Mercedes-Benz Buyers can NOT be price buyers!! - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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You guys are right. I understand that not everyone can be "lumped into one category". I know that everyone is different. I think it's a combonation of being a little thin skinned and having a manager that is a bit old school. Maybe I am a nit old school as well. I appreciate all of the insight... Keep it coming!

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 06:37 PM
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In every case, I will know more about a vehicle than the salesman. I will have done my research, driven several vehicles and know exactly what I want. A salesman who gets into his "sales pitch" (BS) will always turn me off. All I want to know is what I have to pay to get the vehicle - nothing more, nothing less. Buying a new car/truck usually makes for a miserable day. The last car I bought (MB E-320) was done the best way possible, I did it on the internet from Germany! The salesman, thankfully, was completely out of the loop. And, I got it for 7% off which was better than any dealer could match. When I picked up the car at the factory, they treated me as a valued & informed customer.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 07:33 PM
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Personally, salespersons that only talk and don't listen are as annoying as those that believe that customers are merely sheep to be shorn. Listen carefully and provide information when requested or required, otherwise you're just making the sale that much harder. I would rather buy a vehicle from a person that listened to my wants, needs and concerns than a "know it all" or worse "a know it all wannabe."

The average Mercedes new car customer is well into their 40's and that statistic alone should guide any competant salesperson that the customer they are dealing with is likely to have a bit of life experience and savvy in dealing with decisions. Combine that with our current lifestyles based on multi-tasking and getting things done quickly, a salesperson's job is to expedite that process, while providing as much information as the customer requests or needs to make a reasoned decision.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 08:37 PM
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It is understood by buyers that the salesman/manager is out to get most $ out of the buyers pocket. Most buyers who work hard for their money let go the least amount possible.

Most customers know about invoice price and if I was a salesman, I'd tell the customer that the "fair" profit on the sale of the car is about 5% above invoice. Note that you actually add to that profit the Dealer Holdback, Incentives, etc. If that is Not enough profit to keep your job then look for another dealer or job.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by IsellBenz
I was just wondering why a person who is shopping for a Mercedes-Benz, a commodity vehicle mind you, and some of the first words out of their mouth is "What's your best price?" All before giving the sales person the time of day to go over many of the things about the vehicle that justify the sticker on the car. In my opinion some of these cars are underpriced, BMW's and Mercedes alike. You mean to tell me someone is going to go out and spend $65k on a Chevrolet suburban!? But argue the name of a Mercedes-Benz? I can't quite fully comprehend the automobile market anymore. I can understand that everone wants a tremendous deal on a car regardless of make or model... however Mercedes is not Chevrolet, Ford.. etc... How do I relay this to my clients across the desk from me? Do you guys feel that I am nuts? Tell me about your experiences with your Mercedes_Benz sales reps... I am trying to be accomodating, but I get walked on... I am trying to understand people, but they lie to me.. I am drowning in the Mercedes-Benz sales pool. I am about to lose my Job.
WHY? Because the Customer decides if the price is acceptable. You yourself would not LOOK at a House FIRST w/o first looking at your price range. Why look at a $800,000 home when your only budgeted for $300,000. It's a fair question from the get-go. When you shop at the Supermarket you look at prices on nearly everything, when you get your Petrol/Gasoline-you "ask the price first", when we buy clothes-we ask the price. Salesmen are not exempt from these concepts. It's up to YOU to build up Value in the product. It's my job to get it for the least possible $$$. Equilibrium Price. Darn right i'm a price buyer-I don't want to hear a 1 hour lecture about an S600 and know its $125K. I know my financial limits. I am NOT under any obligation to hand over any $$ because you have a suit & tie and spend time educating me on XYZ product. Why are Salesmen so sensitive about price? They seem to always become unglued, nervous, jumpy. We're not the problem. We're the Customer. The Owner of the Wallet. The Signatory. ' nuff said.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by IsellBenz
....I appreciate all of the insight... Keep it coming!
Well, OK. If only every salesperson did this, car buying wouldn't be ranked up their with IRS audits. Things that are annoying:

1) salespeople who hunt you down in the parking lot. I don't mind the, "I'm Barbara, let me know if there is anything I can help you with..." then walk away. It's the "Hey, E-class, nice choice. You know this is our top selling model....what can I do to get you in this car today?" routine.

2) Salespeople who don't know there own product line. If I ask a MB salesperson how much weight an ML320 CDI can tow, he/she should know the answer.

3) I want to take a test drive alone, or with my spouse. I do not need someone in the passenger seat extoling the virtues of a really good stereo or how teleaid is going to save my life someday.

4) I'll check with my manager. If you are going to skip back and forth, I want to deal directly with someone who can make decisions. The best car buying experiences I have ever had involved getting handed a price that was at or below what I already knew I was going to spend. Remember, the cars value (new or used) is the price the consumer is willing to pay for it.

5) When the girlfriend calls on your cell phone...well, that's what voicemail is for.

6) Don't make up cockamamey stories about trades. When I was making a deal on my fathers last car, the salesmen said that the turbo on his trade is "notorious" for failing, so the value is less. Bullcrap. If the car is running, not blowing smoke AND IS SERVICED BY YOUR SERVICE DEPARTMENT, why not trust the consumer and give him what the book value is.

7) Book value. Nothing drives me crazier than researching book value on a trade and being told "well that is not what the cars are bringing at is the Manheim printout." I am paying you "book value" for your car. You want me to pay you Manheim rate for the new/CPO car I am about to buy?

8) Personal turn offs. Snapping gum, chewing tobacco, short skirts and massive cleavage (makes my wife run although I have been known to fall for this gimic on a Vovlo S90) plaid suits AND WEARING SUNGLASSES INSIDE WHILE TALKING. Really sleazy.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 06:49 AM
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Having spent a few years in the dealership world myself (I was the marketing manager for a Toyota dealer), I can tell you that your experiences are not unique. I've been out for 10 years. When I left, the internet was just becoming a major sales front as well as source of information. Instead of just shopping you across town, your customer is now shopping you across the state or even the country. This has only become more prevalent in the past 10 years. Manufacturers today encourage this by having full pricing/optimization features on their websites. You have to accept that most consumers are coming into your showroom with more information than you personally have on the specific model they have already chosen. Sure, they're emotional about the purchase, especially when it is a "halo brand" like MB, BMW, Jag, etc. But they won't be emotional with you.

Other people have already pointed out the things that salesmen and dealers do wrong, so I'm not going to repeat it all. But one thing that people haven't mentioned is the fault that MB itself has in this. MB has cheapened the brand on a few fronts, the first being the quality/reputation of the brand. The old gray mare ain't what she used to be, and no amount of arguing can overcome this. MB is not the paragon of quality and reliability any more.

MB has also made the product lineup more accessible by introducing progressively less-expensive models. Cheaper C's (including hatchbacks!), and B's (here in Canada) have brought new customers into the showroom who might be willing to trade a bit of size/content to get the 3-pointed star on their hood. How far apart is a fully-loaded Camry or Accord from an entry level C sedan? Close enough to make it a good cross-shop.

MB also started advertising on price point about 5-7 years ago. Prices began to appear in advertisements, including monthly payments and lease payments. I've even driven past MB dealers that have entry level C's out on point with giant lease payment numbers stenciled on the side of the car. This simply did not happen 10 years ago. If you were in an MB showroom, price was not your key motivator. Can you imagine a lease payment on the side of a brand new W140?

You have to learn how to communicate with this new buyer, who *is* concerned about price. MB has done a good job in driving new customers into your showroom, customers who never would have been there before, but at the same time they've cheapened the brand image. You can't make the same arguments about quality because Toyota and Honda have you beat. These customers aren't the customers that your old school sales manager was selling to when he was in your place. They are better informed and far more price-conscious. That becomes your challenge. Maybe you could try asking them right off the bat what brought them into an MB dealer in response to an immediate price challenge. If they haven't already bought in to owning an MB then you can try to build some value. If they have, you can make the choice right there and then if you want to get involved in the "give it away now" mentality or if you want to pass on them.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 11:41 AM
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Thinking back on my purchase experiences, I always know exactly what I want, what I'm willing to accept and what I absolutely do not want. Therefore, I do not want to be sold a vehicle at all. I want someone to facilitate the transaction.

I also believe that a dealership needs to make a fair profit to survive. For the, the "Hi, how are you, this is what I want, what is your best price?" is exactly that. I want to know what your price is. If it is within what I have determined the item is worth to me, I will buy it. If it is not, I won't. The absolutely worst thing that can be done is to decide that you can drop the price after I start to leave. Although I understand that is considered a fair tactic by many people, it simply is not me. I try to explain my interest, my decision and such before hand and make that clear that I am asking for a purchase price when I discuss the vehicle. But after explaining, if I start to leave and your "best price....'that's all I can do.' " drops, I loose all faith in the rest of the transaction. Fortunately, my wife has slightly more patience with the process than I do.

And I do not mind, if circumstances warrant, paying sticker for a car. That is a neccesity sometimes if supply and demand result in them being difficult to find in the market at that point and time. And if I am not willing to wait for the circumstances to change, I have to pay a premium. I have done that once, with a salesman that was very upfront about the circumstances, and that he could do better in about two months and why. I also respected his position completely. I also had expected that to be the case.

Ditto to Roch207 on 1-6 and 8. I differ on 7 slightly. If you are only going to pay wholesale on my trade, say so up front, then if I want to take it elsewhere, I will. I view the trade (if there is one) as a seperate transaction. Don't offer me book for mine and want to work it into the numbers for the purchased car, etc. They are two completely seperate and distinct transactions, and should be handled as such.

Different buyers require a different touch. That is part of why I try to explain upfront which type I am. Often it works well. I do not evny the sales position trying to guess which each type is. I am sure all buyers are demanding in their own unique manner.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 04:31 PM
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 02:57 PM
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Not to knock car sales people but it sound like you want them to fall in love to make a decision based on emotion and not if its whats best for them. we are informed consumers. Are you going to tell the customer they can get a lesser interest rate and not have the difference from the higher interest rate go to the dealer and increase your bottom line? Are you going to tell then if they have an extended warranty and trade it in THE CUSTOMER gets the difference in a check not the dealer? Thank God for the internet and how we are smart enough to educate ourselves and as many have said here we know more about the cars than the sales reps, its a trust issue, I have never met a sales rep I trusted, I only use them to complete my transaction

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