What do my friends expect when coming to me for a price on a car?

I always wonder, when a friend asks me for a price, what their expectations are. Are they coming to me because they want to support me, because they’re my friend? Are they coming to me because they know I’ll give them the best advice even if it’s to my own detriment, because they’re my friend? Are they coming to me because they know that if something goes wrong after the purchase, or they need some form of aftersales service or assistance they know they will be able to rely on me to look after them, because they’re my friend? Or, are they coming to me because they expect the lowest price, because they’re my friend?

I expect that more than one of you reading this right now are nodding your heads, because you share my uncertainty. And in an effort to try understand what they are thinking, I thought about why I chose to buy my last pair of running shoes from my friend:

· Firstly, he gave me advice, and recommended the best shoe for what I wanted. And I trust his advice more than someone I don’t know, or who doesn’t know me. +1

· Secondly, he did give me a small discount. I could probably have negotiated the same discount at a running shop, so that wasn’t the kicker. +0

· Thirdly, I know that if something goes wrong with them he’ll look after me. But so will the running shop I suppose. Although I may get better service from my mate directly, so that’s another +1

· And then of course, I wanted to support him and his business, because he’s my friend. +2

· Final Score = +3 in favour of buying from my friend.

So after all is considered, the price was probably the same, the service issue was probably the same or possibly slightly better dealing with a friend, and the trust is a definite +1 because I know him. But at the end of the day, I bought the Brooks because I wanted to support my friend.

However, based on experience I have found that some of the people I am friends with have bought cars from my competitors based purely on price. The same brand as I sell, but because they literally saved like R 5 000 - R 10 000 on the purchase price of a R 600 000 car! And here’s the kicker: if something goes wrong with the car, or they need some advice, they will come to me for help. I know they will, because I’m their friend. Because they trust me. They know I’ll be honest with them, and they know I will look after their best interests. Yet that wasn’t worth paying a little extra for.

This is something that I find myself wondering over and over when a friend asks me for a price. What are they really expecting? What do you expect?

Warren Foyn - Dealer Principal