Traditionally, car dealerships have always been places for wheeling and dealing, bargaining and haggling. The customer-dealer relationship has always been one of distrust and suspicion. The dealer almost always had all the power in the relationship because, though the customer had the money, there just weren’t that many dealerships.
Back in the day, when there was only one Pontiac dealer in town, customers couldn’t go just anywhere to get their new Trans Ams. Now, though, if you step outside your car dealership, you probably won’t be able to throw a rock without hitting another dealership. You’re probably not that far from another dealership that sells the same cars that you do either. How do you get ahead? Change the game for the better.
Instead of artificially marking your cars’ prices up so that your customers feel like they’ve accomplished something when they haggle with you, just mark the prices at market value. Your customers have access to the Internet in their pockets. They can look up market value on any of your vehicles with just a few swipes of the thumb. If you try to play games with them, they’ll know that you can’t be trusted.
Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. If you can’t come down on the price, don’t try to dance around and let your customer believe that you can. They won’t appreciate the results. If you’re upfront about what you can and can’t do, you’ll be a lot more likely to make a sale.
Stay in Touch
Your customers will very likely want to compare and contrast cars in their price range. Don’t take it the wrong way if they want to go take a test drive at another dealership. Refrain from bad mouthing the competition, but reinforce the service and other benefits they’ll get from buying a car from you.
After they’ve left your dealership, wait a day or two and then call them back to check in on their progress. If they’ve bought a car from someone else, tell them that you’re happy for them and remind them that your service shop has great deals on oil changes and other maintenance. If not, encourage them to come back in and take another test drive to better compare vehicles.
These open, honest tactics are really the best way to do business. They’ll not only help you to sell cars, but they’ll get your customers boasting about how great you are to their friends and family, bringing in more customers.