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Walked onto the lot of the local Ford dealer this afternoon.

We're in the market for a new truck and we're not going to support GM or Chrysler in any way. They took what we believe are unnecessary government monies and Obama even "fired" the president of General Motors.

So I walk onto the dealership lot and strike up conversation with the first salesman I see. Francisco is his name.

The dealership has two brand new F150 pickups on the lot, a black one and a silver one. He immediately tells me that one is on sale this weekend. But after running in to the show room, steers me clear of that one after checking with the sales manager. Incidentally, the "Sale" sign was sitting in the vehicle in plain sight.

So we're looking at the silver F150, checking out the new tail-gate-step, the interior. I sat in the back, very roomy. More so than previous year models.

I asked him what they had in that was used and my friendly neighborhood salesman says, "Get in I'll drive you over to our used car lot." This is just 500 feet away. So I figure, "Sure, I'll go for a ride with you to the other lot, so you can tell your sales manager that I actually got into the truck and went for a ride with you."

We get there, looked at a couple of trucks (there was a nice '08 F150 Lariat with leather interior and 4-wheel drive) and the price was nice. But it's 4X4 with a 5.4 Ltr. engine and I don't think I need that.

Cisco asks me if I want to take either truck for a drive. I reluctantly say, "Sure. We'll take the 2010 out for a spin around the neighborhood."

I get in to drive and the first thing that greets me is a big-ol' bird turd smack dab in the middle of my line of sight. Then the guy says to me, "Only six miles till we run out of gas."

I say, "Lets drive over and pick up the black 150 and we'll take it out, because I'm sure as hell not going to drive this one off the lot."

"Yeah, we better drive that one," he says. (Duh).

So I drive over the "New" car lot (all 500 feet or so) peering around and through the bird turd all the way, and we hop out.

That's when I turn to him and say, "Listen Cisco, I've sold cars before. I'm going to tell you right now why I'm walking off the lot. First, you put me in a truck with no gas in it. Second, there's bird shtit on the window right in my line of sight. If you want to sell cars, you need to take care of these things before "any" customer sets foot on the lot. That's your sales manager's responsibility as well as yours. Walk the lot, know the conditions of the vehicles, don't give the customer an excuse to leave. If your sales manager isn't going to do it, you do it."

I thanked him for his time, turned and walked off the lot.

You get my point.

Customer service and marketing seems to have taken a back seat these days. If that was my Ford dealership, it would have never happened. And the first time it did, that sales manager's buttox would be in my office first thing Monday morning and he, along with his sales staff from Sunday and the detailers (I've done that job before too and it's a hard, thankless job), would be cleaning every inch of every car on that lot. Oh, it wouldn't happen again.[biggrin]

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