It turns out the deal isn't actually the deal-breaker, not in a significant majority of new-car showroom showdowns, says research from J.D. Power and Associates.
"Prospects, (defined here as shoppers in the dealership with money to spend) each have their own unique hot button issues that can either make or break a potential sale," notes J.D.Power in a note to clients. J.D. Power adds that only 28 per cent of shoppers walk away because of an unpleasant or unsatisfactory price negotiation.
It's not the deal itself, then, that breaks the deal. Instead, nearly one in four prospects (37 per cent) skedaddle after the presentation. And another 31 per cent walk away after the test drive.
"Salespeople would do well to remember that the top reason shoppers reject a given brand is due to a perception that the vehicle did not meet their needs," notes J.D. Power.
Indeed, 40 per cent say a particular model was not the right fit and they chose to walk, says J.D. Power. Another 22 per cent say the price was too high – even before the first negotiating words could be uttered.
"However, what's especially intriguing is that nearly one in five (18 per cent) say that they rejected a dealer based on customer treatment issues, such as the 'staff was rude,' the 'dealer was too busy,' and the 'staff applied too much pressure.'"
Deals of the Week is hardly shocked to learn that shoppers dislike rude, neglectful, or high-pressure salespeople. Who likes to be pressured or mistreated when they are about to make the second-largest consumer purchase of their life? What's shocking is that consultants like J.D. Power see a need to remind salespeople of obvious, common-sense showroom behaviour.
"Salespeople who can most effectively guide shoppers through the critical presentation and test-drive phases, highlighting ways in which the vehicle fits their particular life style, may very well set themselves up for greater success. That is, if they remember to treat people well at each gate," notes J.D. Power. Translation: salespeople who are courteous, knowledgeable and respectful will close more deals and make more commission money.
Shoppers looking to take advantage of the four deals highlighted this week will, of course, be looking for helpful, respectful sales staff from the moment they walk into a dealership to discuss the latest offer on a:
2013 BMW X6 with all-wheel drive: Someone willing to drive a hard bargain might get a discount as rich as $9,000 on a $102,900 model.
2012 Chevrolet Avalanche: This crew cab pickup is in its last year before being phased out permanently. Savvy buyers may be able to string together discounts worth as much as $12,000 – plus a 0.0 per cent finance rate for 72 months.
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT withConvenience Package: The $1,000 factory discount can be combined with any dealer discount a buyer might negotiate. Subaru Canada also has a number of special discounts worth investigating for qualified buyers -- $750 for triathletes, $750 for ski instructors, $750 for Golf for the Cure participants, $750 for certain rally drivers and even $750 for new grads.
2012 Honda Fit DX-A: This little subcompact is being sweetened with a $1,500 rebate, which is not bad for a car listed in our example here at $15,880.
As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.
2013 BMW X6 M AWD
- MSRP: $102,900
- Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax, $2,000 Green Levy: $4,095
- Dealer discount (estimated): $4,000
- Taxable subtotal: $97,995
- Total price with 13% HST: $110,734.35
- Can be combined with 3.99% finance rate for 36-60 months
2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Crew Cab 2WD
- MSRP: $45,995
- Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,700
- Dealer discount (estimated): $2,500
- Factory discount: $7,000 (Stackable Cash Delivery Allowance factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $38,195
- Total price with 13% HST: $43,160.35
- Factory discount: $2,500 (GM Cash for Clunkers Program factory-to-customer rebate)
- Final price: $40,660.35
- Can be combined with 0.0% finance rate for 72 months.
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i CVT w/Convenience Package
- MSRP: $29,795
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,695
- Dealer discount (estimated): $1,350
- Factory discount: $1,000 (Alternate Cash Back factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $29,140
- Total price with 13% HST: $32,928.20
- Can be combined with 2.99% finance rate for up to 96 months or 5.49 lease rate for up to 48 months
2012 Honda Fit DX-A
- MSRP: $15,880
- Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,650
- Dealer discount (estimated): $400
- Factory discount: $1,500 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
- Taxable subtotal: $15,575
- Total price with 13% HST: $17,599.75
Pricing information source: www.carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.