|Doris Dobkins is the publisher of $mart Money New$. You can subscribe by
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"Think before you act and then act
This afternoon, I spent an unexpected
4 hours at the car service dealer. My vehicle had been overheating
for the past few days so I thought I'd take it in for a service
check. There was a leak in the water pump so I let them replace it.
Not having any other form of transportation at the moment, I decided
to "hang out" in a comfortable chair on the sales floor.
It was an extraordinary sales day at
the dealership with plenty of activity taking place. All afternoon, I
watched young and old, single and married, men and women come into
the showroom to discuss purchasing a vehicle.
Here's just a small sample of what I
First Client: A single man entered
the building and said he had $15,000 cash to buy a car. Did they
have one? After about 10 minutes of quiet conversation with the
sales agent, he must have become frustrated and the next thing I
knew, he was yelling across the table: "Do you or don't you
have a car for $15,000?" After receiving his response of most
likely no, he got up and left.
Next Client: Two young ladies in
their late teens walked in with their sales person. The girls were
giggly because one of them was getting a new car. As they sat at the
table, they agreed to the price, interest rate, upgrades, extras,
insurance, warranty and financing package that was offered to them.
I was horrified as I heard them just giggle and laugh at everything
the salesman said. Once though, when they hesitated at something he
said, they were told that this special deal was very limited and
there was only one spot left. The next person walking in the door
wouldn't get this great deal if they accepted just now. Their
response was, "Too bad for him, we're taking it."
The Third Client: A couple with a
small boy. They had done some research before they came in and made
an offer on a car. Then the finance manager and the business manager
and the floor manger came over to discuss the offer. After about 10
minutes of neither party making any progress, they were told the
price wasn't possible. The young couple got up and left.
There were many more scenarios that
afternoon but these three are enough to make my point. It was
obvious which individuals were prepared and which ones weren't.
Those who weren't prepared to purchase a car walked in and ended up
with more car, a higher payment, a higher interest rate, a longer
payment term and more accessories. About 75% of the buyers on this
particular afternoon appeared to fall into this category.
On the other hand, those who were
prepared either got the deal they were looking for (with patience)
or they left to look for something within the guidelines they had
I learned a BIG lesson today during
my four hours of observation on a car dealer sales floor. When you
are going to make a major purchase, do your research and be
prepared. Decide what you want ahead of time. Write it down.
Determine your price range and STICK to it.
As our quote states: "Think
before you act" "Think" includes research, study,
discussion, and being informed. Once you have done this, then you
can act decisively. Do not lose your focus and do not stray from
your objective. No one has your best financial interest in mind more