Many customers would rather have a root canal than go to a dealership to buy a car or truck. Dealerships used to sell cars on a whim, without much knowledge of what that car will bring in profit. All they knew is that they wanted to make as much money on that car or truck as they possibly could. Sure, they had book values and bank guidelines, but they still wanted all that they could get.
Well, times have changed for most dealerships. No longer do they have the high margins in the new and used markets. The digital age has changed the game. The business is now a digital business. They drive customers to their websites where most of the leads come from.
There are so many tools that customers have at their fingertips, like True car, Kelly Blue Book, NADA, Intellichoice, Edmonds, Costco, Consumer Reports and the list goes on and on. Today, if you don’t have your cars and trucks priced right, you won’t get traffic to your store. Customers are more educated about the product. When they put a lead into the store or physically walk in, most of the time, they already know what they want. They have already shopped on the internet and know you have the most to offer.
So, the smart businesses mark their inventory down, take a smaller profit and turn their inventory more often. In the end, they make less per car or truck, but sell more volume and make more money in the end. This is called velocity selling.
In the car business, more than ever, dealerships are held to high standards of customer satisfaction, not only by the consumer, but also by the manufacturers. New franchises are not awarded to dealers with low customer satisfaction.
Then, you bring in the social media aspect, and you really have to be on your toes. Let’s face it, when did you last look at a review and choose to eat at a restaurant that had a one star review average? You just don’t gamble that way. The dealerships that make the process easy and enjoyable have the highest ratings and therefore get the business. So, if you want to make it easy, shop the places that have good reviews and good reputations.
Remember that you don’t have to purchase; you can always walk out. If you don’t use a computer to do your research, you can always fall back on good old word of mouth.
If there is a topic you would like me to address in the next article, please send me an email or just give me a call: email@example.com, 928-771-6900. I have been in the auto business for more than 40 years and survived many recessions. I love to make car buying easy, enjoyable, honest and transparent. QCBN
By Dave “Mac” Macfarlane
Dave “Mac” Macfarlane is the general manager at Findlay Subaru Prescott, 3230 Willow Creek Road Prescott, Arizona, 86305. He can be reached at 928-771-6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.findlaysubaruprescott.com.