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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it just me or have you guys found that all of the salespeople at the dealerships are completely clueless. I've found the sales people at the dealerships around here don't have any clue about trim levels, the features that go with those trim levels, or the available options. Every time I talk to someone, I find that I'm teaching them about about their product. If I knew so little about the business that I work for, I'd be out of a job in no time.

Does anybody else find the same level at knowledge (or lack thereof) at their local dealerships?
 

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Well, I don't know that I'd take it that far. The ones I dealt with were, for the most part, fairly knowledgeable about the Acadia. Yes, I was able to "school" the dealers with my superior knowledge but I don't have dozens of products to have to know. I knew the Acadia. Don't ask me about the Yukons, Suburbans, etc.

It's a new product.
 

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I've been telling a lot of my friends this exact same thing. The lambdas are really selling themselves right now. In a year when there are several to choose from on the lot and the sales men/women have to actually know about the car, they are in trouble. I went to buy my Enclave and told several "sales consultants" about their vehicles. I wonder how the Enclave is supposed to compete with the Lexus RX350 and Acura MDX when initial demand for the Lambdas cools off. I've shopped around and while I obviously believe the Lambdas are better than their Lexus and Acura rivals. I do believe the sales and service at Lexus and Acura dealers would run circles around your local Pontiac/GMC/Buick dealer. Maybe that is why I ended up buying my Enclave at a stand alone Buick dealer that knows a little something about customer service and THEIR Enclave. Ok...I'm done now but you asked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jfencl said:
Well, I don't know that I'd take it that far. The ones I dealt with were, for the most part, fairly knowledgeable about the Acadia. Yes, I was able to "school" the dealers with my superior knowledge but I don't have dozens of products to have to know. I knew the Acadia. Don't ask me about the Yukons, Suburbans, etc.

It's a new product.
I do agree that I'm probably being a bit harsh, but its not like it just came out this month or anything. Also, I'm not sure the dealers around here have dozens of products. Most of the dealers here are Buick, GMC, Pontiac. which I'm guessing totals about 15-20 models between them all, but I could be way off base on that as I haven't actually looked it up.

I guess I just expected to go to a dealership and be able to have a conversation with someone who is very knowledgeable. I've done a lot of research via lurking on this forum and reading other stuff on the internet, but I always find it nice to be able to have a conversation with someone who is knowledgeable to help fill in some details and be able to show me how all the goodies work.
 

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Kloogee said:
jfencl said:
Well, I don't know that I'd take it that far. The ones I dealt with were, for the most part, fairly knowledgeable about the Acadia. Yes, I was able to "school" the dealers with my superior knowledge but I don't have dozens of products to have to know. I knew the Acadia. Don't ask me about the Yukons, Suburbans, etc.

It's a new product.
I do agree that I'm probably being a bit harsh, but its not like it just came out this month or anything. Also, I'm not sure the dealers around here have dozens of products. Most of the dealers here are Buick, GMC, Pontiac. which I'm guessing totals about 15-20 models between them all, but I could be way off base on that as I haven't actually looked it up.

I guess I just expected to go to a dealership and be able to have a conversation with someone who is very knowledgeable. I've done a lot of research via lurking on this forum and reading other stuff on the internet, but I always find it nice to be able to have a conversation with someone who is knowledgeable to help fill in some details and be able to show me how all the goodies work.
I guess I'm just used to knowing more about a product that I'm interested in before going to talk to any salesman. Hell, the stories I could tell you about things I've heard salespeople say about computer gear (my work field) could fill volumes.
 

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I would agree. I knew more about the Acadia and Outlook the several times we drove one.
 

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I think maybe because of the internet and the ability to really delve into research on a vehicle before you head out to look at one, this is causing us to be more knowledgeable about the vehicle than the salesperson selling it to us. That's my take anyway. My salesguy didn't know a whole lot about it, but it was still a really new vehicle at the time. But again, he didn't have to sell me on it, I already knew I wanted an Acadia, so it didn't matter that much to me.
 

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I told my salesman that I would probably order my new Acadia because I wanted the "kinks" (as many as possible) to be worked out. He replied what "kinks". I mentioned the transmission issues and the recalls to him. He had no idea about any of it. This is why I relied more on this forum for answers than him.

Unfortunately, I find this to be a common problem many places. I will usually throw out a question to a salesperson that I already know the answer to. If they get it right I will work with them, if not, it is on to the next salesperson.
 

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dpryke said:
I told my salesman that I would probably order my new Acadia because I wanted the "kinks" (as many as possible) to be worked out. He replied what "kinks". I mentioned the transmission issues and the recalls to him. He had no idea about any of it. This is why I relied more on this forum for answers than him.
I am of two minds about this. First, I don't really expect a salesman to list the faults with a vehicle. So it is possible that they know all of the problems but don't want to ruin a potential sale. Second, it is possible that they don't know the issues. In a way that seems logical to me since the service department is usually who you deal with when having issues. I have never brought a car in for service and asked for my salesman.

Your mileage may vary.
 

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jfencl said:
dpryke said:
I told my salesman that I would probably order my new Acadia because I wanted the "kinks" (as many as possible) to be worked out. He replied what "kinks". I mentioned the transmission issues and the recalls to him. He had no idea about any of it. This is why I relied more on this forum for answers than him.
I am of two minds about this. First, I don't really expect a salesman to list the faults with a vehicle. So it is possible that they know all of the problems but don't want to ruin a potential sale. Second, it is possible that they don't know the issues. In a way that seems logical to me since the service department is usually who you deal with when having issues. I have never brought a car in for service and asked for my salesman.

Your mileage may vary.
First of all, he was getting the sale anyway. Second, I told him that I had read on this forum about the problems I mentioned, and he told me that there were no problems. Third, when you go to buy a TV don't they tell you what the pluses and minuses are from model to model or if their are any issues.
 

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Dpryke, that's not really an apples to apples analogy you used about the TV salesmen. A TV salesmen sells all models of TVs and does not have to worry about brand loyalty. It is completely opposite for a car salesmen. Brand loyalty plays a big part in their ability to discuss issues with the vehicles they sell (unfortunately).

Webraven, we buyers don't have a corner on the market when it comes to the internet. It is for everybody to use for research, both buyers and sellers. I think these salesmen could really stand to do a little research of their own using the internet.... it would only make them better at their job.
 

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JonTon said:
I think these salesmen could really stand to do a little research of their own using the internet.... it would only make them better at their job.
:ditto:
 

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We probably get what we deserve as far as the sales people go. We all want the lowest price possible. We go online, we call other dealers, and we haggle until the profit margin is very slim. Out of that small profit the salesman receives a commission, sometimes as little as $50.00. For this $50.00 he might have to spend one to three hours closing the deal and quite possibly passing up another customer who might not be so bottomline picky. I know there are other areas that the dealer makes money and the salesmen might share in, but I think for the most part it's not the easiest way to make a living. I think the turnover rate among most dealers is extremely high. The sales people move from one agency to another often selling different makes and models looking for better promised opportunities. With working conditions such as these, I doubt you're going to get really professional people dedicated to one dealership or line of cars. I know there are many good sales people selling cars, but I really think the quality of the staff is dependent on the dealership and their polices. and the competetive level at which they must operate. Here in California we have these mega dealerships everywhere with huge overheads, so they must move a lot of cars every month, and because there are so many of them they have to be extremely competetive to survive.
 

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Granted I was working with the sales manager a my dealer, but I have to give him credit for knowing everything I did about the Acadia. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
By the way, I have to take a huge piece of humble pie for starting this thread. Yesterday I stopped at my local dealer and talked with a sales guy about ordering an Acadia. He was extremely well informed. He was extremely personable and the first number that came out of his mouth about pricing was the invoice price. In fact, he showed me the screens right off of the internal GM site. Once I make my decisions on options, he'll definitely be the one taking my order.

Cheers!
K
 

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Right now, there are two types of dealers out there, that cater to the two types of customers. You have the informed, and the clueless.

You have the old school boys, who grease you up for the "negotiations" with the sales manager, and do things the "old fasioned way". They run away from the informed customer who walks in with a folder, and bet on you ignoring the bottom line and having addons and premiums put on your purchase. They rarely know anything about the vehicle other than where the keys go, and tend to look down their noses at you. Sometimes they will pretend to be your best friend, just to get the sale. They make the most money on customers who have no idea what holdbacks or invoices are, and ignore the bottom like to talk about monthly payment. The clueless profit from the clueless. Occasionally, and especially at high volume dealers, these guys will make a deal with an informed customer just to make a quick buck. Usually, the price negotiated is close to MSRP. Both parties don't want to get in an involved relationship, because the informed customer just wants to make a quick purchase, and the dealer wants to make a quick sale. The informed buyer doesn't want to be bounced around the sales managers office and then the financing office. The uninformed buyer gets shoehorned into $50 worth of $10 cans of Scotchguard inflated to $300 and thinks they got a smoking deal.

Then you have the new breed - the ones that know that the informed internet customer is their best friend. They're coming in to look at something they've probably already decided on, and have all the infomation either at hand or in head. They know about invoice. Holdbacks. Incentives. And the customer still usually ends up knowing more than the dealer or salesman, simply because they are the ones throwing the green down, and they want to know where every penny goes. Both sides want to foster a relationship, because the dealer knows that they will come back for service and repeat business if they are treated right. The buyer will want to come back because they have been treated honestly and with respect. Win-win.

However, in my many vehicle purchases and travels, I have found that very very few salesmen know anything about the product they're selling. I can't count how many times I've pointed out where the trunk release, fuel-filler release, etc are on a vehicle. Hell, on the last 2 I knew more about the recalls and what to fix and where than the service department.

So, bottom line: don't be surprised if you know more than the salesman about what you're buying. Remember - it's just a job from their point of view, but for many of us a vehicle purchase is the 2nd, if not 1st major purchase we'll make on a regular basis. ****** right some of us want to know the details.
 

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If you are frustrated with car salesman, this article is for you. A writer wants to join the edmunds.com writing staff. His initiation? He is asked to go undercover as a car salesman at a major high pressure dealership, then later, a low pressure dealership. It took me a long time to read, but every sentence was fascinating. This article nails the whole subject.

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html
 

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I've read that article a couple of times before. It's a great read. Not everything was surprising to me but I still really enjoyed it.
 

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Definitely! My last 2 cars have been brand new models to be fair but before going into the dealer to view these, I had much more knowledge than the salesman. I had already read the manual for the Acadia online before I ever saw the car at the dealership. These guys seem to have so much slack time to gab and smoke. Why dont they spend some time reading up on their inventory? I would be embarrassed to show a car to someone who knows more about it than me. I had one guy ask me if I wanted the upgraded airbag option for the Acadia. I told him there wasnt such an upgrade. "Oh ya".
 

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Keith said:
I had already read the manual for the Acadia online before I ever saw the car at the dealership.
I thought I was the only who did this. :eek:
 
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