Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not Car Sales

I'd been thinking awhile about trading in my car for something a little different to provide options for other ways a vehicle could be useful at this stage in my life and ministry. I found one online that was interesting. It still looked good after a bit of research, so I went to check it out. It still looked good after a test drive, so I went to the sales guy and we started talking.

He used the usual sales techniques, of course -- offered water, started high, made conversation, sought rapport, and all that. The weirdest part was when he asked me to sign a paper saying that I would buy the vehicle if we could agree on price and terms. Isn't that the definition of car shopping? And the whole thing took forever.

From what I've read, lengthy waiting is one of the tricks of car salesmen in negotiation as they "take it to the sales manager." I could understand the other tactics, but this was was truly perplexing, so I did a search later to find out how that is expected to help the dealership. Apparently it increases the anticipation and therefore the desire...? Huh. That was decidedly not my experience. Instead, my irritation grew with the increasing sense of manipulation and disrespect. Added to that, I was left waiting with a proposed trade-in value that was absurdly low.

Meanwhile, as the sales guy went back and forth between me and the sales manager, I pondered the proposed trade-in value and thought about my car. It has served me well. Nothing fancy, just good mileage and very reliable. I've had it for over six years and 100k miles. Much has happened in that time, and this machine has faithfully gotten me to and from a lot of significant moments.

It'll be time to trade it in eventually, but thanks to the sales guy's technique of creating long delays, I've got a new appreciation for my good little car, and I'm in no hurry :)

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