Welcome to Bowen Scarff Ford of Kent, Wash. - home of the no-dicker sticker.
What you see is what you pay, not $100 more, not $1 less.
By the same token, what you buy - whether an economy Focus or a top-level Excursion - won't have any effect on your salesperson's paycheck.
With this business method, General Manager Mark Scarff says he can put his customers' needs before his employees' desires.
'When you pay the salesperson the same amount of money no matter which vehicle he or she sells, you eliminate that bait-and-switch routine,' he says.
'Instead of trying to sell a more-expensive model so they can make more money, they have the customer's needs and interests in mind.'
To ensure that his salespeople don't become complacent or lose their motivation to sell, Scarff has structured that salary scale to the number of cars sold.
'For example, when they sell 10 cars in a month, they get $250 a car,' Scarff says. 'At 15 cars, it shoots up to $285. At 20, it's $350. And it's all retroactive.'
Home turf preferred
Scarff, 43, whose father, Bowen, started the family run, single-point dealership in 1958, says everyone, including his staff, seems to be pleased with the pay structure.
'We have 22 people on the sales staff,' he says.
'When we first switched from commission to salaries, we lost two people. And they both came back. They found that the grass wasn't any greener the other way.'
He says his salespeople average about $63,000 a year. Their average tenure is 6.7 years.
'Our salespeople definitely stick around,' he says.
He thinks one reason is that they all have responsibilities that make them feel like they are their own managers.
Instead of having a traditional finance department, each salesperson walks his or her own customer through the process.
'They handle all the service contracts, all the leasing arrangements, credit approvals and disclosures of all bank statements,' he says.
'We give them a prospect list and, from that, they build a data base of customers.'
Us vs. them
And, thanks to their satisfaction with the one-price arrangement, customer retention is high.
Scarff says he knows what salespeople are after - and, typically, it is not finding the best deal for their customers.
'I was a commissioned salesman for a long time,' he says.
'It makes you try to hold out for the highest price from the customer. You shy away from the vehicles that are on sale so you can make more money.'
Of course, that meant a fluctuating paycheck based on the price of the vehicle. His average was 30 percent of the dealership's profit.
'If the car made $1,000, I got $300. If it made only $300, I got the minimum $50.'
Admittedly, Scarff's plan was not readily embraced by the factory.
'They said we weren't hitting our market share,' he says.
'Now, (as the numbers continue to increase) Ford Motor Co. is our biggest cheerleader.'