To Sell (Buy) a Cadillac (FINALE)

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UPDATE:
4/10/08

Finally - It’s A Done Deal - It Took a Team

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2008 Cadillac STS V8 - Black Raven Color

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Angela Made The Sale

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Marques Handled the Details

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Danny Took the Money - $68,000 Paid in Full - No Payments!

This was easily the most difficult car purchase I have ever made, and I have made a lot of them. If you are interested in WHY I would want to trade in my fabulous Cadillac XLR for the all new STS, have a few minutes, and want to see what made it so difficult, just read the story below. In the end it was EASY; write the check!
I can now go off on my mainland tour and have my new car “pimped” and ready for me when I return.
Out with the old and in with the new!

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Update:
3/25-08
I know that I am holding you all in suspense with this decision, but the reality is I could wait until September if I had to, or I could buy it today.

I got a call from the Jaguar dealer yesterday inviting me to come down and take a test ride in the new XF model that I have been awaiting to arrive. Upon sitting in the car I found it a bit small, and at that time learned that what I really want is the XJ. I thought the XF was going to be the biggest and best; NOT! Anyway, I agreed to take the XJ out for a ride, and while it was nice, it didn’t knock my socks off.

With the ride of the Jaguar fresh in mind I went to the Cadillac dealer for an STS demo to see the difference. I sat in it, and liked it more than I did the Jaguar, but the ride may be different. No one seemed to be interested in me out on the sales floor, so I went into the GM’s office. He wasn’t in, so I asked the young woman at the desk next to his if I could leave my card for him. That’s when I met Angie, by far the best Cadillac salesperson I have ever encountered in 28 years of buying Cadillac’s in Hawaii. She asked me what brought me in and I asked her if she is in sales. Her answer was, “Why yes, we are all in sales”. I was sold right there. I asked her if she had an STS V8 that I could drive. She said, “Yes, we have three of them, do you have a particular color in mind?” I said, “No, I just want to see how it handles Honolulu potholes, I am used to big Cadillac’s and the XLR is just too uncomfortable.” She offered to get me a cup of coffee while I waited for the demo to be brought up.

While waiting I brought her to this Blog so she could be up to speed on my purchase progress. That’s when she got the call that the three demos were all V6’s. DRATS! I was ready to buy today; from her! She tried her best to get me to drive a V6, but I told her that her GM had strongly suggested that I NOT drive the V6, because I wouldn’t like the lack of power.

I left and asked her to have Tony call me. I have no doubt that if they had that car for me to drive today, she would have closed me, and I would have been picking out the color and placing the order.

So, it’s still an open door for someone to waltz me through. I really do not want to break my Cadillac tradition and the promise I made to Marvin K Brown in 1964, but…  

Nice Ride, But!

UPDATE 2/11/08

Many people have been asking me if I have ordered a new car yet, and if so, who won; Cadillac or Jaguar. Scroll to the end for the latest news: 

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Those of you familiar with my first book SUCCESS MADE EASY may recall the reason I get a new Cadillac every two or three years, and have since 1962. My latest ride was this super cool XLR Hardtop Convertible. I have really enjoyed my XLR, but have been considering a change. The only problem with the XLR is the closeness to the road that I am unaccustomed to. This car feels every little bump, and Honolulu has more potholes per mile that anywhere in the country.

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The BIG EASY

My Sedan Deville’s seemed to “float” down the road. My car was known as the “Big Easy” whereas the XLR was the “Hot Easy”. As much as I enjoy the fun of driving and the attention I get in the XLR, I have missed that float. So I stopped by at our local (one and only) Cadillac dealer today to check out the 2008 Sedan Deville’s. I quickly discovered (on my own) that there is no Sedan DeVille any longer. All I saw was a CTS and DTS, whatever that means. As I climbed in and out of these two models I saw things that I liked and more importantly disliked about each of them, besides the color, which I knew could be ordered.

A salesman approached me and asked if he could help me (mistake number 1). I teach to NEVER ask a question that MIGHT get you an answer you don’t want too hear. In this case he got away with it. I told him why I wanted to change cars, as well as what I liked and disliked about each of the two models on the showroom floor. He urged me to take the CTS for a test ride (mistake number 2). He was assuming that the ride would overshadow the things I told him that I didn’t like about the car. While out on the road he said, “Isn’t this fun to drive?” (mistake three). I said, “No, after driving the XLR this is a lousy ride”. This was not something he wanted to hear. I told him that the test drive had convinced me not to get the car. He then suggested I drive the DTS (mistake four). I had already told him that I did not like the looks of that car.

We arrived back at the showroom, and as went back inside, he stayed outside with the car to figure out why some interior light wouldn’t go off while we were driving (mistake 5).

The General Sales Manager saw me and came over to say, “Aloha”. (Right move number one). He then asked me what brought me in today (Right move two) I told him my dilemma, and that I was going to go down to the Jaguar dealer to see what their new cars looked like. He asked me to be specific about what I didn’t like about the CTS and DTS. (Right move 3). He listened carefully (Right move 4) and then asked, “Did the salesman show you the STS?” (Right move 5). I said, “No, what’s that?” He said that it is in between the two I looked at, bigger than the CTS, but with the look and style of the XLR I loved. (Right move 6). The salesman appeared at this time and the GM told him to show me the STS.

The salesperson asked me if I wanted to go up on the roof to see it (Mistake 6) I reluctantly agreed to climb the stairs to the roof only to find it was not there. (Mistake 7) He then asked me if I wanted to go over to their warehouse to see it. (Mistake 8) I said, “No, I’m off to the Jaguar dealer. He said, “Okay, let me know when you are ready to see the car.” (Mistake 9)

The GM intercepted me on the way out, told the salesperson to go get a catalog on the STS, and then went through it with me. (Right move 7). As we went through it I realized that it overcame all of my objections. It had everything I liked about the other two cars and none of the things I didn’t like. (Right move 8). I told the GM to do the arithmetic and send me e-mail as to when the car would be in and what he needed from me to pick it up. I went home and looked at the color chips and called him back to tell him what I like.

The bottom line here was; know your inventory and listen to the customer! It’s Easy!

The ONLY mistake the GM made was not asking me for the order at that time. I am ready to buy that car, but I am still going to go look at the Jaguar. That one last little mistake could undo all of the good moves he made. Stay Tuned!

Here’s the latest:

While in Denver last month I got a call from the Cadillac salesperson saying that his General Manager wanted my e-mail address. I gave it to him. That was about a month ago and I have not heard a word.

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JAGUAR XF

Today I returned to the Jaguar dealer to see if they had a new XF in stock. As I roamed through the showroom I saw three salespeople talking to each other in one office, two in another and one who was alone in a third office.

I spent a good 10 minutes checking out the cars. The one I like was not on the floor. The salespeople looked up at me occasionally, but continued their chat with one another. Finally the one who was alone ventured out onto the floor and said, “Did you need some help?” I replied (smiling), “Do I look needy?” He said, “Well I am helpless myself”. I bit my tongue and said, “I was in here six months ago looking for that car there in the photo.” He said, “We won’t have that model until March, it’s a 2009″. I said, “When I was here before I was told it was a 2008, and would be here in a few months”. He said, “I don’t know who would have told you that”. (Are you counting the mistakes here?) I said, “It was the manager.” He said, “No way”. I said, “Yep, he walked me out to my car, commented on what good shape it was in, got my card and said that he would send me the numbers”. He just shook his head and said, “Nope, that’s a 2009 and won’t be here until March.” I said, “Okay, I guess that Cadillac wins. That’s all I have driven since 1962″. He replied, “You are just like my mother. I’ll give you a catalog”.

About this time the manager came out of his office and said, “Hey, good to see you”. I said, “Do you remember me?” He said that he did and I asked, “What do you remember about me?” He looked a little confused and finally said, “Oh yeah, your that sales guy”. I reminded him that I have been waiting for his e-mail for six months now and he said, “Well you are here now”. I said, “Yeah, but I am leaving, I need to go see if they have that Cadillac SLS in yet”. I gave him another one of my cards and left.

Are you shaking your head in disbelief?

Stay Tuned!

11 Responses to “To Sell (Buy) a Cadillac (FINALE)”

  1. Wise Guy Says:

    I wonder if that Jaguar dealer is reading this board. If not, he should be. It sounds like the first one to ask for the money here is going to make a very nice sale.

  2. Runaway Says:

    Every car sales person should see this experience on your blog. I think I will print it out and bring it to my Saturn dealer. It is worth its weight in gold to the right people, the humble, intelligent, professional minded who want to up their game. Well written, thanks.

  3. Bobby Jackson Says:

    Buying a car is some experience for sure. Car salespeople have earned the reputations they bear. In fact, their actions have tarnished the images of all salespeople. In this case your original salesperson wasn’t typically pushy, it sounds more like laziness or stupidity. As for the GM, I think he assumed you will be back, and that’s dangerous. Let us know how the Jaquar drives.

  4. Ricki McCann Says:

    Aloha Ron,
    Still waiting for the update on your decision. Also wanted to let you know that I have now started to read your blog and I am really enjoying it and learning new tid bits of info each time. Keep up the good work and please for curiosity sake let me know what happened with the Cad vs. Jag situation. Oh, and by the way, did the Cad GM ever e-mail you like he said he would?
    Mahalo and Aloha for now….
    Ricki

  5. Ron Says:

    Aloha Ricki;
    I appreciate your interest ion my Blog and am pleased that you are finding articles of interest.
    As for the “Cadillac vs. Jag” decision, the answers are all “No”. I have been traveling since the 14th and haven’t given much thought to my car back home.
    It is interesting that I did get a call from the “salesman”, asking for my e-mail address to give to the GM. I have no idea why, since I have not heard from him, and one thing I am religeous about is checking and replying to e-mail.
    I better be; I wrote E-mail Etiquette Made Easy.

  6. tam Says:

    Ron, I mentioned your Caddy issues to the kid. He said that if you are thinking of buying something other than a Caddy - Jags are nice (XF), but also consider Audi (S5) or BMW. They are luxary, high perfromance.

    If you want Mustle, he has lots of suggestions to check out. He is big into cars…

  7. MauiJeff Says:

    Aloha Ron,

    Love the story of Cadillac “Salesman” (NOT). I will send you some of your “Retail Sales Made Easy” that applied to our Real Estate office that get heavy walk-in traffic… guess what the first thing the agents were accustomed to saying??? You guessed it… “Can I help you?”

    Oh, BTW… do yourself a favor and test drive the BMW 5 Series… I think you will love it!

  8. Arla Says:

    Think Lexus!

  9. Michelle Says:

    Ron…you really need to find a way to get another cadi…jaguars are for OLD MEN and OLD WOMEN! DON’T GO THERE!!!

  10. Brighton Babe Says:

    To Michelle;
    I read Ron’s Success Made Easy book; don’t worry, it will be a Cadillac for sure!

  11. Ron Says:

    UPDATE:

    I dropped back in there today to see the STS. It still isn’t there. I had a nice meeting with the GM, and wound up taking him to my Blog and showing him “To Buy a Cadillac”. I left while he was reading it, and got the e-mail below from him right away and then replied as follows.

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    HI RON
    THANKS FOR STOPPING BY TODAY. AS ALWAYS, VERY NICE TO SEE YOU. THANKS A LOT FOR THE HEADS UP. GLAD I CAN STILL ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS TO CUSTOMERS. SEEMS LIKE I NEED TO EITHER TRAIN MY SALESMAN BETTER OR YOU CAN FIGURE OUT THE REST. AS FOR ASKING FOR THE SALE. IF I HAD THE VEHICLE AND YOU HAD DRIVEN IT, I MOST DEFINETLY WOULD HAVE ASKED FOR THE SALE. I REMEMBERED THE STORYS THAT YOU TOLD ME ABOUT BUYING YOUR CADILLACS. YOU DID NOT BUY ANY ONE OF THEM BEFORE YOU SAW THEM. PART OF A BEING A GOOD CLOSER IS BEING A GOOD LISTENER. I THINK YOU SAID THAT! AS SOON AS YOUR CAD ARRIVES, I WILL PUT YOUR NAME ON IT AND YOU CAN COME AND PICK IT UP.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY !
    —-
    General Sales Manager

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    My Reply:

    Thanks —-,

    I sure do hate to be the guy telling you what to do, but are you aware of what e-mail in “all caps” implies? Many people don’t. I am attaching an e-copy of my latest book. I hope that you enjoy it.

    I also enjoy talking with you. There is a HUGE part of me that wants Cadillac to win out in this little ongoing drama. After all there is a whole chapter in Success Made Easy as to why I have been so loyal to the brand for so many years.

    As for you not asking for the order that day, I really feel that I was sold at that moment. I have bought more than one new Cadillac without driving it. This case is a bit unusual, but I think I was sold that day and would have written you a check for the STS you showed me in the catalog. I even liked the color. As is so often the case, once the buyer escapes without making a decision, many other factors can come into play causing the loss of a sale. Unfortunately, I am not as SOLD today as I was on that day. I like the looks of that new Jag; here again all that was missing was a salesperson. If nothing else, this is giving me some great material for my Selling Success Rallies.

    Here’s a suggestion or two:

    1.) Circulate a link to this Blog post (painful as it may be) http://www.ronmartin.net/blog/archives/681 and maybe a few others on my Blog http://www.ronmartin.net/blog/index.php to your salespeople. Tell them that you are going to have a meeting to discuss their reactions and suggestions. Be prepared for some negativity and justification, but you were there. You can even accept a little guilt yourself to get the points across.

    2.) Hire me to come in there and do a Success Rally. I think (make that KNOW) that I could get their attention and wind them up for you. From my past dealings there, I doubt if you can make that call, but if so I would love to talk with you further about it.

    3.) I was also quite bummed out that the Morning Report we attempted to do for you didn’t pan out. Perhaps in your hands, with a little tutoring from me, we could make this work for you as it does for so many other companies.

    Well, we both have some selling to do, so I will let you go for now. And, if you are serious about putting my name on a new STS, we should talk about colors and features. My lease is up in September, I think. The way we left it the last time was that you were going to check out my lease and run some numbers on the STS and send me e-mail with the particulars. The manager at the Jag dealership is supposed to be doing the same thing, but I am not hearing anything from him.

    Mahalo for letting me dump on you about this; let’s hope that in the end we can look back and laugh at it all.

    Ron
    http://www.SuccessMadeEasy.com
    808-947-7500

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