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Misrepresentation--A Quick Way To Lose A Customer

Updated on October 29, 2011

Misrepresentation is one of the quickest ways to lose a prospective customer.  It is easy to blame the salesman however the fault lies with management…and ultimately with owners.  The buck stops there, always.

On a bright sunny autumn day during that time when the season slowly segues into winter…I decided it was a good time to shop for a new motorcycle.  Visiting the local dealer’s website I was relieved to hear while listening to a brief video that they practiced a “low-key” sales approach.   The owner commented how he detested the old and outdated high-pressure sales approach and his staff were more like consultants rather than salesmen.

It was a large dealership featuring new Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki along with a good selection of used motorcycles including a few Harley Davidsons.  As promised on the website’s video, I was greeted immediately upon entering the dealership by an enthusiastic salesman willing to guide me to the right motorcycle that fit my needs and wants.

That was great because at this point, I wasn’t even sure what I was interesting in looking at.  It had been just over a year since I had sold my last bike, a 2007 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic…a top of the line bike that saw few if any rivals….there was little the salesman could show me that would stand up to the Harley…

But my needs had changed since I now live full time in an RV.  My motorhome can only tow a vehicle that weighs 5,000 pounds and though a bike is much lighter than that, I still need an automobile of some nature for driving in bad weather or for taking my dog to the vets or on other errands and adventures.  It occurred to me I could trade my Jeep for a small pickup truck and haul the bike in the back of it.  It was doubtful a full dresser Harley would fit but a smaller cruiser type motorcycle might work.  I relayed that information to the salesman; Richard, and he lead me to several good possibilities.

After looking at a few bikes, Richard excused himself and turned me over to another salesman by the name of Mike.  Mike wasn’t quite so laid back and began asking me some qualifying questions.  How was I going to pay for the bike, for example.  I explained to him I didn’t much care for payments and would probably just stroke a check when I was ready to buy.  He then asked the one question that really turns me off at a dealership, “If all the numbers are agreeable, are you ready to take delivery, today?”

Hell, I hadn’t even decided if I wanted to buy a motorcycle…much less which one!  And the guy is asking me a closing question like that?  What happened to the laid back approach?  Yes, he had shown me a few bikes that might fit my requirements.  Yes, I said they might work for me.  Had I been offered a test drive yet?  No.  Had I looked at small trucks yet…no.   He continued, “This is the last sales day of the month.  We’ll make the numbers work for you…”

He’ll make what numbers work for me.  One bike had an MSRP of $8100 while another was listed at over $15,000.  The latter also had a reduced price on their website that he conveniently did not mention.  That in itself is misrepresentation.

As I walked to my car; now disappointed I had wasted my time visiting this, “laid-back” dealership, the salesman kept shouting trial closes at the back of my head… “You could be riding a new bike home, today!”  “Great day for riding…last day of the month…give you a great deal!”

You know the great thing about having wheels under my home, I can travel anywhere in the country until one day I happen in on a motorcycle dealership that makes me want to do business with them.  Until then, I’ll just put the top down on my Jeep.

$4000 sale price reduction listed on website...not mentioned by salesman during my visit.
$4000 sale price reduction listed on website...not mentioned by salesman during my visit.

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