Despite the enormous buzz surrounding the yearly Autofestival and the flood of prospective clients coming through dealership doors this week, a local car salesman has confirmed that he still doesn’t give a shit.
Marco Donlingi explains that when a potential customer walks in, he usually waits between seven to 13 minutes before reacting. During that time, he relaxes in his office and tries to braid the hairs on the back of his hand.
“It’s only when I see a customer getting really annoyed that I make the approach,” he said. “Not that I care, I just don’t want them wandering into the repair bay because they might get crushed by a hydraulic lift and we’d have a mess to clean up.”
The first thing Donlingi does, he says, is demand the precise model and specifications of the vehicle the person is seeking. If they don’t know, or if they confuse a 1.6- with a 1.8-liter engine, he’ll pretend to receive a phone call and simply go home for the day.
“There’s a fine line between ignoring people and actively making them feel unwelcome,” he said. “But I try.”
Steve Wellth, who owns a large dealership in the middle of the country, denies that his sales staff show less enthusiasm than slugs that have been baking in the sun for an hour.
“We do everything we can to make our customers feel valued, including taking the time to show them a range of affordable options as well as patiently answer their questions, no matter how silly they might seem,” he said.
“Just joking,” he continued. “We’ve got a steady revenue stream from our corporate clients and the loyal rich bastards who buy a new premium model from us year after year, so we don’t really need any Josy Schmosy from the street with only 25,000 euros in his pocket and fantasies about owning a German car.”
“Buy a car from our competitors, we don’t care,” he added. “Assuming they’ll sell to you.”