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Greeter Bitch Advises What Not To Do At A Car Dealership

Carolanne derpHello again! I posted once before under the moniker 'Faceless Applicant', but since then I have been able to find a job. A decent one, too! Now I'm a receptionist at a car dealership and have been for a few months, so I guess now you can call me Greeter Bitch.

For a bit of background, our dealership is open on Sundays, and is one of the only dealerships that does this. I'm not complaining, a good chunk of my hours come from the Sunday shift, but it makes things a bit difficult when half of the salespeople have the day off and we get about the same amount of customers as we would on a Saturday (the busiest day for car sales).

The major problem is this; some customers obviously don't know how things work at a car dealership. So here are some tips to those lovely custys who need a bit of a nudge in the right direction;

1) Buying a car, even looking at buying a car, takes time. Please do not come into the dealership when you only have 15 minutes. You can't test drive the car or talk about the price in 15 minutes, and because your visit will be logged our salespeople's numbers will fall because of it.

2) Speaking of logging information, please do not get defensive when we ask for your information. I can understand not wanting to get emails; we can leave notes on the profiles asking them not to contact you, but asking for a name and phone number is pretty standard.

3) Please don't walk right by me. I am sitting in a big desk in the middle of the showroom for a reason; I am supposed to take your name and then direct a salesperson to you. Don't just grab a salesperson; they may be busy with someone else.

Carolanne freaked4) For the love of God, don't come in any later than 30 minutes before closing. That's being generous. Car shopping is time consuming, and even after you have decided on a car you need to haggle the price. The average customer spends about 1 hour in our showroom, and we can't leave until the customers have left. This leads to some of us (Mainly the managers and myself and whatever salesperson is working there) staying for an hour or more after our shifts should have ended.

4a) Don't come in after we have closed. We can't lock the doors while there are still customers inside, but our hours are posted at every door. Find your humanity and come back another day.

5) Last but not least, if you have bad credit and you know it, bring a cosigner. If you know you will need to talk it over with your spouse before making a decision, bring them. If you are going to be on the phone with them, or you have to come back another day it makes an inconvenience for us as well as it does for you. No one likes it when people are here for an hour past closing trying to close the sale, and then they (and we) realize that they will need a cosigner before they can continue (this has happened multiple times).

Sorry for the long post, but I've needed to rant for the past few weeks, and I'm trying to not attack a certain manager, yet. Maybe another time, in another post. For now, may all your customers be understanding and your shifts short.

--Greeter Bitch

Comments

Mrs. Lovett

Ignore Common rhu visitor. Probably a troll.

Those customers sound really annoying. Do people really not realize that buying a car takes time? It's a huge investment, lots of thought should go into it, it's one of the few purchases that allows for haggling, a test drive is a good idea, and working out payment details is part of the process. Of course it takes a long time. But that's custies for ya.

Hope you're otherwise enjoying your new job. Good luck!

The Last Archimedean

I see we have a new troll. Every single one of her points is 100% valid and needs to be taken by car buyers.

Nomnom

I remember going with my parents when they bought a new car. We would be there for HOURS and HOURS. Or at least it felt like it at the time.

What's the protocol if all you want to do is look and test drive, but you aren't ready to buy because you have more dealers to go look at before you decide? Any tips for what to say to the salesmen? It's kind of like, please don't waste too much of your time on me because I'm not going to buy today but I do need enough attention so I can properly evaluate it, but if you act like a jerk about it I won't bother coming back. AWKWARDNESS.

Jtwerp

Arch is a troll. Haven forbid that people want to window shop for cars, and you complain about them ruining your numbers.

Sizzle

Common is right. If you are this worked up over a low level job after only a few months, you need to find something else. Its ok, that enviroment isnt for everyone, but you are only pulling in undue stress.

AlwaysBeNicetoTechSupport

Sizzle: a LOT of people don't understand how dealerships work. if someone is serious about getting a car, they should allot the time for it...and they should start with the receptionist to be sure they aren't just wandering around unattended for ungodly amounts of time. she didn't say she was fuming-mad about it, but was simply pointing out some annoying tidbits that customers don't seem to be terribly aware of when they're readied to seal the goddamned deal. the happier your salesman is, the more likely they are to provided discounts on maintenance or come down further on the price of the car.

as for test driving, i find carmax to be a pretty reliable way to go for used models. since they don't haggle prices, it's easier to go in and shop around. just be careful about how they'll try to run your credit right away.

AlwaysBeNicetoTechSupport

*provide

Bored at the Bookstore

Totally get the point about keeping people past closing (I'm retail, too); common courtesy is a must in human interactions. Doesn't always happen, but it should. Salespeople should not have the _expectation_ that every shopper will be a buyer, either. I'm going to gather information and make a measured decision based upon my findings, not just stroll in, and say, "I'll take that one - here's my money."

But how about the salespeople who keep shoppers looonnngg past the point of no return with "Let me find the keys..." (and gets coffee and chats with three other co-workers); or "I'll have to speak to my manager..." (and gets coffee and chats with three other co-workers);or "My boss needs to look over your trade-in..." (and gets coffee and chats with three other co-workers); or "I'll be right back with that pricing information..." (and gets coffee and chats with three other co-workers)?

I once allowed an hour and a half to look at cars at one local dealership - told the salesman I HAD to leave at X:XX o'clock to get to work, and he STILL kept me there using all the above ploys until I finally just got up and left.

I once had a salesman take my keys to evaluate my trade-in and refuse, yes, refuse, to return them until I committed to a sale. He wouldn't give them back until I picked up the phone on his desk and asked if I needed to dial a 9 to get an outside number so I could call the cops to report a car theft.

I once had a car salesman refuse to give me a price on two different cars I was interested in - he insisted I choose one vehicle and one only before he would give me a price. Considering that part of my decision-making process was which car offered the better price, I was not willing to choose until I had all the facts. Same guy accessed my credit information without my permission or knowledge, even though I told him I would not be financing the car through the dealership. He did his best to bully me into buying price unknown - he actually wanted me to sign a contract and let him fill in the numbers afterward. Him, I complained about. No satisfaction from management, but he did lose the sale. Sad part for him? If the price(s) had been right, I was considering buying BOTH cars. Two commissions down the drain.

Then there are the ones who look at you and say, "We don't have anything YOU would be interested in." And there are the salespeople who, along with everyone else in the dealership, don't actually say that but just ignore you completely.

Damn Yankee

I think her points are all very valid. I love car shopping the way some women love shoe shopping, and those rules are ones to follow.

I once had a salesman do something like that, Bored. He wouldn't give my roomie the principle price, just a payment quote. We didn't give a flying fuck about the payment per month. He just harassed and heckled and pushed until we walked out. I called to complain, got nowhere, and was still getting soliciting calls from the dealership, even after I asked them to take me off their contact list. I finally got ahold of the GM, and sweetly told him all about the salesman and how he'd driven us from that particular Dodge dealership, straight behind the wheel of a brand new Chevy.

Rona

There will always be crappy salespeople who try to bully you into a bad deal, but there are assholes in literally EVERY line of work, so that's really nothing new.

Larry Berry

So I'm not the only one to get that common, jtwerp and sizzle are the same person right?

Mrs. Lovett

@Larry Berry, nope you're definitely not. Also, if he's as common a RHU visitor as his (first) screen name would suggest, then he would know that everyone knows TLA is a regular here, and no one would believe he's a troll as he only posts sensible and awesome stuff. So yeah, Common's a troll, and an unskilled and obvious one at that.

Soft Ice Girl

Greeter Bitch, although I can understand that this can be annoying, you seem to be viewing from your point of view solely, and not consider that you work there for the customers and not vice versa.
I hope that you will not be mad that I want to explain that for every point, because I fear that otherwise I will be suspected of trolling:
1. Maybe the customer wants to just browse. Either he or she wants a specific model, or just wants to see our price range, or just look for inspirations. If he ties up one of your people, shame on him, otherwise its none of your concerns.
2. That is a pet peeve of mine. Why do businesses try to be data krakens? I would never give my personal info to a shop. One needs to decline calmly, of course, and not be an asshat, but if a business person starts pressuring after that, or even gets offended ("don´t you believe we will handle your data responsibly??"), I would walk out and never come back.

3. Ok, walking past you would be just rude. If yu accept a "hello" and "I don´t need any hep, thank you", then the point is valid.
4. See point one: If the person just browses and leaves by closing time, it´s none of your business.
Plus: Do ou expect someone to bu the car on first sight? I would come back two or three times, one of those with a mechanic to check the car, and THEN haggle over the price.
4a&5. I am fully with you here.

Soft Ice Girl

So sorry for having failed in formatting.. I did not intend to speak in fat letters -.-

Nobody

I suppose it's a difference in personal preference and management style. I worked at a car dealership for a couple of years as the greeter bitch. Totally different thinking where I worked.

1. None of the sales team or management ever minded if someone just stopped in for 15 minutes. They called it building good will. Someone would greet them & offer their card, and take their name. The name & date & time were kept in a log book and if/when that person came back, the same sales person would help them. That way they knew a little bit what the person wanted if/when they came back, and it wasn't wasted time because if they came back, the same sales person would get the sale. (And if some other sales person wasn't fair and helped the customer out when someone else had already talked to them prior, they had to split the commission.)

2. My guys never pushed for more than a name if someone was "just looking" - they said they only wanted it to put in the log. If the person was willing to give more info, the sales person helping them kept track of it because that was their customer.

3. I was almost never the first person a customer came in contact with - someone in sales would greet them as soon as they walked in the door. If all the sales team were busy, someone in management was there.

4. I only had to stay late once or twice due to customers. Usually it was their sales person, and management (sales manager, finance manager) And I never heard any of them complain no matter how late a customer walked in, because they lived on commission.

5. Totally gotta agree with you on this one.

[And what's up with the formatting? When I preview, it's all in bold. *is confused*)

Jane

1) Yeah, but to be fairm a car is a big purchase, and you don't need to make up your mind all at once. What if somebody is stopping by all the dealers and taking a quick look around, checking some prices, before deciding where he wants to follow-up for a more in-depth look at a model? I mean, that's what I'd do.

2) I'm not sure I understand the complaint here. If you're not going to contact someone who asks you not to contact them, why do you need the phone number at all?

3) Sorry if I'm sounding a little combative so far - but is there any kind of sign letting shoppers know to do that? I'm not sure I'd see a desk like that, out in the middle of a room, and assume I was expected to register myself.

xoxoxo

I can see your points except numbers 2 and 5. I don't have to give out my information because it's mine to give out. And I hate going car shopping with my husband. I prefer to go looking myself, narrow it down, and then bring him for an opinion. And unless you want people bringing their kids in to run around, someone has to stay home with them or else you'd be complaining about that too.

Tinky winky

Haters gonna hate!

Skittles

I agree with virtually every point. The only one I would argue with is the giving personal info. Unless I'm going to test drive a car it's not remotely reasonable to expect me to give out my phone number or address. However if I want to test drive something I expect to give that info for the dealerships protection. I certainly don't mind being asked, but getting upset when my initial reaction is "not right now" is a little silly.

GrumpyOldMan

I don't give name or number to anyone until actually making the deal. Prior to that they have no need for it and I don't want to hear from them. Don't lie, it IS for marketing purposes.

I allot one hour for purchasing a car. I have better things to do with my time. For me a car is transportation, not a spouse. I don't need to invest time in a relationship with the salesperson over it. I intentionally go approximately one hour before closing so the salesperson is motivated to deal with me rather than try to talk me to death.

If there is a receptionist, I go there first - it's usually a LOT faster than trying to find a free salesperson on my own, and getting in and out as fast as possible is important.

The only time I ever had to leave the sale unfinished was the car dealer's fault - he wanted to sell an addon I didn't need or want so I walked out when he refused to take it off. He called me back the next day and I got the deal I wanted.

Whenever you get annoyed with customers at a car dealership - remember dealers have a reputation (right or wrong) for being as honest as lawyers - your customers are on the defensive from the beginning.

tlbolden

(This should end the bold)

Karebear

I thought it was against the law to sell cars on Sundays. Or maybe my parents told me that lie years ago because I turned 18 on a Sunday and *wanted my car NOW!* (My grandpa made my dad buy me a car. I was the only grandchild. I was spoiled by him.)

Yes it takes more than 15 minutes to BUY a car, but if you are just looking...I hopped dealerships while looking for my first car. Sometimes we were at the dealership for only 5 minutes looking at cars, other times we we were there longer. (But yeah, it took us all day to find the 'perfect' car for me. But we didn't spend all day at the same dealership. We were there for what felt like years while actually buying it though...I was 18, I wanted to drive my shiny new car, not sit at some bald man's desk signing away my life.)

To the person who called TLA a troll...thanks for making me laugh. TLA is far from trollish!

Techtyger

I've never had trouble getting a salesperson... in fact, I've sometimes had to fight them off. I was walking to the dealership next to my mechanic to pick up a part rather than wait for them to deliver it (being friends with your mechanic is nice; I've driven other customers home for them because they've done me favors in the past.)

In the minute or two from stepping over the cable-fence (just to keep cars in) to getting to the parts department, I had four people jump on me. The fourth one got 'I'm going to the parts department' from ten feet away, and he waved and turned around.

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