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Leaving Customers Unattended In Showroom

Brian Michael West

Full Sticker
Jun 1, 2018
First Name
So I was listening to the radio this morning (I know, very old school of me) and they were discussing that the modern car-shopper (when left unattended) in a showroom after a deal has begun, it gives them time to pull out their phones, have discussions with friends, family, or even make a post on Facebook asking opinions on the deal. It also gives them time to look at competitor websites for pricing, incentives NOT on the table, etc.

So basically, they were saying that the modern in-showroom shopper should nearly NEVER be left unattended after a deal has begun or it will pretty much be an open window for the deal to collapse due to outside opinions.

What are you thoughts? Should salespeople change it up completely and skip the 3 or 4 runs to the sales manager? Should the salesperson stay with the customer and have conversation


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One of the good guys
Apr 20, 2009
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I've had the opportunity to share the podium with some incredible people in this industry while presenting at various conferences and events over the years. Your question reminded me of one of my favorite sessions, DrivingSales way back in 2013 with @jeffkershner. Jeff and I were talking about this a few weeks ago. We had the perfect wacky opener for the session to engage the dealer attendees and set the tone for a light, conversational presentation... and it completely backfired! It backfired so much that we had negative reviews from a few attendees that didn't get the joke. ;)

We also had the best slide to make a deck at DrivingSales that year too.


Way back in 2013 we were talking about "showrooming." I can only imagine that the practice is universal now. This slide from the same deck offered 2013's advice to defend against showrooming. The concepts today are likely the same, but the toolset has surely improved.


Welcome to Refresh @Brian. I'm interested to see what advice you get from the community and if the strategy has changed over the years.
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Jeff Glackin

Lot Lizard
Feb 14, 2014
First Name
Good post Brian. Often the trips are just tactics but other times the salespeople are not empowered to have those discussions so the trips to the desk are a necessary part of that dealerships process. Either way it's not a great way to handle a customer. Sales isnt about tricks, closes, and b.s tactics. It's about listening and providing the customer with the information they need to make a decision.
May 4, 2012
First Name
Brian-Interesting observations. Desking software has replaced the old red and green sharpies. Its now used at many stores as just a buyers order and a pick your scenario, but many times has outlived its usefulness and desking software has sped up and limited the trips. Should you leave a customer alone...its what is necessary. There are times that it just happens. Used skillfully, pauses give the customer time to think through their decision criteria and strategy to buy a car. Its not usually a gimmick to close, although I've seen it used as such. Do customers have better access? Yes, but I think buyers are much more prepared than they used to be and are smarter than the old 'throw they trade keys on the roof' tricks today. Let them have some space and access to data. In the end, I think most buyers appreciate some space to make an informed decision.
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One of the good guys
Apr 20, 2009
First Name
In the end, I think most buyers appreciate some space to make an informed decision.

Great first post @OBRBOB! Welcome to the Foru...wait a minute...

Man, you speak with authority about "needing some time" sometimes. Looks like you joined the forum almost 7 years ago and waited until today to make your first post! ;)

(Ribbing you a little bit, but I think this is awesome. Jeff and Alex always say that there are a ton of lurkers and readers on Refresh that don't post. Hopefully you are an encouragement to someone else to jump in and post. This thread is better because of your input. )
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Green Pea
Feb 14, 2019
First Name
I think coming from from all sides of the table (I've been the customer, I've been the salesman, and now I am a vendor) @ryan.leslie absolutely hit it out the park with his answer.

We get bored, rather it be in a dealership, at a restaurant, shopping with our wives wherever..... WE NEED SOMETHING TO DO CONSTANTLY, and guess what we pull out?

Now, let me ask--- how many of you guys brought a newspaper to work with you today?? The answer (probably none of you) but you did bring a phone with you.. guarantee you that! So ***SHAMELESS PLUG ON SEND THEM A PACKET*** to review on their phone. If you don't use us, give them a brochure, give them an evidence manual (if you don't know what this is, Google it), give them SOMETHING to occupy their time and keep their focus on your product.


Jan 15, 2010
First Name
I spent an evening in Burlington, VT this week, before flying out in the morning. I had the pleasure of having a beer with the illustrious @Alex Snyder. From what I heard FRIKINtech can keep them occupied with their own deal, their own numbers, their own car -- Not looking at competing info.
View attachment 4063

I'm a two-timing SOB again. Unlike last time I don't have to worry about my DealerRefresh behavior like I did when working for a publicly traded company. This time, I'm the boss!

FRIKINtech is the name of my company and it is was founded with some friends. Over time those friends will be announced, but today it is about two things: 1) me 2) you.

First off, my role at DealerRefresh is not changing. My attitude, bad jokes, prodding, and all the other assholish things I do will continue.
Sorry :itsok:

I've already had conversations with a few of the DealerRefresh participants who could see what FRIKINtech is doing as competition, and we all agree a rising tide raises all ships.

Secondly, you are the focus of FRIKINtech. You, the car dealer. FRIKINtech is short for FRIKTIONLESS technologies and we believe in removing friction between dealers and customers so much that we named the company after the mission. And in true DealerRefresh fashion, we are knocking the status quo to provide real value and innovation. Gotta eat our own dog food!

Now you know. If you want to know more hit www.frikintech.com up.
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Marc Lavoie

3rd Base Coach
Jan 3, 2019
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I love this thread. We were, a couple of years ago, challenged by a dealership to see if we could pull numbers from people in their showroom actually browsing other deals in other

Of course, there's no way to do this unless perhaps providing a device for consumers to cross-shop (which wouldn't work anyway), but the question is legit!

I can tell you one thing though, pulling sales from Dealer A live & integrating with their CRM shows people are actually going on the dealership's website they're in and make a lead (!) while waiting in the showroom. I've seen it happen during many private sales. One could argue they are doing the same on other websites at the same time for validation. But I have no stats to support my hypothesis here.
Oct 30, 2018
First Name
I just published a blog on DealerRefresh about this very topi! We conducted both a consumer survey of over 1,500 recent car buyers, as well as observed how often salespeople are leaving the customers side across eight different dealerships. There is definitely a correlation between satisfaction and the number of times the salesperson leaves their side. Check it out: https://www.dealerrefresh.com/please-dont-leave-upside-sales-empowerment/