Automotive car salespeople

Published on April 13th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Why Are Some New Car Salespeople Ignoring Customers?

There must be a reason why salespeople are not attending to walk in browsers.

This brings back memories from three decades ago when we walked into a Proton showroom in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur to look at the Proton Iswara 1.5I (‘I’ for ‘Istimewa’ and not injection) and not a single sales person said hello or even looked up when we entered the showroom.

Then some years later, when we visited a reconditioned car showroom we had the same experience. Both times we were well dressed in office attire. Why? Well, with the Proton showroom, it was a time when sales were surging and waiting lists were long.

Salespeople would ask for ‘ang pow’ money from buyers to get quick delivery and most of the time there was no choice of colours, you take what they allocate to you. With recon car dealers, the Malaysian economy was booming and their salespeople (which were usually relatives) were all already rich and were just order takers.

BHP_Euro5 Diesel_2021_Lexus NX

All this changed in the last two decades when car showrooms opened up everywhere and competition became stiffer and car salespeople had to take training courses to get good product knowledge and understand how to deal with all walks of life.

Even the man in shorts, dirty tee shirt and slippers must be attended to as he might be a mystery shopper or worse, a motoring journalist trying to get a story.

car showroom salespeople

As competition for better sales increased in the last decade we saw ‘some’ car showrooms start using ‘sex appeal’ (sales women in sexy outfits) to get bookings and it seems to have worked. Sigh! You even hear of sales women out-selling men month after month. Short skirts and tight tops seem to been working.

Meanwhile, in recent months we have read on some Facebook car fan pages how some Malaysians have been totally ignored by car showroom salespeople. With their experiences shared in words and some even pictures we did our own investigation and this is the reason why.

Let’s start with electric cars on sale. There are a number of Malaysians who are curious about electric vehicles and they have no intention or means to buy right now. However, they want to visit a showroom and get a test drive and better understanding of the technology.

This becomes tiresome for the salespeople as they have to fill in forms for the test drive, provide detailed explanation and take walk in’s for a test drive. The vehicle’s battery must also be fully charged.

Then there are also some car enthusiasts, who just visit showrooms on weekends to ‘kill time’ and have a ‘free coffee’ and take a test drive and then go back without any intention to buy.

Finally, the biggest issue with a number of car brands is No STOCK! Yes, when there is no stock of some car models and showrooms stay open, it is constant repetitive response of ‘sorry, but we have no stock and we can only delivery in 9 to 10 months’ time’.

This gets tiresome as some customers can get rude and even demand delivery as they want a new car before the SST discount timeline ends in a few months.

So, we hope that salespeople continue to be more tolerant and the time-wasters to please go and do some charity instead.  

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