Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Can I hear what the customer is saying? Cars and Clients!

I always get excited when I get to work with a new client or repeat customer. It is an adrenalin rush when that phone rings and the person on the other end is in the market for what I do. In this case... a car.  I have become very aware that sometimes I can get so involved in what I want to tell to the client, that  I don't  hear what they are saying.
       A perspective new client shared with me recently that she feels like dealers don't listen. She told me that when she shared with the sales person what was important to her, he just totally bypassed and kept on trying to sell what he wanted to sell! She had a budget and he just would not listen to that. She did not want a specific color... not listening.
      This made me think about how people feel about the car buying/ leasing process and how important it is to hear what the consumer is saying and that each person wants to be heard. Every customer has their own perspective on what "their" deal should look like. I want to always be able to see each client as they are with their own needs. I found over the last 19 plus years in the car industry that customers see color differently, care about different options and have a need to feel appreciated, empowered and educated! Am I listening to what is important to the consumer? It is such a simple and selfless act to listen.
     If you go to a dealer and feel like you are not being listened to, you can change the course of that conversation. 1) You can ask your sales person to please listen. If that does not work then I suggest 2) you find someone who cares about YOUR deal. Not just selling a car. There are many good listeners out there. There are also people that have not learned how to be good listeners. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to help them!  Your opinon, money and voice have a value.3)  Find the person that knows that value and understands how the process of car buying, leasing, financing and warranty information works.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vehicle Lease for longer term?. Lower payment?? Look closely!

  We are all in search of the LOW payment when negotiating our lease. Something I hear day after day is... "I need the lowest payment possible!"  What we forget is that we should be shopping by purchase price and not by payment.
      What does that mean? When you purchase or lease a car, you want to make sure you get a good deal. This is based on the price you pay for the car. The monthly payment will fall into place. Once you negotiate the purchase price of the car minus your rebates, money down or trade,  then all you have left in the term and the interest rate/ money factor. THE PURCHASE PRICE DOES NOT CHANGE WHETHER YOU LEASE OR PURCHASE your vehicle.  You could be leaving money on the table.
           36-39 months is pretty standard in the leasing world for a vehicle lease agreement. Its really the most common. Its not forever and you are mostly covered by warranty depending on your miles that you are driving. Most manufactures push these terms and will offer the lowest payment, best money factor and a good residual. To go longer would be silly because the payment sometimes actually goes up. It does NOT make sense. A big down payment is not a solution!
       Some  Other manufacturers do offer longer terms like 42, 48 and 60 month leases. STOP and THINK before you jump on this because the payment is lower. If you have to stretch a lease out that long to afford it, you may be on the WRONG car! This car may be too expensive for your budget.  The other aspect of choosing a longer term can be the difference in cost of tires, brakes and other maintenance. Before you sign on the dotted line, look at the whole picture and revisit the cost of a purchase. The cost of more payments, interest, maintenance and repairs adds up. Sometimes we don't realize how that extra 6 months or year did not really save us anything if we have to spent 500.00 to 800.00 on a set of tires!!!! Maybe it opens you up to look at some different cars.

I call those problems "high class problems". The problem of which car to choose!!!!! We should all be so lucky.

              We all want a good deal. One that is fair to all parties involved. That includes the consumer and the dealer. At the end of the day, you need to make sure that you do what is in your best interest. Follow your gut, stick to your budget and take your time. We talk ourselves into things because we get so excited, but it is a contractual agreement so you need to take it seriously.