Unless they are real car guys. If I can find someone who is a minority or female at the dealership I will make a beeline for that person.

I am so glad I don't have to sell cars for a living.

And I really dislike the new escape, BTW.

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Ford guy said 3500 vehicles were hail-damaged at the Louisville, KY plant recently, and "that is why we only have one of these" (2013 Escapes). I looked at it and said "so, this one's had PDR work done to it then..." he said "Nooooo, not this one." He wasn't sure what would be done with those damaged vehicles. I am wondering the same thing. Repaired or scrapped? Sold as-is with a discount?

Anyway, yup, I told him I wasn't sure it was a good idea to make it look like a car instead of a truck. He remarked on the color and clean condition of my Patriot.

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Ford guy said 3500 vehicles were hail-damaged at the Louisville, KY plant recently, and "that is why we only have one of these" (2013 Escapes). I looked at it and said "so, this one's had PDR work done to it then..." he said "Nooooo, not this one." He wasn't sure what would be done with those damaged vehicles. I am wondering the same thing. Repaired or scrapped? Sold as-is with a discount?

Anyway, yup, I told him I wasn't sure it was a good idea to make it look like a car instead of a truck. He remarked on the color and clean condition of my Patriot.

Looks like the answer:

http://www.wdrb.com/story/18196768/3500-new-ford-escapes-damaged-by-hail

I guess either never sold whatsoever, scrapped, or sold in some form as write-offs.

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Yikes, bad luck for those dealers and customers who factory-ordered theirs. Some people might like these new ones I guess. Different strokes for different folks.

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after looking at a base 13 Escape this weekend.... cloth, 2.5, much lower price, a couple things register for me.

in basic trim the interior looks simpler and not as complicated, a fair amount cleaner. Perhaps bland even, though...not enough color contrasts. But totally interesting and passable at that level of trim and price. center stack is much cleaner and less distracting. in that situation, I give it a thumbs up. For under 23 grand it makes a lot better case for itself. trunk is large by the way.

In general I see lots of room for future refreshes and improvements on the Escape so maybe it will have a 10-12 year run like the old one. The front end obviously can be butched up. My major beef is really the D pillar and window shape back there..... I don't think the hofmeister kink works on an SUV. More hood and a less hatchbacky proportion would have been nice. But most egregious to me is that back side window size and shape.

If these leased well I would consider one in base trim. I'd like a stick but we all know it ain't getting one.....

Edited by regfootball

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Ford guy said 3500 vehicles were hail-damaged at the Louisville, KY plant recently, and "that is why we only have one of these" (2013 Escapes). I looked at it and said "so, this one's had PDR work done to it then..." he said "Nooooo, not this one." He wasn't sure what would be done with those damaged vehicles. I am wondering the same thing. Repaired or scrapped? Sold as-is with a discount?

Anyway, yup, I told him I wasn't sure it was a good idea to make it look like a car instead of a truck. He remarked on the color and clean condition of my Patriot.

Looks like the answer:

http://www.wdrb.com/...damaged-by-hail

I guess either never sold whatsoever, scrapped, or sold in some form as write-offs.

Just like all of those Mazda's that would up being scraped after being marooned at Sea on the Cougar Ace....

One hell of an insurance write off...but I'm sure Ford pays plenty in premiums.

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