Monthly Archives: September 2013

How To Self-Destruct Your Internet Business: or whatever happened to good salesmanship?

There’s been an awful lot of silence on this blog lately.  One might say there’s been a void-like quiet.  On this side of the computer screen, however, there’s been a fair amount of squawking, and at times, screeching going on.

I’ve been looking for a new car, and I’ve been all over the board in choosing the one that I could drive home.  It needed to be:

Fun to drive…

jeep1And it needed to have something of the workhorse about it…

gmcBut with a responsible outlook on fuel economy…

fiatMost importantly, it had to fit within a somewhat austere budget…


And So The Search Was On

I live in an area that could be described as a geographical oddity – it’s approximately an hour’s drive from anywhere, in any direction.  Because of that one little detail, I was very interested in utilizing the internet: first to do my homework, and then to narrow my choices to a particular vehicle at a particular price point before I invested the time and fuel to drive to a brick and mortar dealership.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I looked, we are indeed living in the 21st century; and the internet – and internet marketing – has been around for a year, or two, or twenty.  During that time, retailers have figured out a few things: that a large proportion of the buying public are inherently lazy, that they like shopping at all hours, and if you’re like me, you love shopping in your jammies.

Car dealers haven’t been slow to cash in on this type of marketing – do an internet search for any car and suddenly you’re bombarded by ads from the automotive industry.

Now, it’s my understanding that in parts of the good, old U.S. of A., car dealers have internet sales staff that actually use the internet as a tool in the negotiation and purchasing process.  Somehow, this information has been withheld or perhaps ignored by the internet sales force at new car dealerships in Texoma – a good sized area that encompasses southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.  Time apparently stands still in Texoma.  Here you’ll find mind-sets unchanged since the dawn of automotive history.

Another oddity – truly amazing.

Here’s my definition of frustration… you send off an inquiry to a dealership in regards to a particular vehicle.  Questions you might expect to ask, and the answers you’re likely to receive:

Q: Is this vehicle still in stock?

A: What’s your zip code?

Q: Do you have a similar vehicle with 4-wheel drive?

A: What’s your phone number?

Q: I see that you only have the MSRP online.  What’s the sale price of this vehicle?

A: What color do you want?

Q: Are you open for business today?

A: Come on in and test drive!  (Silly me – an hour’s drive later I found out it actually wasn’t.)

Never Say Die

It’s incredible that so many dinosaurs (of both sexes) continue to survive, and that they insist on clutching old school sales techniques to their respective bosoms with a death-grip.

But these kinds of responses made narrowing my options easier in some ways.

For instance, at one point in the purchasing process, the owner and general manager (of a dealership that shall remain nameless) sent an inquiry regarding my experience with his internet sales staff.  I made the honest mistake of leaving customer feedback.  Imagine my surprise when that information was turned over to his internet sales manager and I received a response that looked a lot like the opening salvo of a pissing contest.  My reaction to these so-called sales techniques?

Imagine me in front of my computer, innocently reading email… when suddenly my head exploded.  Another new car dealer was scratched off my list.

Car buying on the internet has been an educational experience.  I’ve tucked away some good information for the next time – and there will be a next time – but I’ll be better prepared and better armed.  For now, let’s just say that I finally found the one – color the crazy woman happy.