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How not to handle a customer

A little background first:

Recently I went looking for another Prevost conversion motorhome.  I wasn’t going to buy another RV, but it seems there is an addiction to that lifestyle.  This will be my 17th since 1974.  Some have been small, but most have been large.  

So, I went on line to Prevost-Stuff.com a web business that I started in1999 that has grown to be the world’s largest most recognized place to go for Prevost conversion motorhomes.

I found a beauty, a 2009 Parliament conversion. Parliament no longer exists as a converter, but the company under a different name is still in business. I’ve know those people for 20 years so there’s no worry about getting service when needed.

The RV dealer who had the coach for sale in Nashville deals exclusively with high end coaches.  I knew who they were from a previous experience.  They had taken a coach in trade that I liked and told the manager that I would drive up the following day (2-day drive). About half way there remorse set in and I notified him I changed my mind.

Several month later, I again found interest in that coach and contacted the dealer, but again got cold feet.  That’s twice I indicated I was interested in a vehicle he had and twice I didn’t get there to see it and make a deal.

Now on this Prevost: During a two week period, the manager turned me over to the owner who accused me of refusing to give them a deposit.  Not true!  I was never asked for a deposit. I told him that and offered to give them a deposit, but he changed the subject. I believe they didn't want a deposit so that the RV would remain on the market. They could then sell it out from under me should someone else got there with the cash before I did.

After a few days and much discussion about the unacceptable financing arrangements available they had suggested, I scraped up as much cash as I could and offered that as a purchase price or if he would ask the seller to consider taking a $20k note (4% of the price). He refused to ask the owner of the coach (it was a consignment sale). A few days later, I told him there was no way I could raise the additional $20k to buy the coach, in less than 30 days.

His response by text: “Joe, How many does this make here ?  Is it 6 now that you’ve backed out of or is this # 7 ? I know it’s more than 4.  My partner here is young but I should have listened to him.  This is exactly, precisely the way he told me this would wind up.”

Then he sent this: “I’m sorry just having a bad day Joe”

I told him he had his facts wrong, I did not walk away from any deal in the past as there never was a deal to walk away from.

Then he responded: Would you buy it for real right away if he took a note for 20k ?

I said: "yes, that's all I've asked for the past 10 days", but then i after a sleepless night I sent this:   "Last evening, Sandy reminded me that we went to Nashville to meet with Austin, but after several days couldn’t get him to respond to my emails.  Since then I’ve purchased two RVs and this will be my third. I really want the Parliament, but after your comments I just can’t do business with Olympia.  Your statement was a gross misrepresentation of the facts, and I don’t want to do business with anyone who thinks so little of their customers that they would make such a rude obnoxious accusation.  I can only imagine how I might be treated once you get my money.  Goodbye!  You will never hear from me again."

(I went elsewhere and bought a coach of equal value.)

The moral is this: Never respond to a customer when you’re in a bad mood.  Your negative attitude will affect the relationship and most likely kill the deal.

Always wait 48 hours before responding negativity to a client.  You will find that during the 48 hour cooling off period you will change your mind; and prevent something like this happening. It’s just good business practice.

Joe Bottieri

Adopting one animal won't change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal.

Wait 48 hours

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