Tales of salesmen who made a massive positive impact on car buyers

The sales exec said it doesn’t matter if you can’t buy the car, if you’re coming to our showroom you’re a prospective buyer.

BHPian tmtitash12 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

After reading about experiences like this, thought I would share some from my end.

One evening me and my brother decided to visit Audi, BMW, Mercedes_Benz and Jeep showrooms to have a look at their cars. I didn’t have any intention of buying any car at that time.

Mercedes and BMW people didn’t entertain us at all, didn’t even let us see the CLA and 3 Series GT, but coming to Audi and Jeep, they know how to treat a person even if they are not prospective buyers. I went to their showroom 4 years ago, and Audi did give us a test drive for A4 and encouraged us to take test drives of other cars, offered us coffee and packaged drinking water, explained every feature in detail, explained us what to do in case we get stuck in the middle of the road, Audi really offered a ‘Premium’ experience for a premium car.

Now coming to Jeep, we were interested in the baby Jeep, the Compass Trailhawk model. The sales executive immediately took us to the car, opened the driver’s door and told me to sit in it. While being seated inside, he explained all the features then encouraged us to take a test drive. He asked for my driving license and then made us fill a form for the test drive then took us for a long test drive, around 20 kms long through city and highways both. The sales exec said it doesn’t matter if you can’t buy the car, if you’re coming to our showroom you’re a prospective buyer. Maybe 5 years from now when you think you can afford, you will come to us and buy the car. And then he encouraged us to take a test drive of the Jeep Wrangler which I politely declined because driving a Wrangler was above my skill level.

I made myself a promise that day, to never visit the same Mercedes and BMW showrooms again.

Four years passed since then, and now I have booked my Jeep Compass Trailhawk from the same showroom, and Mr. Debangan (the same sales exec) was there to tell me that he knew one day I would be back at their showroom to buy the car. It was a wonderful experience with Jeep and Audi.

Here’s what BHPian MarutiGuy1977 had to say on the matter:

On similar lines. Around 4 years back, we were coming out of UB City and the Lamborghini showroom was right there. And that evening, one beauty was parked inside. It did not miss the eyes of my then 6 year old son who screamed out loud and asked me to stop the car. I pulled up by the side and my wife took my son to see the car. The showroom was closed and they were just looking at the car from outside the glass window. And they were shooed away by the watchman “dekhna allowed nahin hai, jaao” or something to that effect.

My son came back heartbroken to the car. Consoled him and we moved forward. At the corner of St. Marks junction is the Audi showroom. This time my wife asked to stop the car. She told that she would take my son inside. I was in no mood but did pull over and she took him. Surprisingly they didn’t return for 10+ minutes.

They narrated a very positive experience in the Audi showroom. It was obvious they had gone to show the cars to the kid. And they told the salesperson in so many words. They let me son take him time and see the cars and let him sit in one also. Couldn’t have asked for more that day.

Here’s what BHPian Bulzire had to say on the mater:

The best showroom and test drive experience I had so far is absolutely with JEEP only. May be around 2 years back I and my friend casually visited the JEEP showroom in Electronic City on a Saturday evening at 7 PM to check the Compass. It was late and the showroom was already getting ready to close for the day , saw few SA’s and staff were packing their bags to leav . The moment we entered the showroom , There was an SA who greeted us as if we were the first customer in the morning and spent nearly 20 mins to explain the car specs. Then he asked us if we would like to take a test drive, Definitely we didn’t expect this question from him at that time. we did test drive the car for 45 mins to 1 hour with mix of highway and rural roads. The SA was happily accompanying us explaining all the features and car’s capabilities. The SA was in his 45’s and technically very knowledgeable than any other SA i have met so far. He never hesitated to answer our queries and encouraged us to take the car to absolutely broken roads to feel the suspension. Finally we reached back to showroom around 8.45 PM and he happily sent us off saying please come back if you decide on the Compass. No unwanted talks, no unwanted marketing, no unwanted promises from him in any point during our interaction with him.

Here’s what BHPian akshay dandekar had to say on the matter:

Well, when I went to a TATA Showroom for the very first time to check out the Nexon (which I now proudly own), I got out of an autorickshaw bang in front of the showroom gate. I wasn’t wearing branded clothes or snazzy shoes, just a simple t-shirt and denims with comfortable shoes.

I know the SA saw me getting out of the autorickshaw, as the guy was haggling for change and it took me a while to get him the exact fare. The moment I stepped into the showroom the same SA asked me ‘Sir hope no problem getting the change’. Although I was a bit flushed, he politely asked me which car I was interested in, and spent the next 30 minutes explaining the features et al of the Nexon. I was honestly smitten by the Safari and when he saw that, BANG! I was provided all the details, even the finance options (even after letting him know it was way out of my budget), an offer of a test drive as well!

After that experience, I did not go to any other showrooms to get a better price or a better deal. His attitude and attention to detail sealed the deal for me.

Here’s what BHPian real_koolkrish had to say on the matter:

I had a very good experience with the Mercedes Benz showroom, Coimbatore ( Sundaram Motors, MTP Road ) back in 2019. I was a college student back then and me and my friend went to check out the C-Class just out of curiosity. We had no intention of buying immediately and my friend just wanted to do check out because his family was discussing about buying one the following year.

We went to the showroom after our classes got over and we were wearing normal looking shirt and jeans. We were greeted by one Mr. Rahul who was very polite and professional and welcomed us. He made us comfortable and took his time to explain all the features of the car in detail and even allowed us to sit and experience higher end GLC SUV which was in the showroom. Hospitality was great and other Sales executives came and helped us too. We left the showroom without confirming any car and I thought to myself one day I should buy a car from here. Follow up calls came through for like 5 to 6 times and they were polite and offered me test drives and explained about other discounts that were coming up. I didn’t purchase any car from there but the good experience was very good.

Here’s what BHPian saket77 had to say on the matter:

This reminds me of a similar incident, but in a good way, that I had with a Maruti dealership in Ranchi in the year 1999 or 2000; don’t remember the exact year.

I was barely in class 11th and my dad was planning to get a new car. Back then, there were not much choices apart from Maruti. So, In a way one can think that Maruti did not have much competition back then. So what happened is that one fine afternoon me and my friend walked into a Maruti dealership (Sushila Automobiles) to enquire about the Maruti 800. Now I am sure that we did not look anything more than two over enthusiastic teenagers going window-shopping. Far from a real buyers and even a child could tell that this sale is not going to materialise.

So just when we were inquiring about the 800 with the sales guy, the showroom general manager saw us. He called us to his cabin and we both were offered tea and the general manager himself explained all the features of the car and the different variants. And then he went on to tell us that just in a few days they will be getting the new 800 with multipoint fuel injection technology and that we should come and check that out. Our actual purchase did not turn out until 2 to 3 years later (and that too from a different dealership) and I am not Maruti fan boy but probably stuff like this made Maruti what Maruti is today.

It is just an anecdote which I got reminded reading this thread and thought of sharing it with you all.

Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

The customer’s experience starts from the first point/person of contact in the premises which is rarely focussed on.

Sharing a couple of other anecdotes :

Had gone to a NEXA showroom last year as a friend was on the lookout and wanted to check certain things on the S-Cross before I could suggest a TD. They have their own premises and parked the scooter next to some other two wheelers on the side. The security guard came rushing out and said you can’t park here, I told him that I was going inside the showroom but he said you can’t park here go out and park in one of the alleys. Didn’t like his tone, didn’t want to reason further and respecting their right of access on their private property I turned around and rode off for good.

Don’t know how well mannered the SRs would’ve been but as a customer my first point of contact matters.

Don’t think I was shabbily dressed but that’s debatable and probably my experience would’ve been different had I got off from a “car”, even better if it would’ve been a “big car/SUV”, probably red carpeted if it was a well recognised “luxury car”

IMO the chances of someone purchasing a car would be highest if they came on a two wheeler but probably they assume that why would someone in a car waste their time in a showroom if they aren’t serious while the two wheeler riders apparently have a lot of time to waste but no money.

Some years ago IGI T3 had a Volvo V40 Cross Country on display near the Costa Coffee outlet and another stall had some Land/Range Rover. I was in my usual crumpled shirt and jeans, loitering around the terminal since an hour at least either returning from or heading on to a red eye flight (can’t recall).

I didn’t go to the Land/Range Rover because they looked too busy with themselves or maybe they weren’t courteous to someone before me(can’t recall) so was standing next to the Volvo(a company I admired) and reading the specs when one of the two SR came down (important point) from the display pedestal and asked me to check the car from inside. I told him that I was just checking the specs out of curiosity and I am neither looking to buy any car nor can I ever afford a Volvo and politely declined the offer. To this he said please check the car out, we’re here to show the car, buying or not doesn’t matter.

I went up with him and he opened the driver side door for me and sat in the passenger seat. He went on to explain the specs and more importantly how the cross country was a practical choice in our driving conditions with a higher GC and some other stuff that I don’t remember now. We had a good discussion over the car and then he asked how did I find the car to which I spoke my mind “If I could afford it I would’ve bought it”. Not just because of the experience but because the car had everything that I wanted from a versatile tourer which wasn’t a SUV and compact (relatively).

He said “Sir it’s just 38 lakhs on road Delhi and I hope to see you driving it one day”. That got me thinking and the 38 lakhs on road didn’t seem unreasonable.

I thanked him and he thanked me for my time and I left for my gate.

Point to note that I wasn’t the only one he was attending to. There were a couple of other folks and he was guiding his colleague on some official stuff at the same time.

Back to today, I still can’t afford a 38 lakhs car but the words Volvo and Volvo V40 Cross Country are permanently etched in my mind in high esteem.

If life had gone in a different trajectory I would’ve been driving one today, a lot of it due this fabulous introduction to the brand by that unknown SR who did his job well.

Here’s what BHPian Small Bot had to say on the matter:

I had vastly differing experiences in the same company’s dealers – Hyundai’s once. I wore my usual attire of t-shirt, board shorts and floaters and went to check out the new i20 (it had just been launched at that time). I had also gone in my old battered i10 as well.

One dealer in Bangalore saw this happen and the first thing the Service Advisor said was to harp on where I parked. I was asked to move my car so as to not obstruct the new cars being delivered. Immediately after I moved my car, there was a BMW 3 series that parked exactly where I did and then nobody said anything. And guess what, they also came to check out the same i20. Needless to say, I lost much of my interest upon seeing this. My mind went all: These grapes are too sour.

I moved on to check out another Hyundai dealer around 10 kms away and the experience was quite different. There was even lesser parking space but I was offered valet parking for even my i10 with no snobbish behaviour displayed at all. The valet even chatted about my toy cat hanging from the rearview mirror inside. The SA was great as well, as he shared as many details as he knew, and asked his senior to pitch in for the stuff he didn’t. He even asked about my family members and gave me a suggestion that the Venue might suit the family more than the i20, based of ease of ingress/egress.

Now, I did not end up buying the i20. But still I remember the dealer and their staff who were more polite and made me feel welcomed. And if I ever buy a Hyundai in Bangalore, I’ll most probably go back to that particular dealer (Trident Hyundai).

These experiences stick to your mind for a long time. As a whole, I feel that Hyundai probably trains their dealers better than a few other brands. I had a very dull and uninvolved experience with a specific Tata dealer in Bangalore while checking out the Tata Altroz iTurbo.

Here’s what BHPian Peri_patetic99 had to say on the matter:

I have two experiences to share here:

When I( along with my family) was taking delivery of my cb350, the salesman was explaining all the features to us when suddenly a madman(crazy/extremely agitated customer, not sure) walked in and started making a scene. He was uttering words none of us could understand, and waving his hands all over the place. The security and sales staff somehow managed to deal with him calmly and in a rational manner and take him out of the showroom, which was commendable. So, i believe sometimes it makes sense to take a harsh stand and keep such people outside ( of course, i don’t support the attitude of the salesman in this case) but customer is not always king, as there are different types of customers and a salesman only has the tact of dealing with such people( again, not all have this tact).

When i was young, me, my dad and my younger brother had time to kill and there was an Audi showroom nearby, so we visited it just to have a look at the cars( my dad’s friend had recently bought a Q3 at the time). The sales staff approached us politely and even when we made our intentions clear( we weren’t there to purchase), he was quite enthusiastic and let us look at all the models, i might say the experience we had was even better than the time we were looking at the ecosport. He also asked me if i had any questions regarding cars, but of course since i was young i was just too stunned by all the cars( i remember the gleaming RS7 in red) i didn’t ask anything and just kept sitting inside all the cars. This experience has stayed with me since then and if in the future i have the money to buy a car from the big three, Audi will be at the top of my list just because of that experience ( even though BMW is my favourite of the three). Just goes to show how treating all types of customers with a good attitude can go a long way.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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