Just Leave the Money on the Dresser
I'm precisely the consumer Lexus wants to attract. Late 40's, male, affluent, blessed with a very high credit score and a four car garage that is perpetually full of late model vehicles. I'm not trying to be cocky - but my qualifications as a potential Lexus buyer are pivotal to the rest of the story.
A solicitation recently arrived in my mailbox inviting me to test drive any new Lexus and receive a $75 Visa giftcard for my effort. This sounded like a sweet deal - Ms. Gyrhead needs a new ride and normally I'd be happy to test drive any new car for free. I looked forward to experiencing the offerings from Toyota's luxury division, particularly the rear drive IS sport sedan.
Per the terms of the offer, I called Ira Lexus of Manchester, NH to "schedule my test drive."
Here are my resulting thoughts on the entire 2013 Lexus line up:
You're probably confused and wondering what kind of peculiar road test this was. The short answer? It wasn't.
Three times (over 3 weeks) I called Ira to arrange my road test, and three times Nigel the sales manager tendered some suspicious reason why they couldn't be bothered. "The cars have snow on them", or "the staff is out sick" or "On Sunday we don't have enough sales people available."
On the third attempt, I expressed my mounting frustration at Ira's apparent disinterest in showing a Lexus vehicle. Nigel hurriedly offered the validation code needed to obtain my $75 gift card and hung up. Oh well.
I'd love to say the Lexus lineup rocked my world, and write about how the LS460 shoots perfectly toasted strawberry Pop-Tarts out of the defroster vents and generates a 3D passenger seat hologram of Brooklyn Decker to impress the neighbors - but it's probably too late for Lexus now. The Gyrhead ship has sailed, and taken an eminently qualified potential customer with it. I probably won't give them another shot - you see, I'm stubborn that way.
It's annoying and dissapointing to experience how the indifference of a franchisee can negatively impact the consumer goodwill, reputation and ultimately the fortunes of a company fighting for market share in challenging economic times.
Lexus Corporate probably paid a hefty sum for a qualified mailing list, and their solicitation found my mailbox as if it had a bullseye painted on it. They reached a qualified buyer that is actively shopping for new wheels. But due to the indifference of Nigel, Lexus' marketing efforts were a very costly bust.
I'll spend their $75 though, perhaps to take Ms. Gyrhead out for dinner after we test drive the new Audi S4.
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