Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My First Automobile Sale

We had been in Sales training for about three weeks at Covington Pike Lincoln Mercury. We were all trained on the Key Royal Sales System, "Road To A Sale."

We had started with ten people in training but some were not taking the classes serious enough and couldn't pass the test that was given each morning on yesterdays class. Others didn't make it thru the class because of their driving record. So in the end there were six of us who completed the class.

Three of us were scheduled for days and three were scheduled for nights and each week we would rotate our shifts.

Every morning we had a sales meeting and every afternoon we had another one for the team coming on and to button up the team leaving.

Our final exam was that we had to write from the "Meet and Greet," to the "Follow Up" of the sale. It took me eighteen sheets of long legal pad back and front to complete the assignment and I made 100 percent on the test.

My first morning on the Sales Floor after the morning meeting we were standing up at the front door watching traffic as it came down the road toward our dealership. Our dealership was behind a big box Grocery Store (Mega-Market) on Covington Pike and we were behind it one block. As we watched the cars turn we soon found out that most were either going to the grocery store or either the Hardee's that was located on the opposite side of the road.

We then saw a silver Subaru coming down toward our dealership and my buddy said let's flip a coin and see who get's the first up. We flipped and I won the toss, so I eased out the front door to greet the customer as they got out of their vehicle.

"Good Morning," Welcome to Covington Pike Lincoln Mercury, I'm P----- and you are -----. We exchanged names and I gave them my business card and I turned around and said follow me please as I proceeded to the front door. I opened the door and let them enter and then I they followed me to mt office that was at the edge of the showroom floor. I asked them would they like some coffee or a soda and they wanted some coffee. I handed them some brochures and got their coffee order and excused myself to go and get it. When I came back, I sat down and we started our give and "gather of information." I found out that he had just retired from MLG&W and that she was going to retire the following year. They had both worked there for over thirty years. They had two daughters and they had just purchased a new home in Bartlett.  As they were driving a two door vehicle I asked were they wanting to replace it with another 2-door or would they want a 4-door. The immediately said they wanted a 4-door large vehicle. I asked were they interested in a Mercury Sable of A Mercury Grand Marquis. The said that they didn't like the look of the 1987 Sable and they liked the Grand Marquis but that they wanted a Lincoln.

I asked did they prefer cloth or leather. They said that they had never had a car with leather but that they both had leather recliners and liked them and that they would like to look at leather for their car. I explained the different series of Lincolns and the said they wanted a Signature Series like their friend had. I asked them were they looking for a light color or a dark color, and they said a medium color. Their one car was silver and it was two light and their other car was burgundy and it was too dark. As they both had on a lot of blue I excused myself and went out on the lot and got the stock number for a Signature Lincoln with leather interior and a medium blue exterior and drove it to the front of the dealership. I locked the doors as I had been trained and walked into the dealership and said to my customers, follow me our front and they followed me.

When we got to the Lincoln, I brought them around to the driver's side and to the rear passenger door where the window sticker was. I explained that it was a V8 engine, I read them the standard and optional equipment. I showed them the price and the package discount that Lincoln passes on to the customer for buying items in a group. And then I explained the gas mileage and that it ran on regular gas. We then went to the front of the car where I had already pulled the hood release and proceeded to open the hood. I explained to my customer addressing them by their last name each time that the hood was heavy but Lincoln had put it on gas struts so that you could open it with one hand and then I let them try the ease of opening. I explained that the V8 was EFI and that meant that each cylinder got fuel when it was needed and it didn't starve the engine of fuel and later I would show them what I meant.I showed them the brake master cylinder and explained that the Lincoln had dual diagonal brakes. I crossed my hands in an X to give them a visual of the braking system. I explained that some cars have brakes front to front and rear to rear and that when you slam on the brakes, the car rear starts to slide toward the front and this is what you want to avoid. But Lincoln has thought about you the customer. Then you slam on the brakes one front wheel lock and the opposite rear locks on four wheels to keep the car from sliding around. I asked them did they have any questions every time I showed them a feature and got a response. After closing the hood I take them to the rear of the car and open the truck and say it looks like a jecouzie without the water. It is a 23 cu. ft. trunk with a full size spare. Notice that you have room for your luggage to stand up and smaller items can go on the sides and garment bags can be stored over the covered spare. How do you like the size of this trunk? Great!!

We then went to the passenger side and I opened the front passenger door. I showed how as the turned out of the seat that the bottom of the door was carpeted to keep it from getting scuffed and that the other part was leather for it's softness. I shows them the storage under the arm rest and the ergonomics of the window and door locks. And that the power seat could be adjusted eight ways for comfort. Then I put the seat belt around the front passenger showing both how they could move forward or side to side with out the seat belt tightening up. And when I yanked down on it it locked and held them in the seat. I opened the passenger door and had the lady sit in the rear seat and I put her seat belt on and showed her the features around the door. I closed the door and whet to the driver side and got in put my seat belt on and cranked the car and turned on the air conditioner. We were fixing to go on a test drive and before I was going to leave I wanted them to be as used to the features on this car as the one that they drove up in. I started with the driver side; I explained the express button on the driver's window, one push and it opened by itself. How to fix the power mirrors, and the power seats, how to turn on the automatic headlamps, the auto dim mirror, how to drive in over drive, set their favorite radio station and then I put the car slowly in gear and we were off on our test drive.

I asked them did they remember the five things that were important on the Lincoln? Dual Diagonal Brakes, Locking Seat Belts, Small Turning radius, Rear Air Suspension, Fuel Injected Engine. Before we get on the main road I would like to show you how these work for you.

Fuel Injection- Notice as we take off the car doesn't hesitate because the fuel is put into the engine where needed to give you instant power. Do you see where this would be important when passing a truck on the highway? Yes, was their response.

Dual Diagonal Brakes and Locking Seat Belts-I can show you these two together. What I am going to do is take the car and drive it and then slam on the brakes, so that you know ahead of time that I've not gone crazy I'm also going to take my hands off of the steering wheel and show that I'm not holding the car to make it stay straight that it is the brakes doing their job and that you seat belts will lock you in the seats and keep you from going forward. We took off and then I took my hands off the steering wheel as I slammed on the brakes, the car stopped in a straight line and we all three were held fast in our seat belts. Afterwards I pulled on his seat belt to show it had already unlocked if he needed to get out.

Short Turning Radius- The Lincoln had a 117 inch wheel base and it is over twelve feet long and a most people think it would be hard to turn, but the amazing thing is that it will turn in a short turning distance. I pulled to the edge of the road and asked my customer to open his door and lay a quarter or a coin down on the street just outside his door. I took the steering wheel and turned it all the way to the left and held it and slowly turned the car in a full circle and then asked him to open his door and pick up his coin. They were both amazed at the small turn that we made and that when we stopped there was his coin just where he had put it.

We then turned right and got out onto the main road and went to a quite area away from the traffic where the background was pleasant and stopped the car and then we stepped away from the car and I told them to look at the wheel opening and the tire and they would hear a small hiss and then the Rear Air Suspension would re-level the car without passengers in it. The reason that the car does this is because with weight in the car it could change the air flow around the car and change the drag co and thus lowers the fuel economy and feel of ease of driving the car. The Air Suspension corrects the weight and re-levels the car back level when the passengers enter the car and the doors are closed and then it levels out again once you exit.

At this point I let the lady get behind the wheel and adjust the seat to where she is comfortable and her mirrors and close the door and I get into the back seat and hand her the keys and tell her to turn right out of the drive way. We drive for about two miles and then I have her stop the car and have her sit in the passenger seat and him in the driver seat. I re-adjust his seats and mirrors and then adjust her seat. Then I get back into the rear seat and hand him the keys and lead him to the expressway and let him feel the ride there. We exit at the next exit and return to the dealership. He asks where do I want him to park it and I say right beside his car. Once we get out I ask them again to follow me and we return to my office and I again offer them coffee or a coke and they decide that they want a coke and I leave and get them.

When I come back to my office they are talking about the car and how they loved it and the color was just what they would have chosen. We talked a little while and I asked them would they be trading in the Subaru and they said that they would be. I got an appraisal form and a buyers order and explained that I needed the keys so that my used car manager could look at it and drive it. And I asked if them how they titled the Subaru and were they going to title it the same way. They gave me the information and I wrote it on the buyers order. I got all of the information that I needed from their trad and all of the information from the new Lincoln and entered it onto my buyers order. The manager drove the car and gave the appraisal to the New Car Manager and I sat down with him and he asked me how the test drive went. I told him it went great and that they were excited and that they said if they had chosen the Lincoln off of the lot that is the color that they would have chosen. I gave him the background on the customer so that he knew what I knew.

I went back to my office with the starting numbers for the customer, they talked the numbers over while I listened and I remembered the rule in class the first one who speaks is the loser and it was hard to keep quiet but some how I did. Then the man said, we thought that we would get a little more for our trade. O asked them how much more they thought that they should get. He gave me a number and I asked him what this number was based on. He said that he had looked in the paper and seen his model selling for this price and that we hadn't discounted our car yet. I explained that trade allowance was the discount of our car and the actual cash value of his car(acv). The price he had seen in the paper for the Subaru was a retail price and not a trade in price. When we trade for a car we run it through our shop and make any repairs that are needed to make it a car that we can stand behind a sell the new customer a warranty. He said just take the sheet back to my boss and she if he could give a better deal. I said he is going to ask me how much it is going to take to earn your business. He came back with three thousand more dollars and then we would have made a deal. I wrote down his offer of three thousand more and we would have a deal and had him sign it and then I took it back to my manager. This went on for a while the back and forth between customer and my manager and finally we had a deal, I asked them were they going to finance it with us and they said they were. I took the credit information and filled out all of the paperwork and had them sign it and then I took it to the Finance Manager.

He said that when he was ready he would call me and then I could bring the customer to him to finish the deal. I sent the car back to clean up to be prepped for delivery and filled up with a tank of gas. It was sitting just outside the front door ready to drive off when they came out of the business office.

They were in there for a while and the Manager came out and said that they couldn't get to the payment that they wanted to be at and that they wanted to leave and talk it over and they would let us know. I knew that I had covered all of the bases and knew that that was the vehicle that they wanted. My manager said that they were Grand Marquis buyers and that if they would drive a Grand Marquis that we would be in the ballpark of their payment that they wanted.

When they came out they said that they didn't want to look at the Grand Marquis that they wanted to buy a Lincoln. Sadly, we let them leave and go and think things over. I wondered what I could have done differently and I was kicking myself for not completing the sale. They left around lunch time and I thought out it all that afternoon, around five o'clock I gave them a call and asked them how they were doing and they said they had just gotten out of the swimming pool and that they still wanted the Lincoln and would we take a look at their other car and they would trade it in and have only the one payment instead of two. I said sure, when do you want to come back with the  Buick. As soon as we can get ready will be there. I be here waiting. I hung up the phone and went to my boss and gave him the news and that then they would have only one payment.

They came back just like they said and we looked at the second trade and put the numbers together and we were able to get closer to the numbers on the payment for them. After a couple of hours we had a deal and some happy customers.

I told them that they were our first customers to buy at Covington Way and that we would invite them back when we had our Grand Opening Dinner as they were now a part of the Covington Way and Schilling Family.