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Reader’s Forum: Their Own Worst Enemies

Sometimes dealers and their salespeople are their own worst enemies.

Mark, I read your article “It’s About the Offer” (Promo Power, March 25) and you suggest a $500 test. It sounds as if you’ve done it before and you make it sound as if it’s “no fail.”

I preach about “The Offer” all the time and have seen how important it is to have a good offer for advertising to generate non-routine traffic for the 30 years I’ve been in the business. But I can’t believe there are 500 people in our market (Lorain County has 301,000 people) who would stop by a dealership for one free dollar bill … let alone in 20 minutes. What am I missing here?

Other than that, I enjoyed your article and agree 100 percent. We have to urge creativity and “great” offers.

Also, we need to get the auto dealers to believe they can survive and succeed. I hear stories from my friends about how they were treated with no enthusiasm or salesmanship at all by car salespeople. In fact there is so little salesmanship going on that calling them car salesmen is being generous.

One example: I serve on a hospital board and the president had a Chrysler 300 for which the lease was up. He went back to the dealer, where he’s been getting his cars for 20 years, and was treated indifferently, so much so that he decided to go look at a Cadillac at another dealership.

Same story. The “salesperson” pointed him to the area of the lot where the model he was interested was, and stayed in the showroom. (It was cold outside, after all.)

My friend was a little taken aback and decided to look at a Lexus. They treated him like a king and he decided to not only buy a Lexus for himself, he got one for his wife too.

Sometimes dealers and their salespeople are their own worst enemies.

Doug Wilber
WOBL Radio Inc.
WDLW Radio Inc.
Oberlin, Ohio