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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps because I'm in sales, I have come to find the dealerships lack of knowledge on the workings of the Acadia to be quite humorous and somewhat embarrassing.
If I didn't know the product I was selling, I would lose my job. Every salesman I have come into contact so far with respect to the Acadia didn't know much, if anything, about the vehicle. They often utter, "This is brand new, I don't know what that is or how to do that."
One would think that because this is a new vehicle that GMC has put a lot of effort into (and perhaps could define the near future for them), they may consider actually training the salespeople on its' capabilities and operational functions.
How hard would it be for the local GMC reps to take 1/2 hour to train the dealership salespeople?

They want us to plop down $40K, and we have to figure out everything about the vehicle on our own. I guess I'm just looking for a bit more professionalism for that amount of dough.

Am I being overcritical?
Yours,
Pipes
 

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Nope. You are correct! I've often felt the same way. I've even joked with them that perhaps they should pay me as a consultant because I know more about their vehicles than they do. It's just that I did a lot of research before I bought. I'm sure many of you did also. As you say, the dealers should TRAIN their sales teams.
 

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I gave my dealer a pass since they'd only had the Acadia on their lot for a day when I got there to test drive but I don't think it's overcritical of you to expect at least some knowledge from the salesperson though. I do think these GM dealers have probably gotten a little lazy over the years as GM really has had the same interiors and features in their cars for a pretty long time. They really threw these new things out there at once. I would put the training part on the dealerships though.
 

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It could be because the Acadia is so new they have not been trained on this model yet.

When I bought mine a week ago I knew more than he did thanks to this site & spending lots of time on the net building one.

When I saw my salesman Saturday he said they had a big Acadia walk through at an airfield on Friday for the dealers in the area.
 

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My salesman had actually just been to training on the Acadia a couple of days before I picked mine up - so he was pretty helpful!
 

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I too am consistently amazed at how little the average car salesperson really knows about their cars; they know even less about the cars their competitors sell that buyers are likely also considering for their purchase, even though it would likely be good for them to have this knowledge. Most of them seem to not recognize that consumers today tend to do more research and are therefore more knowledgeable about the cars they're thinking about buying than in years past. I've often thought I would have the potential to be a very good salesperson since I would know my products through and through. Too few salespeople seem to take much pride in being a great source of information for potential customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Amen TDIIDman, you're absolutely correct. And great point about not knowing the competition. Acadia salespeople could feast on the competition by offering better MPG, more cargo space, seat slide system, HUD, folding mirrors, beautiful design, not built on a truck frame, etc, etc..
Maybe they know that we'll do all the homework for them?
I think at the end of the day that if they altered their approach to meet the needs of the "new consumer," they would sell more. And I would define "new consumer" as well educated about what he/she is purchasing.
I did in fact purchase an Acadia on Saturday (more details to follow...the deal isn't 100% complete yet), and I actually witnessed another salesperson lean forward towards a couple who were shopping for a new car and say, "So if I can get you a good price, you will sign today, right?" Give me an flippin' break! Sounded like the prototypical used car salesman. If a salesperson said that to me, I would probably laugh in their face.
Anyhow, it all goes back to my original point...they should know what their selling. It's called training.
 

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I don't think you are being overcritical, but perhaps your expectations are a little high (or mine are a little low).

I don't mean to offend any car dealers out there, but I learned a long time ago not to rely upon their statements. Occasionally I will run into one that is well trained, but that is somewhat rare. We found a great guy selling Chevy's when we were looking at Minivans and also at the Equinox, and I would have loved to buy something from that guy-- but we determined we did not want the Equinox, and for the same money we would rather have the Buick Terraza than the Chevy Uplander, so we went back to the Buick/GMC dealer and then we found the Acadia.

The first guy to help me a few days earlier at Buick/GMC was a sales manager and he was reasonably well informed-- but the new guy he put us with on test drives didn't know squat. That's alright, I was mainly dealing with the sales manager anyway, and he just couldn't go on a drive (he stayed fairly well tasked with questions from salesmen even when we were working with him.) But even the sales manager didn't know some things about the availability of the 2nd row bench (thought it was only in fabric), and the specifics of how you would get memory seats.

However, I do give both the sales manager and the new sales guy credit for not trying to BS too much around the product. They correctly identified me as a customer type who needs some space and time, and that I would probably be more educated about the product within a couple days than they even could be. (I only have one product to focus on, and they have 4 brands, Buick/GMC/Pontiac/Hummer)
 

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Pipes said:
and I actually witnessed another salesperson lean forward towards a couple who were shopping for a new car and say, "So if I can get you a good price, you will sign today, right?" Give me an flippin' break! Sounded like the prototypical used car salesman. If a salesperson said that to me, I would probably laugh in their face.
That depends on the situation. A salesperson should be able to identify you early on as someone he cannot use that sales technique to, but there are a lot of people which can be sold that way. Getting those "yes"'s with leading questions actually does work to close a sale.

I would probably do something more along the lines of what is done in the IT sales industry in having technical sales consultants team with sales professionals in order to sell cars. You have the technical consultants "KNOW" the product, basically inside and out, and would even specialize in a car type or in a car brand for multibrand dealers. Then the sales professionals make and close the deals.
 

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I think it's pretty inexcusable. Regardless of whether the dealership is providing training (which they should be), a savvy salesman should be using his downtime (which is plentiful) to learn about the models he is selling. Aren't there computers at these dealerships where salespeople can get on the Internet and do the same research that we do? But instead most salespeople are content to let the cars sell themselves. I pretty much go in with the expectation that the people I talk to will know less than I do, and I'm usually right. There are always exceptions, but the first time I looked at the Acadia I had to show the saleswoman how to use the smart-slide seats.... :eek:
 

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I think if they changed the "sales commission" from the dealership to the salesperson to a sales "tip" from the buyer to the salesperson, the sales folks would definitely find out about the product they are selling and work even harder to make their customers happy with the sale.

my 2 cents.
 

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Oh, you'll love this one. I was working with a fleet/internet manager (who was great...really well informed too!). Well, he was locating cars for me and on my way home from work one day, stopped at another dealership to see some of the colors in person. I had to play dumb (even though I was researching the heck out of the Acadia) and asked what the difference between the SLT-1 and 2 were. You ready for this one...

He said the ONLY difference was the SLT-2 came with Navigation and a DVD system. Other than those two features...they are identical. HA!
 

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I agree as well. I told the dealership sales manager that I would not be purchasing the car from them as the salesman I was working with kept calling it the "ARcadia" and had no knowledge about the car.

And come on, even if they have not been trained yet, 30 mins researching on the Internet should give at least a decent amount of working knowledge.
 

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Your average new car salesperson is basically a closer. He doesn't have to find customers, they find him. He has very little room to bargain without the sales manager. Used car sales is much more lucrative to a salesperson. Occasionally you'll find a new car salesperson who's in the business because he really likes cars and helping people. That's a lucky day when car shopping. I hate to generalize about any group of people, but in my experience new car sales doesn't attract the cream of the crop of sales professionals. Some are good, but most seem to be putting in their time till a customer falls in their lap with their checkbook.

Most of the members of this forum are more educated, and have researched the facts of their auto purchases much more extensively than all but a handful of car salespeople. Believe it or not, a friend of mine who spent quite a few years selling new cars told me any number of customers buy cars like they were shopping at the grocery store, and pay sticker without question. Hard to believe, but true! There's any number of clichés I could use, but the best is "Buyer Beware!".
 

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Huge Pet Peave.

With as much down time as car sales guys have, why not pick up an owners manual and READ IT!. When ever I purchase a new care, I sit down and read the owners manual cover to cover and learn all sorts of little tricks and features. It takes about 45 minutes. Surely, a car sales guy who you always see just standing around, can find 45 minutes before noon each day to educate himself even if his dealer offers no training.

Other than Lexus, Saturn, and sometimes Honda, I have never found a sales person who knew more about the car than I already did from just reading sites like Edmunds, etc.

Being in sales myself, I would fee like an absolute failure if all I was there for was to offer a "deal." Where is the salesmanship, telling me about the car, asking about my lifestyle to be sure that this care would be best for me, suggest alternatives, solve problems. Where is the SELLING anymore. All we have now are monkeys throwing out a price. If these guys could really SELL, they could get more for their cars which results in increasing profits to the dealership and to their own wallets. Once it gets down to price alone, the salesman is irrelevant.
 

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I'm in sales as well. Actually new car sales. I listen to my customers. It really isn't just about price. Its about knowledge, listening, suggestions when applicable, and great service! You are absolutely right... don't accept lack of knowledge. I wouldn't accept it if I were dropping $400 or $40k.
 

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I joked that they should hire me, too, because I knew so much more than they did about the vehicle. My salesman, just today, went to some sort of training with the Acadias. Apparently it's like a gmc roadshow product knowledge course. He said that they got to drive them on the road and a road course, comparison drive a Pilot and Durango (of which he said hands down the Acadia blew both away), and took some 2 hour course on Acadia. I was kidding him saying that he's only just now catching up with my knowledge!
 

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Not sure where GaGirl is from, but in the Los Angeles area my salesperson did the road show about 3 weeks ago.
 

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sandman said:
Not sure where GaGirl is from, but in the Los Angeles area my salesperson did the road show about 3 weeks ago.
I'm from Georgia, silly! GAgirl? :D
 

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I too have been pretty unimpressed with the level of professionalism amongst the sales people that I've run into at several dealerships. My biggest concern hasn't been the lack of technical knowledge (that can be overcome fairly easily with a bit of study or a PK from the manager) but the lack of basic sales skills I've witnessed. It's atrocious!
Things such as: Inability to establish repoire, trying to BS me if they didn't know something technical, coming on WAAAAY too strong before gleaning any info from me about my needs/wants, volunteering to drop their pants or price match before I had even mentioned price, etc...

My personal favourite was the older guy who totally blew me off and sat in the corner drinking coffee even after i had asked several questions about the Acadia in the showroom- I was on my way home from a ski demo (I'm a sales agent for several sporting goods companies, early 30's) and had on a beanie, denim and a puffy down jacket. He was oozing a "this guy can't afford this vehicle so i won't waste my time" attitude. I'm tempted to drop in on him after my Acadia arrives (purchased at another dealership obviously).

I imagine that GM constantly bombards its sales staff with sales seminars- where is the evidence that it's working??
 
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