In an age of cut-throat competition amongst carmakers, ‘holding on’ to a prospective buyer is considered divine.
And when an interested party visits your showroom along with family for a test drive and insists with all conviction that he or she is only keen in your brand then the carmaker’s job is half done.
But my experience in this regard has not only been interesting but also helpful as the particular salesman ensured that all my dilemmas were sorted out with all ease.
My small family of three (my husband and a five-year old ‘hot-wheels’ loving daughter) was spending every weekend surfing through new car launch manuals and effective pricing.
Having driven one of the most successful cars from the Maruti Suzuki stable – the Swift Dzire for more than seven years – we were quite sure about a few things.
First we needed a diesel engine car and second if it was a Maruti make, our job was virtually complete. Of course, our desire was to upgrade to another level from the fuel-efficient and low on maintenance Dzire.
Few weekends spent taking several test-drives and quotations, we eventually landed up at a Honda showroom in Noida only to be impressed by its sedan version – the City.
Sensing our love-at-first-sight reactions the salesgirl was quick to specify, “It’s the fastest selling sedan in its range so don’t expect a rupee of a discount anywhere. All I can promise is a timely delivery”.
For all the love we had accumulated for the Honda we sheepishly made our way back from the showroom as the on-road price was about 15% more than our budget and there appeared no way to bargain it out.
Quite expectedly our destination next evening was the tried and tested Maruti showroom near our home and frankly speaking we were getting more and more inclined towards its new diesel-sedan offering, the Ciaz.
The decision to buy a Ciaz was all the more compelling since exchanging our Maruti at the same dealer appeared hassle-free and we have always been convinced about the reasonable spare-parts that come along with a Maruti.
But the next thirty minutes with the salesman taking us out for the test ride eventually made us buy a Honda City instead.
Luckily for us and if I may write, ‘unluckily’ for the Maruti showroom, the salesman turned out to be a recent ‘poach’ from a nearby Honda showroom.
In all fairness he began by talking about the beautiful and promising features of the Ciaz diesel variant and was convincing enough.
If only my husband hadn’t popped up this blinder to him, “Would you recommend this before a Honda diesel car which has been recently launched?”.
Pat came the reply, “Please don’t quote me sir, there isn’t much to compare. I have been a Honda salesman for about four years and can vouch for it any time of the day”.
The half-complete test-drive was aborted and we three sitting in the car were ferried back to the Honda test-drive experience of a few days ago by a Maruti salesman.
The 15% extra cost of paying up for a Honda diesel suddenly looked affordable now.
Hours spent reading reviews and watching review videos appeared less convincing as compared to someone who had actually sold the brand for years and attended to after service sales.
It’s been a few days since we are driving a new brand and thankfully remembering the young and vibrant salesman we came across a fortnight ago.
If only we hadn’t gone for that test-drive with him, the expense would have been roughly 15% lesser and we would have been driving the same brand again.
[ The views are personal and based on a first person experience. They are not meant to promote any brand]