I can vividly remember my first purchase at 19. I leased a 2013 Honda Civic LX.
The process was grueling, even with knowing exactly what I wanted and what I could afford. I went into the dealership and as I drove in a crowd of salesmen started coming from all corners and it made me feel so anxious. Who do I choose? How do I know they won't try to get over on me? What if they try to undermine me because I am young and alone?
As soon as I opened my door, the option to chose my salesperson was taken away from me. Some opened my door and one of the salesmen came right up to me and asked for my name and what I was here to buy. "That's just great." I thought. "The ability to choose my salesperson as already been taken from me. What's next?" I told him exactly what I wanted; a charcoal gray, 2013 Honda Civic Coupe and I wanted a back up camera. He walked me inside and asked me to wait while he pulled up the vehicle of my choice, but when he arrived it was white. I swore I was clear on what I asked for but I still test drove it as he requested. On the way back to the dealership I asked why I was being shown a different color and I was told a gray Civic wasn't available but they would "make an offer I couldn't refuse".
If anyone knows me, they understand that I want what I want and that is it but I have a history of being backed in a corner and making decisions I regret out of the fear of 'hurting someone's feelings' or 'wasting their time'. Long story short, I barely made it out of the dealership without purchasing the Civic. I had to lie and tell them my grandmother would NOT let me sign unless she was there and she couldn't make it in until tomorrow. They sent three managers into the finance office trying to convince me to sign after I repeatedly told them I couldn't and when I stood my ground they made me feel awful as if I wasted their time and I should be ashamed of myself. I went on to purchase the gray Civic that I wanted at another dealership and when the salesman from the first lot followed up with me, he sent me vulgar text messages about how terrible I was for doing so.
With my previous experience and others that I have witnessed first hand I made a vow with myself that as a Sales Professional in my industry my job is to assist as many women and first time buyers as possible by educating them on best practices when purchasing a vehicle.