Every year J.D. Power and Associates issues a report card on how well auto buyers like their purchase experiences — the consultant's Sales Satisfaction Index. But this year Power also did some digging into why sales didn't happen.
"We asked the 51 percent of buyers who visited more than one dealer why they didn't buy where they went first," says Jon Osborn, media/marketing research director for the Westlake Village, Calif., firm. "More than one in five walked because of something the dealer did."
It turns out that in most cases, there's little or nothing dealers can do when a buyer balks. That's because customers don't like a brand or model or can't afford it, Osborn says. But for 21 percent of lost sales, the dealer simply blew it.
The study, based on responses from 48,000 customers who bought or leased a new vehicle in May or June 2009, identified six no-sale sins, says Osborn:
"Dealer personnel were rude, not honest, not knowledgeable, pressed customers too hard, ignored them or wouldn't give them a firm price."