Thursday, 16 May 2013

The sales process

I've previously posted about choosing a car.  We've now signed up, and so the decision-making process is at an end (thank goodness).

There were some similarities in the sales techniques that we encountered.

A convertible?  Nup.....maybe next time?
Perhaps it goes with the nature of a sales person:  they all talk a lot (too much?)    Yes, they do pride themselves on "listening" and echoing back to you by way of reinforcement the positive comments that you make about their product and the negative comments that you occasionally make about rival products.    But none of the sales people that we encountered appeared to appreciate the power of silence.   Perhaps the need to rush in and fill any silence with talk (even if quite meaningless) is perceived as necessary so as not to lose "control" of the situation?

Then, although I guess it's fairly obvious, in every case the discussion quickly turned to the strengths of their own product.   One brand stressed the amount of room in the vehicle (in a segment where space is often at a premium).   In another case, the strength of the brand seemed to include its competitive pricing.  Contrary to my earlier post, the discussion in this case very quickly turned to the "bottom line".  However, I wasn't really impressed when, in one instance, the discussion turned within minutes to the good range of colours available, merely because we had touched on this.

Why did we chose the car that we settled on?    Obviously a combination of factors.   Probably almost any car in the class would have sufficed, so by the time we got to this one (which wasn't on our initial "short list"), we were looking at details such as overall design, internal fitout and appearance, on-going costs (RACV ratings were helpful here) and, to be frank, controls that weren't too complex.  This vehicle also came with a couple of "nice-to-have" features (cruise control and reversing camera) and, at the end of the day, price was a factor.   It didn't use premium fuel and the turning indicator wand was on the side we're used to (minor factors, I know, but....).  In short, when a decision has to be made between a number of candidates almost any of which would be suitable, in the end it all comes down to little details and just a slight negative is all it takes to remove a possibility from the short list.