Competative price quotes

Dennis Galbraith
Aleksey, thank you for bringing this question to the community. Partial transparency is appearing more and more like no man's land is some markets. Stepping back from the level of transparency you are currently offering the shopper is an option. However, consider providing the customer with even greater transparency in your email responses. Let them know that the MSRP is the manufacturer's MSRP with no added costs meant to make the discount look bigger. Let them know that you have no documentation fees or a low documentation fee. Point out your unique value added services and what they mean to the shopper that he or she won't get elsewhere.. Transparency yields its greatest marketing advantage when it is complete. That doesn't just mean that you take your mask off. It means you bring suspicion to what competitors are hiding under their masks. This approach doesn't just use transparency to enhance the shopper's preference for the vehicle but to also enhance preference for your store. You've seen this done with other products, e.g. the fruit juice that only uses real fruit and no added high fructose corn syrup. You can't compete on the basis of greater purity without contrasting it with what the consumer is going to face otherwise. I tell you all this as a professional marketer who knows it works. As an industry leader I have some reservations about this strategy of transparency with contrast. It plays to the consumer's worst fears about our industry. It may be our industry has earned its reputation and more of this kind of promotion from dealers who are transparent is exactly what is needed to turn that around in the long run. One can hope, but it won't be pretty. Along the way there will be those who mess it up with false contrast disguised as transparency, the automotive equivalent of white salmon guaranteed not to turn pink in the can (http://www.snopes.com/business/market/pinkcan.asp). Make your own choice based on your store's ability to holistically live up to your claims and your view of where your market is on this path of evolution, but go one way or the other and avoid no man's land.
Shannon Hammons
Showing the discount can hurt. I would just show bottom line that way they can see you are actually cheaper and not cloud the water.
Stan Sher
I would call out the competition in a polite fashion without mentioning names or any use of slander. I have one email template that uses words like, "Don't get beat up by our competition" and it describes the benefits of doing business at this particular dealership versus all of the others in the area. I would also point out that "unlike other dealership that you maybe considering we do not place an addendum sticker to forcefully up sell you the products that you are not interested in". In fact, explain to the customer what an addendum is and how it is used and let them know that "at ABC motors our customers have a choice in the matter of getting accessories and are not forced to overpay". Be open and honest.
Aleksey Gubanov
Thank y'all very much for the input!

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