We’ve finally reached the end of my new car purchase saga. (Check out Parts One and Two if you’ve missed what has been happening.) As you can see from the picture above, I am happily the proud owner of new debt. :)
Last Saturday my husband and I took a 25 minute drive out to a dealership to check things out. Why so far away? They had some pricing that seemed a little cheaper than those dealers close to us, and when you’re talking about vehicles that are tens of thousands of dollars, every penny saved helps out.
We met Joe, our sales guy. Joe greeted us in passing outside, asked us a question or two, and pointed us in the direction we needed to go. (No pressure. No hounding.)
He came back around and asked us more questions. What did I want? What did I need? (Find out what the customer wants to point her in the right direction.)
Had I done any test driving? I hadn’t. He grabbed some keys, a plate, and told us to go and check things out. (Let the customer learn first-hand about the product she wants to buy.)
Joe offered up some pointers and features on the vehicle we looked at since, well, let’s face it. Cars have come a long way technologically speaking since my 2007 model! We even browsed some used cars just to see what the options were.
The whole time there was absolutely no pressure to buy. Only information. Only assistance. Only problem-solving. At the end of our visit, we sat, we chatted, and he printed out some info for us to take home. Again - absolutely no pressure to buy. (I’m a geek for the no-pressure sale. There isn’t anything I dislike more than someone trying to make me feel guilty or stupid for not making an immediate purchase.)
The next day I sent Joe an email. (That’s right - he didn’t badger me with more info.) We emailed back and for about pricing, colors, models. By the time Friday came around we had all the choices, paperwork and insurance completed and I just needed to sign and pay.
It was so simple.
Well, no. Initially, with those previous dealerships, it wasn’t. But with this dealer and our sales guy Joe, it was. Because it wasn’t about sales quotas or commissions. (Well, maybe it was, but it didn’t feel that way.) It was about helping me find the right car for me at the right price. It was making sure the customer was happy.
And when the customer is happy, everybody is happy. I get my car. Joe gets his commission. And future business, too, because I had such a good experience. So - more happy people. And everybody wins.
You want help for you business. You need help. You haven’t had a break in weeks and you’re just about to hide out in the basement for a day or two to have some quiet time and evaluate this whole “be my own boss” thing. How can you possibly hire a virtual assistant? You’re not in “millionaire” status yet. Heck, you’re not really even in “thousandaire” status. But you just can’t do it alone any more. How can it all work out?
Virtual Assistants Aren’t Full Time
They can be, but most virtual assistants have a book of clients just like you who are just getting help when they need it. And truly, that is the best part about hiring a virtual assistant. You don’t have to have someone sitting there, getting paid, waiting for work to show up.
Hire on a Per Project Basis
There is no requirement to hire a VA at an hourly rate. Start with one project. Set limits for the time, the dollar amount, the task. If you tell someone you want them to do as much research as she can for $200, then you don’t have to worry about what the project will cost. It’s already there, and you can plan your budget accordingly.
Hire for a Set Amount of Time
Another way to keep within a budget you can afford is to hire a virtual assistant for a certain amount of hours per month. Plenty of assistants provide package deals. This way you know that every month it is going to cost you X dollars. Once it’s built into your budget, it becomes part of your regular expenses.
The key to being able to afford a virtual assistant is understanding the financial benefit you can achieve from it. Would you rather be trying to cobble together social media posts, or researching leads, or would you rather be trying to talk with and sell to potential clients?
If a virtual assistant could free up one hour of your time each week to allow you to sell to potential clients, what would that be worth to you? If one sale was $500 and one hour of a virtual assistant’s time cost $25, I’d say that’s an amazing ROI.
It’s scary to invest when you’re counting every penny, but when you look at the big financial picture, you’ll see that you can’t afford not to hire a virtual assistant. (And you won’t need to hide out in your basement!)
Last week we talked about my journey to purchase a new vehicle. Here’s the continuing saga.
A salesperson from a dealership responded to my email. Finally! Let’s call him Bob. Bob responded quickly, and suggested a possible vehicle. I replied back, told him I’d like to learn more, and we set up a time for me to come to the dealership and chat.
I was feeling pretty good about it. Someone had finally responded. That first part of the sale had begun - acknowledgement.
I arrived at my appointment time, checked in, and someone went to get Bob while I made myself a cup of coffee. A few minutes later Bob approached me and introduced himself. I put out my hand for a shake. (Shaken!)
Bob apologized to me, stating that something came up and he wouldn’t be able to talk with me, however, he had brought over “Jerry” who, Bob explained, had been there as long as he had, and knew everything, etc. etc.
I said hello, extended my hand out for a shake, but Jerry was already off and running back to his desk. (Unshaken!!)
We sit, and Jerry tells me Bob gave him my info, and asked me what I was looking for. I explained it again. He clicked a lot on his computer, printed up two pieces of paper with two different vehicles that I had mentioned, and said I couldn’t get the deal I wanted (hinged on a monthly payment amount I was setting a limit at).
And that was it. I sat there for a moment, and then said, “Well, I guess I’ll keep looking.”
I left. Angry. Frustrated. No - angry.
Look, I cannot stand pushy sales tactics. I have walked out of stores because of it and have never returned. But - isn’t your job to SELL to me?
Let’s break down things that went wrong.
At NO time did Jerry take me to look at any of the vehicles I was interested in. Show me the product. Get me more interested in it.
At NO time did Jerry provide other vehicle suggestions. “I know you’ve been looking at X, but have you considered Y. It can meet your requirements and still get you the price point you want to be at.” Maybe there are options I don’t know about.
At NO time did Jerry put in any effort to try to get me into the vehicle I wanted. He didn’t show me how different down payments would change the monthly payment. He didn’t talk to me about the different vehicle packages and how, if I went to a different package and maybe added an extra thousand for the down payment, I could be close to the monthly payment I want. Show me the different ways I can potentially get the vehicle I want.
The whole “sales conversation” took about 15 minutes. And most of it was Jerry typing things into a computer.
No one wants to have a sales pitch shoved down his throat, but I think everyone wants to be offered all possible information and options. Had Jerry actually been a proper salesman, I might have walked out of there with a new vehicle.
But, I didn’t. I’m still searching - now more for the right salesperson than the right vehicle.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.