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Old 3rd December 2015, 23:48   #16
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Actually, I think being honest about your intentions definitely helps. We got a long test drive(15-20kms) of Thar by telling them that we just want to experience the Thar. We also told the SA to come at our place at a time of his convenience, but calling beforehand. One day, he called up and said he was in the neighborhood, would we like a TD? Then upon confirming, he explained all the features, pros and cons and went for a TD. After TD he mentioned that buying the Thar is not for everyone and he simply said to call him incase we decide to get it. Not pushy at all.

Toyota is also a good brand to experiance their cars. But it helps to be frank upfront.

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Originally Posted by swiftdiesel View Post

If I was a salesman, I would happily oblige for a test drive, irrespective of the intention, because I know once a customer touches and feels something, and experiences it for himself, there's a greater probability of him or his friend returning for it. If I hadn't obliged, the loss is mine, actually!
+1 to this.

Last edited by blackwasp : 3rd December 2015 at 23:50.
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Old 4th December 2015, 08:37   #17
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Well the main thing is to also consider the sales rep's point of view in all of this. But first - Is it okay to test drive a car if you don't intend to buy it?

This basically falls into a matter of personal belief system. Some might say it's perfectly okay, while other might argue that you're wasting someone time who does this as a job. So there is no perfect answer to this.

However, let's get to the point I was trying to make and that is the sales rep. When I was in the market for a new BMW, the sales rep came to my house for a test drive.

I tested the car for pickup and straight line speed but not in a way that would abuse the car.

While I was doing this, he said that he appreciates that I am being so careful with the car and also I was seeking his permission before I wanted to test the speed or different modes. After a little more conversation he did mention that usually most folks who opt for a test drive abuse their cars and put it to the limit just for the fun of it.

And this actually happens so often and so much that some of these reps feel almost abused. So in case one wishes to go for a test drive but they aren't sure if they'll ever buy that specific car. Then it's best to let the rep know that you might be in the market for it in the near future but not right away.

And the smart thing to do is to be gentle to the car and nice to the sales rep as he is doing it as a mode of earning a living for himself and his family.
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Old 4th December 2015, 18:21   #18
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

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Originally Posted by Sherlocked View Post
Checking out a car inside the showroom is Okay. They usually don't object on that. But the point comes when we have to drive that vehicle. We have to make some reason or the other to make them feel that yes, I'm interested.
As dean5545 above mentioned that he took Camry TD by telling the sales rep upfront that he's not for buying, but still the good SA offered him a drive. I wonder if other manufacturer also provides TD to non prospecting customers.
Don't know, but if ever I have wanted to TD a car, I have TD it and that too, telling upfront, that I am not buying. I have not done these at high end German brands, but your regular cars.
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Old 4th December 2015, 18:44   #19
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Mmm..., some really ingenious ideas to satisfy that new car test drive itch. I think playing honest works in case of budget cars test drives, I have been using this formula in most of my test drives. But I doubt if this formula works in case of high end cars, they only fall for a well thought out script.
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Old 4th December 2015, 18:55   #20
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I am a person who likes to check out cars and do test drives. I tell up front I am just here to check it out. In some recent cases I was checking out cars since I had to recommend to a relative. But here also the purchase would not happen from Bangalore.

One thing I do is go during non peak hours( weekdays). Say a Wednesday morning when there would be no crowd and hence I won't feel guilty that I am wasting the SA's time.

If I am just checking out and if it is crowded, I tell the SA not to bother with me. ( This happened when I went to check out the Kwid).

I also make a point to write a detailed report of my visit here on Team-Bhp in the relevant thread. Especially in the case of hot launches( Kwid, Aspire, Creta) are examples. Also make it a point to call out knowledgeable/enthusiastic SA's. So although I don't buy myself, the info shared apart from helping members and readers, may also indirectly help SA's or dealerships.
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Old 5th December 2015, 11:07   #21
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I have been in sales for last 5 years and I know exactly how it feels. We sales guys develop this instinct over a period of time as to when we start talking to a customer we somehow get this feeling "He is going to buy." I think the SAs would have a fair idea of whether you are just posing to buy or are actually going to make that transaction, however, we play along thinking if he doesn't, maybe he will recommend it to someone. I ended up buying a nice little hatch (Gi10 Sportz) after one such TD and got to TD Creta, too, and since then have recommended both to a couple of friends who actually bought these cars. I think the SA did not waste but invested his time and is reaping fruitful results now.
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Old 5th December 2015, 12:13   #22
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Default re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

I have taken many Test Drives - both bikes and cars.
I have never taken a TD just for the heck of it.

As and when I felt a possibility of buying a vehicle, I start TDs. And then, I have even done TDs of cars that I had no intention of buying. However, I found that I recommended a vehicle, which did not suit me, to a friend. And - he landed up buying it and he is a happy owner for almost a year now.

I do not think I have ever wasted a sales person's time. Invested - maybe.

In most cases, I prefer to get the TD cars home. No ego issues - just that my parking slot is at 90 degrees - so I am always afraid that the car will not get in!

My wife was very skeptical when I did this in 2006. Her question - you will TD 6/7 cars and buy one - so what will you tell the others?? My answer - the truth! It worked totally!

I did this again in 2015 and it worked almost perfectly.

I plan to change my second car in 2016 and I plan to do a lot of test drives. Let us see how this goes.
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Old 8th December 2015, 10:28   #23
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Default Re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I think you should NOT ask for a test drive if you have no intention to buy. Going to the showroom, asking questions and sitting in the car is OK though.

The sales guys' "time" is valuable too. He could spend more time and effort on genuinely interested customers instead.
Sorry Smartcat, but that is plain ridiculous.

Even the manufacturer wants you to test-drive as many of his cars as possible, irrespective of your purchase intentions. Most cars are good today and if you test-drive, there is certain brand & product recall.

Also, 3 months after the initial launch, the test-drive car is utilised for 30% of its time. Pretty much free the rest of the day. Same goes for salesmen. They aren't exactly busy 100% of their working hours.

But all of that is irrelevant. It is a free market and, as long as I'm not breaking the law, I can walk into a showroom open to the public and check / test-drive all the cars I want.

Heck, when I was a student in the USA, manufacturers would actually send home $50-75 gift cards just to test-drive their car. Irrespective of whether you 'intend' to buy the car or not.

As an example - and trust me here - this salesman's time wasn't wasted. He won the brand a fan for life. At the end of the day, cars sell on brand, looks & price. A customer who is treated well in the showroom & walks away satisfied will remember / recommend your brand for life. That's more important than the time of the salesman.
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Old 8th December 2015, 11:12   #24
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Default Re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

GTO, Somewhat convinced about this line of thought now, but not entirely.

Does the above logic apply to all cars, across varied price ranges (Rs. 3 Lacs to Rs. 3 Crores?) for everybody (read affordability)?

Can I walk into Maserati Bangalore showroom, ask for & get a Ghibli test drive? By telling the truth and not fibbing about me being the Founder of an imaginary Food Ordering app startup?
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Old 8th December 2015, 13:22   #25
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Default Re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

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Can I walk into Maserati Bangalore showroom, ask for & get a Ghibli test drive? By telling the truth and not fibbing about me being the Founder of an imaginary Food Ordering app startup?
In principle, they should. But test-drives of exotic cars are difficult the world over...not just India. At best, the showroom would have 1 test-drive car. They know all the rich people in town (you'll be surprised how closely they follow the network).

Am not justifying them refusing a test-drive to any & everyone, but Maserati has already made its brand and most of its cars are sold without test-drives (like the new S-Class). They also cost well over a crore and the sheer power means a skilled driver has to be behind the wheel.
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Old 8th December 2015, 13:52   #26
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Default Re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

For one of my finance courses during MBA, one exercise involved understanding car financing, emis and the like. Now, this is part of standard curriculum, and so about 40 groups of 4 people each descended upon the various Hyundai, Honda, maruti showrooms in the area.
2 of us walked into the maruti showroom, and I was the more knowledgeable "Car guy" who's suggested an alto to my colleague who wanted to check it out, take a TD.
While we were waiting for the car, the other two in the group turned up, and stood with us and the sales guy. Oldish fellow, mid 40's, who looked like this was his lifetime job.
He turned to us and asked, "Are you from XXXX management institute?". We thought, oh crap, there goes a chance to do a free TD. We had what we needed, the TD would have just been a little recreation before heading into (ex)cells.
We nodded, and he went on, "I knew it. You guys come over every year. All of a sudden we have inquiries and TDs in their tens"
I asked, "No TD?"
He went, " What sir? You will take a TD today, Kabhi to khareedoge. Manager lagoge, to maruti yahan se hi lena."
(You will buy a car someday. When you get recruited, for a maruti, you come here, understood.).

Guess what, the confused "colleague" did.

The salesguy could have remorselessly laughed us out on our sorry behinds, but he didn't.

Last edited by mayankk : 8th December 2015 at 13:56.
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Old 10th December 2015, 12:33   #27
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Thumbs up Re: Test-driving different cars. How do you deal with the sales rep?

Well!!! nice topic...

There have been times where I'v been guilt ridden walking into a showroom asking for a test drive without intending to purchase though I inform them prior that I want to know how the car behaves and that I'm not buying.

I've been rejected at times but mostly the showroom guys will be more than happy to offer you a test drive. It actually gives him/her the opportunity to once again refresh the features and USPs of the car, heard this from one of the sales managers from HMP

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I think you should NOT ask for a test drive if you have no intention to buy. Going to the showroom, asking questions and sitting in the car is OK though.

The sales guys' "time" is valuable too. He could spend more time and effort on genuinely interested customers instead.
I beg to differ from you, it is not a waste of time for Sales Associates to accompany a non prospective customers on a test drive. Mostly the new joinees are the ones who accompany customers on test drive especially in cases where the person test driving is a non prospective one. If they offer to bring the car to your place in case the test car has gone out, then it can be deemed as 'waste of time and resource'

In fact when a new joinee accompanies a TBHPian, chances are high he/she will learn new things, features that have not been shared in the training room.

For instance,

1. When i test drove the the GT TSI, the SA (new guy) informed the DSG has 2 clutches so that even if one wears out the other can be used, I politely corrected him on the dual clutch system.

2. When I test drove the Zest, I informed the SA during discussion that the Zest is the only diesel automatic less than 10 lacs (before TUV) and he was surprised, that was news for him that day, similar experience with TUV300, first AT SUV this side of 10 Lacs, and the SA didn't know it was rear wheel driven.

3. It was through me that the SA in TAFE reach knew that the GenX Nano AT is RWD and that it is the cheapest AT + RWD combo

I hope many BHPians would have shared their knowledge to less informed SAs equipping him/her better to handle the next prospective customer.
We might actually be helping these guys learn new things, specifically the USPs of a car over competition, which most SAs do not know, they keep explaining the basic features which are common. I make it a point to correct them in a very polite manner so that they are not offended.

As a matter of fact you'll be surprised at the lack of knowledge of certain SAs that you'll feel the urge to make him/her sit and explain with a white board, its not the SAs fault but the dealership's/manufacturer's fault.

Of course we need to make sure that we plan our visit to showrooms on weekdays when they'll be relatively free, specifically between 11AM to 4PM and not on weekends and peak business hours.

Last edited by Karthik Chandra : 10th December 2015 at 12:41.
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