I took a car dealership sales call the other day that quickly put me on the defensive. Businesses should definitely do better.
No one enjoys telemarking calls, especially the kind of car dealership sales call I received the other day.
It started off simply enough: someone asking for me by name. After a quick exchange of pleasantries, she sis she worked for the dealership where I purchased my car and immediately asked if I still owned the same vehicle. She preceded to name the year, make and model of my vehicle as if knowing that information somehow gave her the right to ask.
I simply told her that nothing had changed.
She then asked about the mileage.
Without any further explanation than she had provided, I asked why she was asking these questions. She answered that the dealership wanted to make sure I was fully satisfied with my vehicle.
If you’ve never gotten one of these, here’s the real reason.
While the dealership might want to verify that I was “fully satisfied,” they want something else.
They want that car back!
They especially want it back if, after a few years, it’s in good cosmetic shape, hasn’t been in any accidents, hasn’t had any major repair issues and has low mileage.
That car dealership wants you to sell your car back to them…so they can sell it as used. (Of course, they call “used” cars “pre-owned” these days.)
Next, she read off the mileage the service department had listed when I had the car in for its routine maintenance. I begin to wonder if she’s trying to show off with what she knows about me and my ride.
She asked if that figure sounded correct.
Sure, I thought it sounded correct. I also expressed my confidence in their technicians’ ability to correctly record the odometer reading.
The interrogation was obviously going to continue, so I put a stop to it.
“I’m really not interested in selling my car at the moment,” I said.
Cut to the chase. After all, I have plenty of other things to do with my day.
So she asked whether I anticipated any plans to sell the car within the next year or so.
I said no. No such plans at all.
She then asked why I felt that way.
At this point, I was tempted to just tell her it was none of her damned business.
Instead, I reminded her that she said called to verify for the car dealership that I was satisfied. I told her that I was, in fact, satisfied.
Having no further car payments also satisfies me. There isn’t the slightest bit of desire on my part to start that up again.
I’m truly sorry their inventory had to take a blow.
But that’s the way it is.
If I did want to sell my car and upgrade, that call might have turned me off to the idea. The caller immediately started asking questions without being clear for the reason. She immediately started reviewing my vehicle record while expecting me to know that information offhand.
The call wasn’t dishonest per se, but I immediately felt ill at ease. Despite what the caller didn’t say, I knew what the call was really about.
It doesn’t take a long time to figure out what the call is about.
Unfortunately, the callers think we’re too stupid to figure it out.
That’s another mark against them. And another reason I’d probably never respond to such a call with an agreement to sell.
I asked them to take me off their list. But I won’t hold my breath for that happening.