TRANSPARENCY. Love it or hate it, it is relevant and plays a big part in your dealership’s strategy.
Let’s see if we can look at things from a customer’s perspective for a moment.
- Google the product you’re looking for. (pick anything: a tv, shoes, a lamp)
- Read through the results on pages 1-5 to narrow your search. (Yeah, right!) More like, Read through the first 3, maybe 4 results.
- Visit a couple of the sites to gather information including pricing and availability.
- Visit 3rd party review sites.
- ASSUME THAT NO PRICE = HIGHEST PRICE AND MOVE ON TO NEXT DEALERSHIP.
So is #5 happening? You better believe it is! If you aren’t pricing your inventory and pricing it “On the Money” you are out of the Internet game. Remember, we’re looking at things from a customer’s perspective. So here’s the rub, some dealers dig their heels in the sand and say, “Listing prices online just costs me gross and those mooches who insist on knowing the price before they come in can go see the guys down the street.”
The work I do with dealers affords me the opportunity to review many Internet mystery shops of dealerships all over North America. It blows me away how many times we ask for a price and get an answer like:
- We’ll make you a great deal. When can you come in?
- We’ve never lost a deal over price. Come on down.
- What monthly payment were you hoping to get?
- Do you have a trade?
Let me address #4 specifically. Now remember, customer perspective. “Hey honey, did you know the price we can get on the new Tahoe we want is affected by whether or not we have a trade-in?” “Hmm, I’ll never understand the car business so I guess we better go down to the dealership that won’t give us the price online because I’m sure they will be much lower than these other 2 dealerships that have been so nice and answered our questions so thoroughly.”
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Author: Josh Vajda
Josh Vajda is Director of Inside Sales for AutoUSA. Previously he held senior management positions with AutoNation, where he led the auto retailer’s efforts in training and development, customer satisfaction and sales operations. Josh holds a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University, and is passionate about community involvement. He is a member of Leadership Broward and has held board and advisory positions with the Make-a-Wish Foundation.