What I’ve learned as a vendor, About Customers (dealers’ customers – part 3)

Nicole Marcellino

Buyers are liars – it’s a saying we’ve all heard and used on the dealer level. We’ve also had conversations asking if we’ve turned the customers into liars. So, it poses the question – based on the games some dealers have played these last two years – are we turning the customers against the dealers, again? And can we really afford to treat customers this way? 

Well, I’m here to tell you what I’ve learned as a vendor about customers (dealers’ customers that is), and for those that have played games this year, it’s going to get ugly. 

  • Most customers don’t care about the dealer they purchase from – if you don’t believe it, check out the dealer’s engagement on social media. What they do care about is getting stiffed with prices over MSRP. There are plenty of posts on social media about that. 
  • Price, price, price – it’s all that matters. If this weren’t the case, “if I could, would you” wouldn’t work and we’d never flip people to aged unites for a “better deal.”
  • There is zero loyalty in retail sales, unfortunately. 
  • Reality, customers think lying is a negotiation tactic. I am for MSRP and set trade values. Unfortunately, the best we’ll ever see is MSRP when the stars and moons are aligned. 
  • Reality, the majority of customers want to be “prepared” and well researched but don’t know how to do it.
  • Reality, customers have no respect for a salesperson’s time unless they’re in sales themselves.
  • Reality, 50% of decisions are emotionally fueled – don’t let your process remove that emotion.

Bottom line: if you’ve played games the last two years it will come back to haunt you. If you’re not prepared to adequately manage your customer relationships – whether that’s answering and managing leads or having a trained staff, that too will hurt your dealership. It’s time to make sure your Sales Consultants and BDC reps are trained. When’s the last time you spot checked the CRM to make sure leads were followed-up on? I keep saying it and I’ll say it again, don’t mistake a market anomaly for skill!  

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