Right now I'm going to buy a car. I've had my current one for six years, the longest I've gone without changing as a consequence of two things. Firstly I felt it was inappropriate to get a new car in the recent climate but more significantly I'm no longer a petrol head, if in fact I ever was one. I've come to realise there is no sport as mind numbing as F1 - I really would rather watch one man and his dog. Current car models do little for me, sure the latest Aston, Lamborghini or Ferrari will still turn my head but my days with exotics are over, I've had my fill, and most other cars on the road seem so similar and bland. So whilst I know I'm going to buy a car I really have no idea which make and model I'll choose.
I've been weighing up the Jaguar but still struggle with the Arthur Daly association, the Mercedes range looks more geared for LA cruising than the autobahn, plus the depreciation rate on the last two I've owned cause me to feel I'm damned if they'll rip me off again. BMW's are no better, once they were so cool in my eye, so perfectly engineered, but now all I see is a huge backside and no offence to J Lo or others with a similar body shape, I've always preferred sleek and elegant. I've thought about the Lexus Hybrid every time I pay the congestion charge but actually I've become a fan of the tube and even if my choice of four wheels is electric I'll still take public transport, and talking of four wheels I've been wondering about a return to the Range Rover, not least given the condition of our roads, but not sure I really need one when 90% of my travelling is alone with just a briefcase. What I would really like is a vintage, my dream being a DB 5 or 6 - (many people don't like the 6 but I could be persuaded to buy it rather than the overhyped/priced 5) - but is this really sensible when I do need to drive long distances, sometimes following a long, tiring, albeit highly satisfying, day on my feet speaking and coaching?
So with absolutely no clear direction at all, it will be interesting to see the response I get from car dealers. "So, you don't have a price range, no preference for 2 or 4 door, engine size isn't really a factor nor is brand or type," - I could regard myself as a waste of time too, but the fact is I am in the market, and I will be buying a car.
I wonder how many businesses will lose my custom because they choose to ignore me or worse make me feel uncomfortable or stupid? How often will a salesman lose out on a commission cheque for mistaking my indecision with an inability to proceed? But might there be one person out there though who will see me for the opportunity I am and truly help me with my search, guide me through the options with informed authority, assist me to narrow down my choices and finally, rather than selling, simply help me to buy?
I've heard many salespeople describe potential customers as "tyre kickers" and yet these people all live somewhere, all drive cars, all wear clothes, are all consumers - every tyre kicker becomes a customer someday - just not yours if you treat them as a tyre kicker to start with.