Improving how we buy cars

buying a car Pictures, Images and Photos
The automotive industry is one of the most cut throat areas of business there is. It is dominated by large auto manufacturers with massive marketing budgets aimed at stealing market share from one another. However, there seems to one area that even these giants of industry have been overlooking. That is the actual sales experience. This also happens to be the only area that they do not have complete control over, since in most cases they do not run the dealerships directly. Still, if one these auto makers were to completely change the way people buy cars, they could see a serious gain in market share.

Buying a car is something that most people hate with a passion. They usually point to the nasty sales tricks and dishonesty of the sales people. I am very familiar with the industry and car buying experience and I have to say that these criticisms are well earned. However, if a car maker were to transform the dealerships that sell their vehicles, the impact could be very positive for them.

I would start with complete re-training for everyone at the dealership, including the owners, managers and sales staff. More than likely, some (maybe more than some) firing of current managers and sales people would be needed and instead hiring a different type of individual. The training would need to put integrity, honesty and consultative sales at the forefront. Changing up the compensation structure to enforce these values may be in order as well. I would also look to university grads, preferably with a business degree as integrity is usually taught there.  Serious penalties would need to be placed on sales people making false claims or reverting back to the “old” ways of selling cars.

Most people are scared to negotiate. Therefore, the prices, including dealer costs and everything should be clear and transparent. This may turn off those that like to negotiate, so a loyalty program can be implemented and perhaps even a referral program as well.

The marketing should highlight this revolutionary new sales experience because customers want something like this more than anything. The results could be increases in sales and even increases in the average selling price. One of these major auto makers should take this risk and change the way people buy cars. There is enough research out there that shows that people want this. The first company to do it right will benefit greatly from it.