Monday, May 29, 2006

Smart selling (or lack thereof)

One of my friends drives an Acura and was complaining about the crappy loaner he was given when he had his car serviced at the dealership. I know of several dealerships which do this. You own an expensive luxury vehicle, and you end up driving a sub-compact ordinary loaner for a day.

I fail the understand the stupidity of the dealerships in passing off such a great opportunity to sell/market new cars.

Imagine this:
- Dealership calls you to set up an appointment once they determine that your car is due.
- You take the car in, and are given a loaner which is an upgrade (1-2 levels above) of the car you dropped off.
- You drive the fully loaded upgrade loaner for a day.
- When you come back to pick up your car, you mention how good this loaner was.
- The attendant acknowledges, and casually mentions that his manager took the liberty of doing some calculations, and determined what it would take for you to upgrade to that class of car. And, hands you a "sealed" envelope with the information. AND stops talking. It is completely up to you to open the envelope and peek inside, or chuck it into the garbage.
- You (like most people), salivating over the upgrade, open the envelope.
- If you were one of the people who were sitting on the fence wrt this issue, you fall for it, and will be driving an upgraded vehicle next week!

This is one scenario. You can come up with various other approaches to accomplish the same. There is no compromise of information here. Note that the dealer intimately knows your current car, its condition, and, obviously, its current market value. And, he happens to sell/trade new cars. He is the best person to do the math and give you the above mentioned information. Of course, all this should be done in a very subtle and non-intrusive manner. I wonder when the dealerships will pick this up.

Maybe, that will make me go the dealer for my next service....