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Debate: Are customers still intimidated at the Dealership?

Discussion in 'Off Topic & Everything Else' started by john.quinn, Jan 11, 2019 at 3:04 PM.

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  1. john.quinn

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    As vendors and owners, I think much of our decision-making is based on the belief that customers, when engaging with the dealership, are intimidated by the dealership. Let's all simply agree that intimidation is another word/form/symptom of FEAR.

    Of course, in the Old Days, there was no debate: APB Selling was all about exploiting the fact that "poor, wary, unsuspecting" customers had to come to the dealership to get some information about the car they just saw on TV, or in a magazine, or in the neighbor's driveway. APB was all about getting to a simple question: "Why Not Now?" So yeah... if you stopped over at the dealership to see the color options or engine options or (God Forbid!) grab a brochure, you had better be prepared to fend-off a salesperson!

    I'M JUST LOOKING!
    And if you were one out of 20 who were there to actually buy the car, you really had NO IDEA what to expect as far as a discount -- as close as you could come to a Fair Price Estimate were stories about your neighbor's friend's uncle bragging about his price...

    Today? What's to fear?

    I know the colors... if I want to see them in-person I'm already pretty far along the decision-path.

    Brochure? What's that???

    Engine combination? Horsepower? (How many electric watts in a horse, anyway??).

    Price? Geez Louise... I have 10 estimated prices in 10 minutes... I know it's somewhere around here...

    C'mon -- customers know more than salespeople these days by an order of magnitude -- there can be no logical argument that "knowledge" or the lack thereof is means of fear or intimidation.

    So, is "Fear" really still a motivator? Of what is there to be afraid? Are vendors and owners still holding-on to the assumption as a familiar convenience?

    What does it mean if customers are not afraid or intimidated?
     
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  3. Alex Snyder

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    Fear... probably less-so. Sensitive... OMG!

    How quickly does a customer lose trust once a salesperson says something contrary to what was researched?

    I do still think the same intimidation is felt during the initial steps of negotiation. However, I think the onus is on time. Having spent so much time just getting to the negotiation phase the consumer might be less enthusiastic about starting everything over if the negotiations start going poorly.
     
  4. john.quinn

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    Ahhh... you're making my point!

    TRUST is the new FEAR.

    I think a better discussion -- a better hurdle to overcome -- centers around the creation of TRUST. And you nailed it Alex -- the quickest way to erode/eviscerate trust: bad data/information. And lord knows it's everwhere...

    But I'll play along with your line of thinking... but ask you this: What exactly constitutes the initial steps on negotiation these days? haha... where is that starting line???
     
  5. Alex Snyder

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    Usually, we're on the same page using different words ;)

    I think the traditional initiation of negotiation still applies in my response. I'm referring to in the showroom. That still is the spot where most deals truly begin.
     
  6. john.quinn

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    Is it?

    (Sincere question... I've been gone for a few years. But if the answer is really "Yes," then my next question is, "Why???")
     
  7. Alex Snyder

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    Is it really that hard to believe MOST car dealerships (not DealerRefresh dealers) employ management that doesn't even know how to take a screenshot on their computer?* And MOST dealerships still use the DMS as their primary penciling tool. And MANY dealerships have such a hideous lead follow-up process that customers give up on getting a price from them beforehand. And, and, and...

    It is still ugly out there. Tools that can rectify things (if they exist) aren't well known, and/or are focused solely on the customer experience (AKA digital retailing), and/or are complicated as fuck.




    *On my last two car purchases sales managers were taking photos of their CDK screens and texting those to me.
     
  8. Alexander Lau

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    https://women-drivers.com by https://www.linkedin.com/in/annefleming (I know her well, I helped consult on some of that stuff).

    Women-Drivers.com is the leading car dealer rating and review site for women by women. We are a marketplace that empowers women + families to locate Certified Trusted Dealers. When visiting a Certified Trusted Dealer, expect to be treated with respect in a fair and trustworthy manner.

    The purpose of our company is to transform the way car dealerships interact with the decision-maker and to help foster an improved, consistent culture.
     
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  9. Mark Daniels

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    Question: Are dealers employees intimidated by customers :P

    Great question though, this is why it's so important to make it easy for customers. I'll say it again, Video is underutilized when it comes to bridging with customers!
     
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  10. Heather MacKinnon

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    Great question. I agree it's all about building trust. Wouldn't you say the large majority of consumers that walk through the door or inquire online with the dealer go into the experience already not trusting the dealership and the sales advisor they will potentially work with? That is a BIG GIANT hole to dig out of... If this is still a people business and regardless of the online tools, this is still a people business what are the ways in which a salesperson can truly establish trust? (and btw I don't believe online reviews cut it today...)
     

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