David Bertoncini of Autoway Toyota, said something to me that I wanted to verify. He told me that “60% of Toyota buyers will only buy Toyota’s no matter what.” Well David, you were close. Toyota says that number is actually 63%. Those buyers only shop between different Toyota stores and don’t consider any other brands. J.D. Power and Associates claim that the primary reasons a customer buys a car from a particular dealer are: Location, price, treatment and selection.
Why will those same customers return to the store? Treatment, price, selection and location.
Now why are those same customers not purchasing at your store? Treatment is the biggest reason and that can be summed up with two words – pricing games. Customers want to get the information they asked for in a timely matter. If a customer wants to see a payment and an interest rate, make sure they get it. If they want to know how much money for their trade, show them. It is this lack of attention to the customer’s needs that is driving them to purchase that same car from another dealer. Another issue with customers is sales pressure, there is that fine line of trying to close the deal and pushing too much. I know, I personally have blown my share of deals trying too hard. Of course, another reason that all of us in the car business have heard a hundreds times – dishonesty. Customers don’t want to deal with dishonest salespeople and managers. Customers will try you on too, they will come in and ask a question they already know the answer, to see if you are going to be honest or if you don’t know the answer will you get the information for them or meet their expectations of a dishonest car salesperson by making up the answer. Customers also hate that the buying process takes too long. At most stores it takes over three hours to complete a sale from meeting the salesperson to driving off the lot. In my opinion that isn’t too long of a purchase on something this important. Customers don’t seem to share my opinion and if a dealer can make the process happen in two hours or under the customer satisfaction on the survey is very high. The part of the process that customers say takes the longest is negotiating price. I would never let my salespeople go back and forth during the negotiations more than three times, even that can be too much. I believe that this is why customers will and have begun using the Internet more to purchase their cars. Infiniti and their dealer body is a manufacturer that is leading the way selling cars through the Internet. The car business is changing are you keeping up with the times?
Despite all of the negatives, despite that the process takes too long, 44% of the customers that purchase a car from your store will come back another time to try to buy another one. Are you going to be there to give them what they want?