Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
1 July 2019
Why we hate going to an auto dealership
See if this sounds familiar to you. Last week, I arrive at an auto dealership to pick up my wife who was dropping off her car for repair. I park near the service area and hop out of my car. I then see a handful of salespeople standing outside smoking and eyeing me hungrily.
You know what happens next. They descend on me like the devil-dogs in Stranger Things, barely taking no for an answer. Even when walking back to my car with my wife they still ask if we’re interested in a new car.
Goddamn, man. Bug off.
If there’s an industry that desperately needs a world of change, it’s the auto dealership. The process is antiquated. A sales rep, desperate for a sales commission, pounces on you immediately. And all you wanna do is get the hell out.
Then there’s the laborious process of buying the car itself. The last car I bought took FOUR HOURS to get done, making me swear never to visit an auto dealership again.
“The traditional auto dealership faces a key moment in which it must change or go the way of the pay phone. Because right now, I just want dealerships to leave me the hell alone.”
The traditional auto dealership going away
It’s no wonder then that a recent study from Marchex, an analytics firm, found the more successful salesperson employs active listening, rather than being the aggressor. That’s because customers call on dealerships much later in the buying process than ever before. That is, they don’t need to kick the tires or stroll around the lot. They have already collected enough information to know what they want.
That also means today’s auto dealership must change to prevent those clusters of smoking reps ogling at you like you’re a slice of bacon. It’s the customer who’s now in charge.
That’s also why the emergence of the so-called online dealerships will eventually make the traditional auto dealership obsolete. Online outlets like Carvana allow you to search cars, find all the information on a car you need, and even finance online. All you need to do is pick it up in a handful of select cites (or have it delivered) where you either complete the purchase or move on.
Easy peasy, right? The process isn’t perfect yet but it will be. The reason Carmax does so well is because it’s at least taken the haggling out of the equation.
The traditional auto dealership faces a key moment in which it must change or go the way of the pay phone. Because right now, I just want dealerships to leave me the hell alone.
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