Great report...I always like to torture them a bit when I find salespeople who know nothing about the product they are selling. In all honesty I did the same with the poor girl at the Alfa stand in Frankfurt last year, trying to figure out where the gearbox in the Giulia was. It may or may not have have been a shameless tactic to talk to her longer than necessary due to her being extremely attractive, mind you
Aaaaaanyway, yeah, the "buying experience" is going to be a problem. Even the location of Dan Seaman's, for example, is quite an issue...basically hidden in a secondary of the secondary roads, in front of a business "park" with mechanics, a tire place (which I recommend, sound fella!) and an Italian food store which was always closed whenever I got there
Alfa need to up their game and not play on the same field as the Germans; Stay away from the old and tired "corporate executive" grayness. Introduce what is called "Italian flair". Plaster the walls of the dealerships with imagery of the racecars and drivers - Nuvolari, Sivocci, Fangio, Larini, Giovanardi; Don't offer watery americano but rent a proper Saeco/Gaggia espresso machine and fly in a barista from Naples (also, never clean said machine...that's how you achieve the real Italian coffee flavour
Everything should be an attack to the senses - paint the walls red and the floor black, if needed; Have Vivaldi, Verdi, Rossini play 24/7 and even some relatively recent Italian pop (stuff from the '70s/'80s can be excellent, e.g.:
). Videowalls showing Alfas from the '70s/'80s/'90s taking tracks all around Europe by storm.
Hire car enthusiast salespeople, put the boys in perfectly tailored dark suit & tie and the girls in red dresses/skirt suits; Have them convey the message that these cars aren't about going from "A to B", about "the environment", about showing your neighbour you "made it" with your "171 BMW/Audi/Merc"; they are mean driving machines hell bent on killing baby seals and feast on their blood for your enjoyment and pleasure like nothing else for the money...all the while looking as sharp as an Italian porn actor in an Armani suit and Ray-Ban's, of course.
Have "test drive people" scouting the roads around the dealership in order to bring test drives on the best bits - and encourage potential customers to drive like an Alfa should be driven. Or take the wheel themselves for a demonstration of such
So Alfa Romeo Ireland, you need a new head/director? I know a guy