Weiss Toyota STL Informative - Sales Dept Business Practices
11771 Tesson Ferry Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63128
Having owned 4 Toyota Motor Company vehicles over the past 20 years has always been a pleasurable experience inclusive of the purchasing process until our most recent experience with a local fledgling and apparently faltering Toyota dealership in St. Louis, MO.
Deciding to replace my 2005 Tundra SR5 DC totaled in an accident with a 2008 model seemed to be a simple enough task. Looking forward to an experience mirroring 4 previous Toyota purchases over the past 20 years, we expected a straight forward, highly professional presentation and sales protocol. Upon visiting Weiss Toyota in St. Louis, MO proved to be more like a visit to Broadway Marvin’s used car lot in a downtown crack district. While the initial interaction with a poorly prepared and obviously frustrated sales representative exemplified a level of business acumen and salesmanship typically expected from a used watch salesman, I discounted this presentation as a behavior stimulated by trying economic conditions and the like. This proved to be wrong as while reviewing the details of the vehicles that I had expressed interest in purchasing the representative was approached by what appeared to be a service advisor regarding a customer’s service issue. As the service representative requested some input from the sales representative in terms of how to proceed with the customer issue the sales representative responded “and what does she want me to do about it – sounds like “buyer remorse to me”. This observation proved to be 2 for 2 in the “run-don’t walk away” message taken away form this experience.
Deciding to proceed with the process, as I had never quite seen a circus act that I was experiencing, the conversation evolved to price. I made an offer and the illustrious sales representative scurried off to allegedly get approval from someone else. Upon his return a counter offer equaling ½ of 1% was presented with the standard “anything less would result in a loss” qualifier. I advised that I may give it consideration and rose to leave. I was quickly asked not to leave as to allow the sales rep’s boss to come out and meet me. I agreed and meandered around the showroom for about 5 minutes. Having tired of waiting around to meet Mr. boss, I simply left with no further interaction.
Shortly afterwards I received a call from the sales representative advising that he was surprised to see that I had left, but Mr. boss instructed him to sell the vehicle to me for the original price I had offered. After a few days of visiting competing Toyota dealerships, we maintained an interest in the vehicle we had offered to purchase due to the model, options, color and accepted price. I contacted the original sales representative to set a time to visit and complete the transaction. Apparently he lacked sales closing skills and referred us to
A fellow sales representative under the auspices of not being available at the time we were planning on arriving.
Upon or arrival, exclusive of any customer greeting we were able to locate illustrious sales representative #2 who presented himself and the product is an acceptable fashion thus substantiating the “run don’t walk away” message presented by the initial sales representative may have just been an isolated portrayal of this dealership.
End result = Wrong again !!, as representative #2 played dumb to the fact that the accepted purchase price was not what the now absent “mr. boss” had agreed to. Validating the increased “new price” by presenting the scenario that as there were 6 of the vehicles we decided on when our original offer was accepted and all but 3 were sold since then, they couldn’t sell our selection at the agreed price….. Incredibly disingenuous and shallow version of a bait and switch posture as there were physically 5 of the vehicles in plain view on the property.
Bottom line to this experience is that this experience is a sad commentary on the disingenuous mentality of this dealership from the front line sales representative to the alleged mr. boss. In today’s consumer market, be it paper towels or vehicles, the success of a manufacturer’s product line is directly influenced by the culture of the front line sales staff interacting with the consumer. In this instance, the unbridled ignorance in terms of credibility and lack of a viable, straight forward presentation greatly diminished the perceived value of the Toyota product line to the point of eliminating the Toyota from our short list, replaced by Nissan, Ford and Dodge who seem to place a markedly greater value in consumer confidence. Hopefully this fledgling dealership will eventually recognize the value of presenting a business transaction in an honest and professional manner and maybe reverse what appears to be a failing endeavor.
The beauty of this experience is that Toyota has recruited a perpetual and active Free Advertiser!!!
Michael R & Regina L. Rutter
New Nissan and Former Toyota owners