Recently, Gallup conducted a poll on what professions Americans trust the least. Car Salespeople are still towards the bottom of the list. Why? What are the reasons keeping the trust factor low? Are Car Salespeople really that bad?
No, they aren’t.
As I travel the country and work with dealerships, I meet a lot of hard working, dedicated sales consultants. People that will greet you at the door and truly want to sell you a car. They support themselves and their families. They wear their polo shirts with pride and ensure that they absorb the latest training on the new products. So why don’t Americans trust them? Because the Dealership, the media and Third-Party Lead providers continue to perpetuate both the perception and reality of a bad car-buying experience.
For example, why does a dealership still have a “Lot Price” vs. an “Internet Price”? How confusing is this for the Sales Consultant? Why punish the guy that takes the time to get up off of his couch, drives through traffic and shows up in-person at your store, versus the guy who still has his slippers on and gets the best price while belittling the Internet Manager over email? Yeah, that makes sense… Let’s “club” (I actually heard this term at a store recently) that guy who doesn’t know the Internet Price but yet knows where your store is and choses YOUR store to visit. Let’s reward the guy that doesn’t give two hoots whether he buys from your store or some other dealership??? Oh, I get it, we can “club” that guy that doesn’t know the price and get a $3,500 front end, but what happens when he checks the internet later to show his friends the car he bought and sees your Internet Price? What happens when that customer asks your Sales Consultant what the price is and he can’t answer it with confidence? You probably won’t hear from that customer ever again and he won’t be giving you a referral.
So what’s the solution?
Get rid of the Price Sheet, everyone has a smart phone now. Get rid of the “Lot Price”, price your cars within the market range, and give your sales team the tools they need to build VALUE in the car both online and on the lot. Use technology to prevent the Double Discount by showing the customer value points that proves the price of the car is valid and needs no further discount. We used to do Walk Arounds? We used to take pride in product knowledge. Let’s get back to that as an industry, let’s become experts on what we sell and change the perception of the car business. Stop supporting Third-Party Lead Providers that run commercials about not trusting hard working Sales Consultants. Reward the customer that takes the time to come to YOUR store.