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GM giveaway jams phone lines
Dealers fix glitches in 'Hot Button' game to lure new customers

By Ed Garsten / The Detroit News

DETROIT — General Motors Corp.’s “Hot Button” giveaway promotion, which started Monday, is apparently too hot for the automaker’s phone lines to handle.

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well, I guess the whole idea worked? I wounder what kind of sales numbers will come of this? maybe someone will bump into a Malibu and be like..."dam, this is a nice car, how much?"
 

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If you haven't tried to win your free car yet (they're also giving away cash prizes), here's how it works, (at least when I did it):

* First, you write down or indicate your name, some contact information, and what vehicle you're interested in, (or just pick one if you're not really interested in any of them)

* You are then taken to the "Hot Button" vehicle, (a Cadillac Escalade ESV in my case). Once in it, the sales rep connects to OnStar.

* The OnStar rep greets you and asks what kind of vehicle you're in (of course, they already know that), your name, zip code, and last four numbers of your driver's license.

* The OnStar rep thanks you and connects you to something else. When that connection answers, corny game show music is played, and a recorded message tells you that you've lost. :p

* The recorded message then goes on to tell you how you can write in for another chance, etc. etc. etc.

A couple of days ago, I went down to my favorite Cadillac dealership to pick up some Auto Show discount tickets they were giving away, and I took three interested friends from work with me. On the way in, one of my buddies reminded me that GM had this giveaway going, and that we should enter the contest while there.

When I approached my favorite Cadillac salesman, he greeted us warmly, but then his face sank when I told him we wanted to "try to win the car". I guess the sales people don't like this game. :rolleyes:

After all three of us took turns and lost, my favorite Cadillac salesman--who is comfortable being blunt around me and guests I bring with me--explained in a cynical and humorous way that the game is a waste of time. "Oh sure!", he said, "People come in here, we sit them in an Escalade, and they say 'Hey! I lost this game but I want to buy this Escalade! I never heard of Escalades before!'".

As some of you fellow GMI-sters are sales people at GM dealerships, I wonder if you have a similar reaction to this promotion? Or are sales people generally cynical about any major GM promotion?
 

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My dad works at a Chevy dealership and he just feels like it's a waste of time. Sure, more people are coming in but if they wanted to buy a car, they'd come in anyways. They just come for the promotion, lose and then leave.
 

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As some of you fellow GMI-sters are sales people at GM dealerships, I wonder if you have a similar reaction to this promotion? Or are sales people generally cynical about any major GM promotion?
A lot of our salespeople kind of see it the same way, which is unfortunate, because it's a huge p/r opportunity for them, and even if it doesn't build a sale then and there, it's a chance to gain a contact and have a little fun.

The really good news is that in 4 days, we've already gotten a deal from it, and the opportunistic dealerships are capitalizing on the "shopping-around" customers by inviting them back for the promition.

Ghrankenstein
 

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The dealers really need to learn to "deal". ;)

GM is getting people in to their dealerships that otherwise might not step foot inside. Next time they are thinking of buying a car, they might just think of returning if the dealer experience is good enough.

A cynical bored salesman would turn me off to that dealership immediately.
 

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Originally posted by Ming@Jan 9 2004, 06:00 PM
The dealers really need to learn to "deal". ;)

GM is getting people in to their dealerships that otherwise might not step foot inside.  Next time they are thinking of buying a car, they might just think of returning if the dealer experience is good enough.

A cynical bored salesman would turn me off to that dealership immediately.
Well said.

And just to clarify, my favorite Cadillac salesman only behaved this way because I was there and he felt comfortable with me as a friend. He clearly isn't happy about these kinds of gimmicks, but he's a professional through and through, so I suspect he takes the opportunity seriously when strangers walk in.
 
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