Why do less than 1/2% of consumers enjoy the car buying experience?

From Automotive News April 13, 2015:  Results were based on a survey of 4,002 car shoppers and buyers from June to October 2014, as well as focus group interviews. Of those surveyed, Autotrader said, only 17 liked the car buying process as it is.

One of the major reasons given was the time it took.  It seems the magic number is UNDER 90 minutes.  Okay, that said; Do you think any of this has to do with how salespeople are trained?  let’s just say it’s highly probable – the salesperson is the entity that has the majority of the contact with the customer, so it would be extremely safe to say that it is a big factor in the dissatisfaction with the process.

Number ONE offense: Salespeople are trained to:

  1. Take control
  2. Ask questions
  3. Perform the ‘steps to the sale’ at all costs.

1, 2 and 3 are all part of the problem.  How could it be any other way?  All of the above have the unfortunate effect of creating an adversarial relationship.  It may be time to wake up and:

  1. Give control
  2. Answer Questions
  3. Let the customer direct a ‘path to the buy’

It takes skill to do the  new 1, 2 and 3 above. It takes product knowledge and listening skills. It requires a sense of understanding to know if you have, indeed, answered questions in a satisfactory manner.  It also is much more enjoyable – for both parties.

Your job now is to do things, say things that make the customer WANT to buy from you, WANT to buy from your dealership – even if you don’t have the car they eventually want.

Forget about the ‘price’ factor:

“We may not be the lowest price, but I know we are not the highest.  Here’s what you will probably have to do to find the lowest price, which may be just a couple of hundred dollars difference.  You take the price we give you and then go to these dealers (show where they are on a map that you keep with you) and hope that not only will you find the lowest price, but that the people you are dealing with will give you straight answers, etc. etc. etc.”

You want to train your people?  Train them on the word track and method above.  Price will soon become secondary as long as your prices are reasonable.

Call me at 205-967-9405 and I’ll do what I can to get you on a track to be that 1/2% that customers will call an enjoyable experience…and I won’t even charge you for it!


About dealerite/in association with AP Level 4

National affiliations of professionals who are engaged in changing the culture of the automobile retail business. Associated with AP Level 4 and Edifice Group. These companies are bringing sustainable marketing which has proven quantifiable improvements in a dealer's market share performance
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One Response to Why do less than 1/2% of consumers enjoy the car buying experience?

  1. Mark says:

    I believe that you failed to fully explain the survey sufficiently to really identify the Sales Person as being the “root cause ” of customer’s dissatisfaction with the “Sales” process. Most customers do not consider the a separation from the “delivery” or probably the most onerous and time consuming step: the meeting with the Finance Manager, including all of the enormous amounts of (necessary) disclaimers, etc and associated “legal” documents which are required to complete the sales transaction).
    If the Sales person is inadequately trained or prepared to address this time focused process that will be part of the sale, then there will be no sale at all; therefor the respondents to your “purchasers survey” would be focused on the wrong problem (or at least a very small part of the overall time usurpers in the overall sale, delivery, legal document process.
    Your “AD” response to the is less informative than it is self serving, for discussion purposes, which could be damaging to a dealership sales process, if they accepted it at face value.
    You add does not answer the questions, that you posed and the survey exacerbated.


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