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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Wendi Venable-Nelson

Wendi Venable-Nelson VP Sales

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Oops! There it is!

I am in dealerships all day everyday and some of the things I see still amaze me.

Sitting in a store last week- I watched a scene unfold which unfortunately I have seen before and it never gets any easier to stomach.

A customer was looking at a vehicle with his wife, obviously interested, the sales person went back to "ask the manager a question". BAM! TThe sales person hadn't taken two steps away from the couple and out came their cell phones.

Yep, showrooming.... I call it, "looking for the lie". And what da ya know- in seconds OOPS -THERE IT WAS! The LIE.

The price on the Internet was NOT what the sales person was quoting off his shabby worn out price sheet he pulled from his pocket. The sales person was not aware that the price was discounted 4 days earlier on this vehicle. The couple started comparing phones and kivetching about how they were going to handle the sales person when he came back. Thinking I was just another customer the couple spoke freely to each other and I was able to hear every word.

After a few minutes the sales person rounded the corner all excited but was totally unaware that the couple had found a $1,000 price discrepency on the dealerships very own website. What took place next was painful to watch but the store had earned this "opportunity" to try and overcome a new credibility issue.

Totally avoidable.

The couple shared what they had found showing their phone to the sales person.

"Wells....ums....and buts" were flying out of the sales persons mouth as the sales person tried desperately to fix what had taken over 30 minutes to build but less than 60 seconds to destroy- credibility.

The couple stood there, now arms folded, listening as they waited for the righ moment to announce:

"Ya know, we are going to go grab a bite to eat and we will be back, do you have a card?"

We all know how those go.

Here is the lesson to be learned:

Transparency.... everyone needs to be on the same page. Internet pricing needs to be carried out onto the floor/lot, changes need to be immediately communucated to the sales people. Right hand needs to know what the left hand is doing- along with competitive pricing, a dealership needs to be consistent with their messaging and communication to their employees and their customers. Most importantly there needs to be a commitment to pricing- no gross games. Period.

The couple liked the guy and the car until the LIE popped up. After the lie there was virtually no way to recover.

And for those still hanging onto the dinasour mentality that "posting price effects my gross".......(I hear this all the time) think again, that be back, the one in this incident- never came back.....he bought two days later at the competitors.

No gross affected here!

So true! I've even seen situations where the special pricing listed on the multiple websites some dealers have don't match each other, and the newspaper list a third price for the same stock number (talk about customer confusion and eroding trust). In the situation above it would have been great if the salesperson knew of the Internet special and leveraged it - it would have helped strengthen the trust and had a much better chance of being a sale instead of a never-to-be-seen-again be-back.
Ron Henson
Very well said. I've seen this happen time and time again for years and it is easily avoidable but does take effort.

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