Selling on Fear
My latest car purchase experience was a business lesson.

I had the pleasure of buying a new truck this week. Well, new to me. Going into the negotiation I felt nervous before we even sat down to talk money. Why is it that I, a customer, would go to a dealership with the intent to buy something and leave with a huge amount of buyers remorse and doubt?

I have to say that I've never left a car dealership without feeling like I was taken.


If you don't move now, it will be gone later today


I had found the truck that I wanted. It had all the features that I wanted, was in good shape, the right color, and had just a few more miles than I wanted but still acceptable. This is an impulse play, designed to make me bite quickly on the price without doing more research. I almost bit immediately, but I did the right thing and left for a few hours to gather my thoughts on the price, mileage, and compare.

You're trade has no market, so just take the offer


The first offer for my trade was $2500 below the Kelly Blue Book suggested trade in value. Talk about a slap in the face. I was told that unfortunately trucks like mine were not selling at auction so they could not pay the suggested value for it. Again, I played it cool and just told him what I wanted for my truck based on its condition and mileage.

You want a truck with that many miles and no extended warranty?


I just finished with the salesman and was told how he sees trucks come in on trade all the time with 150k+ miles on them with no issues. He assured me that surely my new truck could run that far. Then, I went into the business office to be told that he would never buy a truck with that many miles on it. He proceeded to tell me that I simply must buy his $3800 warranty. I understand the extended warranty pitch, but he was legitimately angry that I declined.


I felt like I had made a good deal. I was able to get the price I wanted for my trade, the price I wanted on the new truck, and even made it out without the extended warranty. However, I left with a lump in my stomach that I had been tricked. I have a lingering feeling that the truck will break down and cost me every bit of the $3800 warranty that I passed on.

Worst of all, the dealership did not earn a customer for life. They earned a customer who needed a truck that they had. I feel no obligation to return for my next truck, tires, or even an oil change. I despise selling on fear. If you are buying something because someone is telling you that you cannot do with out it, you can do without it.

Summary:

Fear does sell, but it does not build loyalty.


Selling on Fear
Kyle Robinson 23 January, 2012
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