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Parker's Forecourt Focus: Parker’s readers... are your customers

How much do you love your customers? There’s only one answer – lots and lots. So how would you feel if one of your salesmen were treating potential customers like imbeciles? Yeah, me too.

“The wood in the corner’s called a door – now use it.”

But we speak to dozens of drivers every month who experience just this sort of treatment from dealers. Their crime is to check a car’s price against a copy of Parker’s, only to be told something like: “Parker’s is published by Woman’s Weekly/two blokes in a shed/a bunch of nosey old duffers, and you can’t trust their prices at all.”

What makes it particularly frustrating is that Parker’s price is almost identical to the ones displayed on cars they are interested in.

Which is no surprise to us. Parker’s prices are meticulously researched by some of the UK’s most experienced motor trade analysts. We wouldn’t still be here after 32 years (and selling almost twice as many copies as the What Car? price guide) if our values weren’t sound. So what would you say if I offered you a guaranteed way to tell the difference between a genuine customer, looking to buy a car and a time-waster? Chances are you’d be interested?

In many cases it’s easy. The genuine customer in car-buying mode will often be carrying a copy of Parker’s Car Price Guide. Why else would you buy it? No-one buys Parker’s for entertainment – our customers will very shortly become your customers.

It confuses us when we get a hostile reception from the trade, and we want to do something about it. We already know our prices are accurate – the dealer price you see quoted in Parker’s is the typical selling (not asking) price for a typical example of that car in an independent dealer. There will always be slight variations, of course. A car’s condition, and regional market variation makes applying one definitive price to every deal difficult.

But that’s where your sales force’s talent comes in. Treat your Parker’s wielding customer with a bit of respect and acknowledge that his price isn’t that far from yours and you’ll be close to a deal without insulting their intelligence.

In the meantime, we are planning to put an increased amount of real deals on real cars for sale in Parker’s (and on our website) over the next few months to illustrate how accurate and trustworthy our prices are. Which means we’ll be spending some time on your forecourts to get the details. I look forward to seeing you. Mine’s white with no sugar. You’ll be able to spot us: we’ll be carrying a Parker’s

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