Top 3 Car Buying Influences Have Not Changed for 2015!

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
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take a test drive

Does Social Media really influence anyone to buy a car? If someone I know post up on Facebook, they just bought a Toyota Camry, does that make me want to go buy one too? Hardly… In fact, it makes me want to go buy a Cadillac.(Anything but what they just bought)

So while many new automotive marketing “experts” reinvent the industry using the Internet as their foundation, there are three top influences that have always determined actual sales and still do.

They are:

  1. The dealership visit
  2. The salesperson
  3. The test drive

That’s it. Even though some of today’s car buyers spend hours online researching automotive features, history, pricing, ratings, etc, it continues to come down to the relationship with the dealership, the salesperson, and how well the car drives.

Lets go through each one.

The Dealership visit: When was the last time you really took a step back and looked through the eyes of that new prospect parking at your dealership for the first time and getting out of his/her car? What happens? What is their actual experience? Just like in sports, there is the “play” drawn up on the chalk board, then there is the “real life experience” play we all see live and in color. The chalk board play always makes sense and works well. But as we all know, for the live action experience to work well, we must practice, practice, practice, to get it right.

Start with the parking. Don’t test it out Tuesday morning before you are open. Try to park at your dealership on Saturday afternoon. Is it easy? Are you forced to park right below 5 salespeople with sunglasses in a circle, smoking, telling jokes, and fighting over who is “up” next?  Are you greeted before you can even get out of your car? When you are greeted, is it in a professional way? (Anyone got you yet? Hello and welcome, how may we be of service today?)

What about the vehicles? Are they lined up straight? All start? All have gas? I know these are basic questions but it seems in today’s ever-changing landscape, basics get ignored more than we think.

The Salesperson. This one is key. As the old saying goes, “people buy, or don’t buy, primarily based on feelings.” Meaning, if they feel good about you, they will buy, if not, they won’t. Unfortunately, a few dealerships have throw in the towel, and offer a small salary with some incentives to a “glorified greeter.” They have given up on the professional, tenacious, persistent, “relationship building,” automotive salesperson. This is a mistake. Car dealers should be fighting for and recruiting the areas best of the best. Land them, and pay them good. Your dealership will earn much more money!  If you ever want to find out what dealership pays the best in your market, just ask around in places where salespeople like to meet!

The Test Drive: So many new “Internet experts” want the car buying process to be performed all online. They have gambled by leaving good careers behind and count on it. But unfortunately, it remains rather simple, time tested, and easy to understand. The test drive ultimately has a major influence on the customer buying the vehicle or not. All the on-line data, reviews, endorsements, awards, and references don’t mean diddly, if the “Test Drive” stinks and the vehicle just doesn’t handle, and perform up to and exceed expectations.

Bottom-line for 2015. Don’t push people to your website or the Internet, unless you continue to push them all the way to your dealership. This includes a plan for the moment they park at your dealership, to the relationship with your salesperson, to the awesome “test drive” that will ultimately see them all the way to busting bugs- GREAT SELLING!

  1. Reblogged this on Master Car Sales Group and commented:
    This is the Master Car sales way !! #mastercarsales

    • D.Sitnek says:

      Yes! Back to basics…again. Sell the sizzle not the steak. Most buyers only know about the electronic toys are available. Most buyers know nothing about cars. Too many salespeople don’t know enough about cars either….I have been in & around the car business for years including over a dozen years in F & I.

  2. Donna Mylott says:

    I don’t disagree with your article but…..

    The relationship between customer and the Professional Sales Consultant can start earlier with that question/inquiry online or more important with the ever coveted telephone call. While customers do spend hours, weeks, months or longer researching their next car buying decision they ultimately are not visiting 3 to 5 dealerships.

    All of the latest poles tell us that the customers are visiting just under 1.2 dealerships prior to purchasing. So when the phone rings that is your opportunity to start that relationship. If properly trained a Professional Sales Consultant can turn that phone calls into an appointment. When the customer pulls into your dealership he should feel like he is coming to see a trusted advisor that is going to assist them in making an intelligent informed car buying decision.

    A good walk around followed by a pre-planned test drive route is absolutely the icing on the cake!

    Thank you for an article that does remind all of us that back to the basics works!

    Donna Mylott

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