"The Kinder, Gentler Car Dealer Of Today" What's Your Opinion? Do You Agree with this Article?

Mike Elliott
For decades, car dealers have been viewed through a negative lens in the eyes of retail customers. They are often viewed as deceptive and always on the hunt for people to rip off. The combination of the Internet and a trend towards transparency has brought the modern car dealership into a realm of good business practices. It’s not as profitable as it once was, but being a car dealer today is more honorable than ever before. From clear pricing through sites like TrueCar to straight-forward automotive advertising, the most successful dealerships today have embraced the digital age and become beacons of integrity within their communities (Excerpted from an Article Posted on BuzzFeed) What's Your Opinion? What's Your Experience Been in the Industry? In What Direction is the Industry Evolving?
Kemick Larson
Welcome and 1. BuzzFeed I wouldn't say is a viable source for pulling information. Don't get me wrong, I love the app/site and it s a great for entertainment. It is an illusion that you can't be a profitable dealership these days. I can't find it right this second, but there was a study that shows that only 10% of the people out there have price as their number 1 concern when purchasing a vehicle. Price was overwhelmingly shadowed by service and inventory, but Price was generally in the top 4 with facilities being in the mix as well. Is price important? Yes! Are we more transparent? Yes, I suppose to a certain degree! With that in mind, this is where the service comes in. People buy from people they like! People who are financing/leasing a car will bump a LOT more to buy from someone they like rather than someone who they think is trying to pull the wool over their eyes! TrueCar does not have to be honored legally... So a lot of dealerships are adjusting their pricing on it to be MUCH less than what anyone would really sell the car for... Edmunds Price Promise is just like Costco where the price is "Pre-Negotiated," but people don't know what a real invoice looks like. My opinion is that these 3rd party websites are just like the Sunday adds that come out in the paper... people will see a "price" from another dealership and show up at yours and ask you if you will match it... If you are new to this here is my (probably more like 85 cents now): USE THE STEPS TO THE SALE AND YOU WILL SELL CARS!! Don't short cut it by taking the true car piece of paper up to your manager and asking if they are willing to match it... Invest in the steps even for a seemingly low-baller and it will pay you. Okay now onto the idea that the people in this industry were all dishonest "back in the day"... You work with a lot of them! The stigma is just like with Cops... It only takes a few bad eggs for the public to deem the whole bunch as bad... There are still sketchy sales people, and most of the time at a larger dealership there is always one or two which is why the dealership has a bad YELP page haha. Just like the Airplane shrunk the world with commercial aviation right before WWII, the internet has shrunk our industry. That's all it is doing... People are virtually standing on your lot right now, I can guarantee it. People will say the industry is evolving into an internet only type industry, but people will always want to walk in and "try on shoes" ... Retention and learning how to speed up someone's buying cycle is going to be the next major evolution of the dealership... If you can get someone who is in an equity position that hasn't been searching for a car yet to gain interest in something on your lot, you will be able to hold quite a bit more gross on them rather than the people that walk through the front door that have already spent an average of 16 hours online! Those are my thoughts anyways, and the people who read this and say that people don't bump for a sales person they like, are probably those sales people that aren't liked very much by their customers and have to resort to price to make car deals.
Kemick Larson
just read your profile... probably should have started there, but the advise aside (and you having some sales background) should be able to see what I am saying.
mark rask
I think that the customer experience is what sets us apart from others.

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