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I'm a salesperson at Beaverton Honda here in Oregon. I'm looking for suggestions on how to make purchasing an Odyssey a more pleasant experience. I'd also like to know what you didn't like, or just downright annoyed you, so I can try to avoid those things. Just so everyone knows upfront. I do not have any control over the price. (I know that can be one of the biggest annoyances.

Thanks in advance,
Ken Nix Beaverton Honda
 

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<ul>[*]<u>Honesty is most important</u>[*]Improved product knowledge - know how everything works, specs, warranty, breakin period, etc.[*]No selling out a car from under a buyer because a new buyer will pay more[*]If you say you are going to call and inform the buyer about the status of the order, then do it[*]If you don't know something, say so, don't make it up[*]Provide a copy of the dealer's checklist when the buyer picks up the car[*]Encourage the buyer to do the pickup during daytime, to better see any visible problems[*]Don't lean on the customer to give you an all 5 rating in the phone survey[*]Keep your own record of the stereo security code in case the buyer loses his[*]Point out how to get to the spare tire[/list]
 

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Act like you really, sincerely appreciate the business. A new automobile is usually the second most expensive purchase a person will make in life (a house being the first). I presume I speak for others when I say that when I make a $30,000+ purchase I would like my expenditure to be appreciated. I don't feel like it was when I purchased my new Ody. I have been thanked much more profusely and genuinely after purchasing a 53 cent coffee refill at the local QuikTrip convenience store. My Honda salesman was more interested in getting us out the door quickly; getting all "excellents" on the dealership survey; and getting us to purchase the overpriced extended warranty. He got none of the three.
 

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Maugham's first point is the most important.

I understand the dealers need to try to eake out the most profit for each sale, just as we are trying to get the best deal for ourselves. However, being lied to has made me walk out of more than a few dealerships.
 

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Having just gone through the purchasing experience, I find the above suggestions right on. I would add that bashing all the competitors product does not make the product you are trying to sell look better, it just raises doubts. Most of us do shop around, and will find things on other vehicles that are better, or at least more suitable for our needs. The Toyota salesperson I talked to was honest to the point of helping me choose the Odyssey, by pointing out that the smaller size of the Sienna's cargo area would likely cause us grief in our travels down the road. While he lost that sale, I will absolutely visit him the next time around, because he wasn't trying to sell me something I won't be happy with.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by groupset:
...A new automobile is usually the second most expensive purchase a person will make in life (a house being the first)...</font>
FWIW, vehicles actually cost us more
than houses.

After a several years we can usually sell the house for more than we paid, but vehicles only lose value.

Many people have made a large part of their retirement money from their houses but very very few have retired on the vehicle profits.

The cost of the many vehicles we consume over our lifetime are an expense while a house is usually an investment.

Regards,

Maugham<font color="#f7f7f7">


[This message has been edited by Maugham (edited 01-29-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Maugham:
The cost of the many vehicles we consume over our lifetime are an expense while a house is usually an investment.</font>
Right you are, Maugham. I was speaking solely from the standpoint of the initial outlay; not giving investment advice. But wouldn't it be nice to retire on the profits our Odys would bring us at sale in 20 years.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by groupset:
Act like you really, sincerely appreciate the business.</font>
This is big! My salesman called me 3 days after the sale to make sure everything was OK and to see if we had any questions. The sales manager called after one week to make certain I was satisfied with the car and with his salesman. Somebody (probably an assistant) from the dealership called one month later to make certain I had received follow-up that made me feel comfortable that I was being "looked after".

The salesman told me if I ever needed a last-minute service appointment when none was available that I should call him and he would try to pull a string. It doesn't matter if I never need him to or even if he can't get it done - it's an example of him offering a little service that I appreciate considering I bought a car that he really did nothing to "sell".

A last, specific piece of advice would be to hang out on this forum for awhile. The people here know more than any salesman I've ever encountered. Thanks to my sucking up the collective wisdom presented here I know that I can go "toe-to-toe" with many salespeople.

Good luck-

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dMax
'02 GG EX-L w/fog lights

[This message has been edited by dMax (edited 01-29-2002).]
 

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Our dealer experience was fine, overall. The only "turn-off" was when we came to pick up our new Ody. It was a holiday (Yom Kippur) and a lot of the salesmen were off. The salesman assigned to my delivery was very busy and couldn't apply himself to my questions. (didn't know how to work the alarm, didn't show me the service department, didn't have copies of the documents and disappeared for 10 minutes "looking" for them, etc.) It was the first '02 he had seen and was spending more time checking it out than explaining it.

So, I would suggest, if you have a customer comint to pick up an auto, block out enough time and devote to that person exclusively.

(pardon me for being presumptious - you may do this already)

Thanks for asking!

Bryan
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dMax:
This is big! My salesman called me 3 days after the sale to make sure everything was OK and to see if we had any questions. The sales manager called after one week to make certain I was satisfied with the car and with his salesman. Somebody (probably an assistant) from the dealership called one month later to make certain I had received follow-up that made me feel comfortable that I was being "looked after".

The salesman told me if I ever needed a last-minute service appointment when none was available that I should call him and he would try to pull a string. It doesn't matter if I never need him to or even if he can't get it done - it's an example of him offering a little service that I appreciate considering I bought a car that he really did nothing to "sell".

A last, specific piece of advice would be to hang out on this forum for awhile. The people here know more than any salesman I've ever encountered. Thanks to my sucking up the collective wisdom presented here I know that I can go "toe-to-toe" with many salespeople.

Good luck-

</font>
"Toe to Toe"?? This isn't supposed to be a boxing match folks. The salesman doesn't win if You don't buy a car. You don't win if you don't get the car You want and we won't even get into the dealers motives to make this work. The problem with buying a car is everyone seems to think that a profit of $300 on a car that costs invoice $20,000 is a reasonable offer. thats 1.5 % profit. Has anyone actually looked at the profits made on groceries, clothing, drugs, Doctors or lawyers offices, appliances? But we don"even think to negotiate those. and remember I am talking about profit margins if no one had to be paid out of that money. As I have said before, the Car industry is its own worse enemy. Sell them at MSRP, and thats it. then we would have nothing to complain about.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tim L:
...Has anyone actually looked at the profits made on groceries, clothing, drugs, Doctors or lawyers offices, appliances? But we don"even think to negotiate those...</font>
Actually, prices for all those items you mention (and more!) are highly negotiated, but in a different way.

If you want to pay less for appliances, just shop around. There are hundreds of places that sell the same dish washers within 30 minutes of where I live.

The same is true for most consumer items. I buy beef at one store, fish and chicken from another, vegetables from a third, and milk, eggs, and other bulk items at Sam's Club.

For items with so many sources, negotiating means going to the next shop.

This summer I bought a top-rated refrigerator at Sears for a great price. I told the Sears salesperson I was just price shopping and that I'd rather do business with them but that Best Buy had the same refrigerator for a certain (much lower) price. The salesman offered to match that price, without having any proof.

Doctors and dentists? Most of them participate in PPOs, HMOs, Medicare, etc., and have to negotiate with them as well as with insurance companies.

The difference with autos is that there are fewer alternative stores. In that same 30 minute drive where I can find hundreds of sources for an appliance, there are only six Honda dealers.

The scarcity of suppliers is why we negotiate differently with auto dealers than we do for eggs. We do negotiate for everything, though.

Auto dealers generally fear internet sales, so much so that in some states, laws have been enacted recently to prevent manufacturers from selling directly via the internet. I believe that consumers should fight these laws. Maybe it is time for auto sales to join the 21st century. Dealerships would become delivery and repair shops only.

Regards,

Maugham

[[
dismounting soapbox
]]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tim L:
"Toe to Toe"?? This isn't supposed to be a boxing match folks.

</font>
So sorry! I chose my words *very* poorly. I wasn't meaning to imply any adversarial situation - in a good sale everybody should win and walk away smiling. Replace "toe-to-toe" with "fact-for-fact" regarding the '02 ODY.

Maugham makes a lot of good points, some of which deserve follow-up but I'm going to pass up the opportunity now as I'm not up to massive typing.

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dMax
'02 GG EX-L w/fog lights

[This message has been edited by dMax (edited 01-31-2002).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ken Nix:
I'm looking for suggestions on how to make purchasing an Odyssey a more pleasant experience. </font>
Here are my suggestions:
  • Offer the lowest price. Obvious, but true.
  • If you don't know the answer, tell the customer that you don't know, but you'll find out.
  • If you told the customer you'll get an answer, follow up with the reply, even if they left your lot - call them up with accurate answer(s) to their questions. This is an excellent opportunity to build trust with your potential customer.
  • Feel free to offer extras, such as the cargo tray or HondaCare, but don't use high pressure.
  • Tell customers about this website. It offers excellent advice.
  • After the sale, go through the owner's manual, keys and all other documents.
  • After the sale, patiently walk the new owner through all of the vehicle's features. Tell the customer what octane gas to use.
  • Be sure the customer knows when the car should next come in for service.
  • Call the customer one week and one month after the sale to verify that everything's OK. There's inevitably going to be some item to follow up on, so your call will be helpful.
  • Save your customer's birthdays and send them birthday and holiday cards for the next 4 years. They'll definitely remember.

Regarding the "protection program" that your dealership offers, I would personally prefer to pay a $1,000 cash premium than pay $1,600 for fabric protector and wax. That way, I save $600. As for the warranties that these protectants offer, I think that $1,600 is way to much to charge for a warranty that only covers the paint and the seat covers. I understand that you aren't the decision maker on that particular issue, but as a customer, I would personally not use a dealership that tacks those things on.
 

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Followup, followup, followup. Since there is normally a wait time for the Odyssey, stay in contact with your customers so that they know you are still thinking about them. I get so aggaravated waiting for a call with any kind of update, and when I call my salesman I'm not given much attention. You haven't made the sale yet. I haven't given you the $30k check yet. Woo me some more, please.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ken Nix:
I'm a salesperson at Beaverton Honda here in Oregon. I'm looking for suggestions on how to make purchasing an Odyssey a more pleasant experience. I'd also like to know what you didn't like, or just downright annoyed you, so I can try to avoid those things. Just so everyone knows upfront. I do not have any control over the price. (I know that can be one of the biggest annoyances.

Thanks in advance,
Ken Nix Beaverton Honda
</font>
Know your product, know the competition and be honest. I bought my Oydssey from Patrick at Beaverton Honda. He was the most knowledgable and easiest salesman to work with at any dealership. I've walked away from salesmen at dealerships becasue they don't know what they are talking about. For example, one guy told me that the ATTS system in my Prelude operates on rear wheels. One guy told me that my Accord V-6 was a rear wheel drive car. Another guy in Portland told me that they were the only dealership in the area that had Odysseys about 30 minutes after I was at your dealership looking at the Odysseys that you had. At the car show 3 salesmen tried to sell me an Odyssey after I told them that I had an Odyssey and that I wanted to know more about the Pilot. I won't deal with salesmen that are idiot or with salesmen that think I'm lying and/or an idiot.




------------------
2000 Odyssey EX-Nav
2001 Toyota Tacoma DoubleCab 4x4
 

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dMax said:
This is big! My salesman called me 3 days after the sale to make sure everything was OK and to see if we had any questions. The sales manager called after one week to make certain I was satisfied with the car and with his salesman. Somebody (probably an assistant) from the dealership called one month later to make certain I had received follow-up that made me feel comfortable that I was being "looked after".

The salesman told me if I ever needed a last-minute service appointment when none was available that I should call him and he would try to pull a string. It doesn't matter if I never need him to or even if he can't get it done - it's an example of him offering a little service that I appreciate considering I bought a car that he really did nothing to "sell".

A last, specific piece of advice would be to hang out on this forum for awhile. The people here know more than any salesman I've ever encountered. Thanks to my sucking up the collective wisdom presented here I know that I can go "toe-to-toe" with many salespeople.

Good luck-

------------------
dMax
'02 GG EX-L w/fog lights

[This message has been edited by dMax (edited 01-29-2002).]

Make sure you don't tell your customers that customer loyalty doesn't mean anything. I had a floor manager at a local dealership tell me that customer loyalty is not that important. When I told his management about what he said, they were not very happy.
 

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I'll share my input in hopes that it helps dealers & buyers have better transactions.

I JUST PURCHASED FROM A DEALER WHO:
1. Gave me a great price right up front Beat everyone else's price with first quote. Working with the dealership's internet manager is the way to go baby! Brought the email in and that is what I paid!
2. Knew what they had in stock, knew products well
3. EVERYONE at dealership was pleasant/professional. Important: they spoke well of each other-not in competition against each other. Team atmosphere.
4. No surprises anywhere. Finance didn't push options. Finance dept. came up with a better interest rate than I could from my bank.
5. Salesperson did a thorough walk-through of all van's features after sale
6. Great follow-up: They drove 30 miles with a loaner to pick up our van for the fuel pump recall.

I WALKED AWAY FROM/NEVER AGAIN TO RETURN:
1. Basically, the instant I detected any form of a lie, I walk away. . . even if I am told they made a "mistake". Can't believe people make so many "mistakes" with $25,000 products!
2. Any form of "bait & switch". Ex: One price verbally, a diff price on paper.
3. When manager & salesman argue over price - as if both don't know what they let these thing sell for every day. How simply stupid!
4. Anytime I feel someone is trying to manipulate me or "handle" me. Includes lying to me about my credit score to up my financing - until I showed them the print-out from Equifax!
5. The icing on the cake is when you walk away after being so mistreated and they try to make you feel bad for wasting "their" time! The nerve!

CONCLUSION: My wife and I both have very public careers and have been telling many people about how well we were treated and how good a deal we received. This has got to be worth thousands worth of advertisement to the dealership. Word of mouth sells a lot of cars, so DEALERS, treat customers right!
 

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We would like to be able to walk onto a car lot without being pounced on like we are bait. To be able to be left alone to walk around the lot and take our time, would be fantastic. If we find a car that we would like info on - we know where to find you.

Also, when talking to a salesperson, I (woman) do not like to be ignored. This has happened only once - I had asked a question, he ignored me - talked directly to my husband - I thought he might have not heard me - I tried again - he again talked to my husband. BIG MISTAKE...We walked and never will go back.

Funny thing... I'm the one that use to work at a Chevrolet Dealership and have more knowledge than my husband (which he admits).
 

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1. ask me what i am looking for in a vechicle...
leather.. trip computer... engine size... ... you see in a woman and all you ask me is what color...:confused: :mad:
i know as much as the man next to me. which is my husband. dont ask him the technical questions. ask me. you see ill be driving the vehicle more if it is the van.

2. please please spare me the theatrics of you have to make money too and you are taking a big cut... i know where you are getting your commision from and the hidden fees you slap on.. just because you need to "go in the back to talk to your manager about that price" just doesnt cut it anymore. i walk in i have a price for you. YOU take it or Leave it. you see i have to make a living too...
3. dont bait and switch.
4. dont lie... i have children i can tell when people are lying...
5. know your vehicle(s) that you are selling. one salesman didnt know where the oil dipstick was under the engine. so in other words STUDY!
6. show your customer how to save money. yup! even if it means loosing some yourself. why?? well if youi help me save money on items ill remember your face and name. trust me i will sing your praises at every pta meeting.. doctors office... and family and friend... i will send you business!
7. reward loyalty. nuf said...
8. take some classes from disney world. they know how to make you feel great and keep you coming back to spend your money!!!!

slide a free carwash coupon in the glove box for a pleasant suprise with your name and card on it! or GASP an extra programmable keyfob...



i have sent many people to the same dealership as the one i have used and i have sent them to the same salesman.


scratch my back and i scratch yours...
 

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sahm said:
1. ask me what i am looking for in a vechicle...
leather.. trip computer... engine size... ... you see in a woman and all you ask me is what color...:confused: :mad:
i know as much as the man next to me. which is my husband. dont ask him the technical questions. ask me. you see ill be driving the vehicle more if it is the van.

2. please please spare me the theatrics of you have to make money too and you are taking a big cut... i know where you are getting your commision from and the hidden fees you slap on.. just because you need to "go in the back to talk to your manager about that price" just doesnt cut it anymore. i walk in i have a price for you. YOU take it or Leave it. you see i have to make a living too...
3. dont bait and switch.
4. dont lie... i have children i can tell when people are lying...
5. know your vehicle(s) that you are selling. one salesman didnt know where the oil dipstick was under the engine. so in other words STUDY!
6. show your customer how to save money. yup! even if it means loosing some yourself. why?? well if youi help me save money on items ill remember your face and name. trust me i will sing your praises at every pta meeting.. doctors office... and family and friend... i will send you business!
7. reward loyalty. nuf said...
8. take some classes from disney world. they know how to make you feel great and keep you coming back to spend your money!!!!

slide a free carwash coupon in the glove box for a pleasant suprise with your name and card on it! or GASP an extra programmable keyfob...



i have sent many people to the same dealership as the one i have used and i have sent them to the same salesman.


scratch my back and i scratch yours...
Amen to number 7. I've been a loyal customer to a dealership for the past five years and the dealership's GM "rewarded" me by trying to stick it to me for $1500 over MSRP. I guess that's what I get for thinking that customer loyalty means something.
 
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