Prior to that… let me share my thoughts. It starts out ROUGH but has a GOOD FINALE.
What is it with the car business? We all know the stereotypes. Slick, sly, sometimes scamish.

With all the competition for business and the trend of everyone touting the “best customer service”, one would think that the car sales industry would improve. I’m not so sure that it has. In fact, it’s one of the experiences I loathe doing.

Most recently, I was looking to trade a car in and buy a slightly “pre-owned” car(don't you love how a “used car” got a velvety smooth rename).

The first dealer was professional on the phone. I was clear that this isn’t my first time going through the car buying process, and I don’t want to be jerked around. So we set up a professional meeting to come see the car in person while at the same time, the dealer would “appraise” my car. After wasting an hour on test drives and discussion, he offered me a WIN-LOSE proposition(win for him,total loss for me). To say the least,a big turnoff.

Next was a dealer on the phone who was the rudest,most unprofessional person I’ve spoken to in some time. Couldn’t even get in a question to ask about the car. He was busy telling me it was the best deal,and I better hurry in and see it in person. No thanks. What do you bet that he calls me next week to see if I’m interested? No way ANYONE will buy a car from this guy. Well, supposedly,there is someone for everyone.

The next guy on the phone was so-so. Didn’t announce his name, I didn’t know he was a salesmen until I dragged it from him. Nothing terrible here, but lots of improvement needed to win my business. Do these people understand we, the consumer, are looking to spend $15-20-30-even 40,000 dollars here? Yes, that’s THOUSANDS. We aren’t just coming to buy a pair of $7 gym shorts.

Finally I find a man who is actually HELPFUL. He answers my questions. He LISTENS to my concerns. We actually discuss a possible deal over the phone, if all checks out, so I don t waste 2 hours of my life( the dealer was 1 hour away).

When I get there… he was ready, the car was ready, he remembered my name and used it. WOW, what a novel idea. His co-worker was as pleasant and helpful as could be. Everything we discussed on the phone was pretty accurate and, we made a deal. He even had 1/3 tank of gas in the car for me. Luck perhaps? Or a nice customer bonus? Small, but I noticed it.

So…what did RELIABLE SERVICES( do so well? Nothing other than common sense stuff that is so easy, yet, SO RARE to find in the car business.

First, tell the truth and be as honest as you can. Everyone finds out the truth sooner or later anyway, and it leaves a bad taste in EVERYONE'S MOUTH.

Second, talk less and LISTEN more. Find out your customers wants, needs, AND concerns.

Third, try to make it a win-win situation for both parties. The dealer can't get top price for his car and EXPECT to give you nothing on the trade. Forty years ago, it may have been easier to disguise costs. Today with KBB, Edmunds, NADA and other internet info, people are more saavy. Respect that,and make it a win-win for both.

Fourth, accept that sometimes a win-win means NO DEAL. It happens in every business, and if a car dealer practiced that, they may lose this deal, but win the respect and the next six purchases from the buyer.

Seem like basic, common sense sales practices? Of course they do. Then why are 80-90% in the car sales profession not doing these things? Seems like the business is ripe for people like RELIABLE SERVICES to carve out a very good living with simple, good,down to earth business practices. The golden rule strikes again. Do unto others as you'd like done to you. So simple isn’t it?

Am I nuts here ??
What car experience have you had? Feel free to share them with me.

Author's Bio: 

TA Smith is the founder and creator of
A graduate of UMASS, Amherst.
A former Dale Carnegie graduate.
Smith loves to golf, ski, read, walk his chocolate labs, and listen to jazz and country music.
Smith's motto: Work hard, have fun, help others and make people SMILE.