Seriously, there are a million directions we could go from here. But I am asking this question in reference to one thing, referring to the photo below:
I might ask you, ”what does this letter mean?” And the answer would be, ”Not a darn thing.”
We have been getting letters like this ever since we bought Lisa’s Pilot in 2017. Well, specifically it wasn’t immediately after buying that car, it started the following year. We always respond the same way—we shred it. Not interested. Lisa loves her car. Recently however, Lisa has acted more interested in trading cars. We got a letter much like this one, in December. I showed it to Lisa, told her that this might be a good time to get her a new vehicle. It is the perfect storm: interest rates are historically low, and are getting ready to go back up. Also, the used car market has never been like this—dealerships are so desperate for used inventory that they are paying stupid money to buy them. Also, we are about to have to drop the money to buy new tires, and there is some maintenance we are going to need to tackle this year. To my surprise, Lisa is open to the idea. That fact is more historically unique than anything, because Lisa hates change. Better act now, before she changes her mind!
I took that letter and reached out to the person who sent it. I told him my thoughts, what we wanted, what we could afford. Not a peep in return. I sent another request. Nothing. I think I’ve reached out to him four or five times, and never received a response. Maybe he quit—there is a lot of turnover in that business—so I sent a generic message to the dealership, but haven’t heard a word. I sent messages to a GMC dealership and a Subaru dealership—they each responded quickly and with enthusiasm. But South Pointe Honda? Nada.
Fine, I’ll buy an Outback. Ferguson has one that looks really cool—black rims, and the lift kit is already installed. The only thing I would need them to add is a receiver hitch for my bike rack. I sent a pic to Lisa. She hated it. ”Looks like a station wagon,” she said. Well, it IS a station wagon. Also, she won’t look at a car that doesn’t have a third row—you know, grand babies and swim dates and sleepovers and all. So I sent her a pic of a Chevy Tahoe and the GMC version of it, with a diesel engine—YEAH!—but they’re all priced at around ninety grand. Even at that price, with interest rates so low, it might be worth it—this could be the last car we ever own. As much as Lisa would love to have a Tahoe, she isn’t interested in paying that much for one.
The GMC Acadia is a possibility—they come with the option of a third row, so that is still on the table, and they are priced at around the same as a Honda Pilot.
Then yesterday, I get the mail, and right there it is ANOTHER letter from South Pointe Honda—the one pictured above, offering to take our Pilot in trade for a new one. I know what you’re thinking—they just don’t have any inventory. You’re right, many dealers don’t have much in stock. But South Pointe does—they have nine or ten Pilots that meet our criteria. You might think, ”well they’re spoken for, someone has put down a deposit.” Fine. STOP SENDING ME LETTERS, THEN. I understand a little about marketing, and the law of large numbers. If you want to sell ten cars this month, you’ve got to send out ten thousand letters. That has to cost them a couple of grand every time. Save yourself some money if you’re not going to return the phone calls of the people you spent all that money to reach!
What is wrong with people??