You nailed it boss. When it comes to manufacturer goodwill, the dealer's willingness to push is probably 80% of the outcome. The manufacturer service rep responsible for yes or no when it comes to warranty grey areas or bikes that are just out of warranty coverage wants to know from the dealer if the customer is good guy, a longtime client, and someone who will continue to buy the brand and do business with the dealer if they take care of him, or an angry prick who is a constant headache who likes to drop the lawyer word. As a dealer, you need to pick your battles with the manufacturer's you represent, and save your available goodwill for those whose business you value most is just good business.
In reading some of the first-person anecdotes I can't help but wonder if communication is part of the issue when deals don't seem to get done. From a sales perspective there's a big difference between a customer asking if you can match a price and actually making an offer to buy a bike at a price, and obviously be ready to close the deal. One can be construed as merely "fishing", and often when this is turned around on the buyer we discover that's the case. I've seen dozens of posts through the years on this forum about guys who were throwing numbers around on the floor with a salesman on bikes that they admittedly had no interest in actually buying, incredulous that the salesman didn't drop his pants on price straight away.
This is kind of a funny, longish story! I bought my last new bike on Ebay, oddly enough. I saw it listed, and called the dealer and told them I was interested in the bike but really didn't want to wait a week and bid against people who may or may not have been able to close the deal. Not a cheap bike, around $20k. I made them what I thought was a reasonable offer to end their auction, something that is easy enough to do and has no penalty to them. They refused, so I started bidding on the bike, which wasn't seeing a whole lot of action. In the meantime I called my local dealers, but at that point there might have been a half-dozen new ones left in the country, and the one I was bidding on was the only one in TX. I called the selling dealer the day before the auction ended and bumped my offer $1500, but they insisted on letting the auction run it's course. At that point I'd pretty much decided to let it go, but just for kicks I checked the auction an hour before it ended, and I was still the high bidder, and the bike had hit the reserve. There was one other bidder in the running,and we traded bids the last few minutes, and I ended up winning the bike, for about $2k less than I had offered the dealer the day before. I called the dealer, fully expecting them to have an excuse why they couldn't honor the price, and they were a bit shocked when they realized I was the guy trying to buy the bike, for a bunch more money, earlier in the week. To their credit they were extremely stand-up guys, and we closed the deal at the auction price in a very professional manner, and I had the bike shipped down a couple of days later. I did have a pretty funny conversation with the sales manager after the fact, as it was the owner of the shop I had been talking with about price. He pretty much told me that the owner outsmarted himself on that one, and he wanted to take the deal I had on the table. Very ethical dealer though, as I think a lot of dealers wouldn't have honored the auction.
Originally Posted by 1911fan
A little politeness goes a long way. I don't think people realize how much ability dealership staff has to make things better for the customer.... or not.