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True Stories: “I Practically Handed Him the Sale, But He Blew It.”

True Stories: Blew the Sales
Article Highlights:

  • Young buyers expect respect when purchasing a new car.
  • "I was treated like a 'kid'..."

Purchasing a new vehicle is a big decision not everyone gets excited about. Some people love their current car but realize it is time for an upgrade before something goes wrong. Financially, emotionally, or even mentally they may not be ready for such a big commitment.

Read Emily’s story about a first time, financially stable, young buyer, who wasn’t excited about trading in her old car and how the salesman didn’t help the situation. I promise I did not make this up.

Why did you start searching for a new vehicle?

While I was driving to my first “real” job I realized how old my car was. It shakes when it reaches certain speeds. It screeches when it stops (even with new brakes). At times, I even wonder if it will start.

A newer model of my car drove past and I thought to myself: I really need a new car.

I was making more money and I felt confident in my finances. But, the idea was still hard for me to swallow. My current car was a gift from my parents and it got me where I needed to go. I tried to talk myself out of it, but realized I should probably get something a little newer and safer.

Where did your search begin?

I was doing some research online to see if anything caught my eye. I found a car in my price range that was exactly what I wanted. It had the interior, paint, and all of the accessories I wasn’t accustomed to.

I decided to stop by the dealership one afternoon. I was nervous. I wasn’t sure I had the guts to part with my old faithful, but wanted to see what my options were.

How was your experience at the dealership?

Not great. I was trying to explain exactly what I wanted so I could quickly decide and not waste the salesman’s time. But, the salesman would not stop talking. I practically handed him the sale, but he blew it. Not only did he not listen, he had the audacity to tell me I was too young to buy new and pushed me towards a junker of a used car.

I know I’m young, but the salesman didn’t pull my credit, didn’t ask what I was making, he didn’t even ask where I worked. I was frustrated and embarrassed. I just wanted to get out of there.

Why did you stay at the dealership?

After half listening to him talk I finally was able to speak. He let me test drive the new car after his protests that I did not have enough money. The car sold itself, but the salesman ruined it. He continued to point out the many flaws of my previous car, making sure to showcase the new upgrades of the model I was test driving.

As he was talking I started to get defensive. I realized my car was not the newest on the lot, but it had kept me safe since I was a new driver at 16. It gets me where I need to go. Every comment he made moved me further and further from a deal.

I drove the new car back on the lot, parked, and was out of the car before the salesperson realized what was happening. I was treated like a “kid” instead of the young professional I am.

Did he try to save the sale?

As I was walking away he made another infuriating comment about the state of my current vehicle. I kept walking when he proceeded to run in front of me and asked me to stop and listen.

He told me about the deals they would give me if I wanted that car.

But his sale was long gone. That’s one dealership I’ll never go back to. All I wanted was respect, to be listened to, and take what I wanted into consideration.

What would you say to salespeople who are walking the fine line of selling to a customer who isn’t sold on buying a car?

I would tell them to stop talking, and start listening, and don’t insult the customer’s current car.

Lesson – Respect the Non-Typical Car Buyer

Be respectful of the non-typical car buyer, like Emily. She was young, but she was financially stable and knew what she wanted. Each customer walking on your lot with a potential trade has a story. Emily loved her car, but in the end needed a newer one. She had the credit and money to purchase the vehicle she wanted, but instead wasn’t given respect. Car sales are not like a predictable movie ending. The most non-typical car buyer can give you a typical sale if you give them the opportunity.

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Director, Brand Marketing, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ashley is a Director of Marketing Communications for Reynolds and Reynolds. In her 10 years with Reynolds, she has managed the marketing strategy for several key Reynolds solutions and branding initiatives. Today, she leads the U.S. and Canadian marketing teams to drive brand awareness, product penetration, and content strategy for Reynolds and other key brands within the Reynolds Retail Management System.

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