Has Anything Really Changed?

Talk to any vendor and they’ll tell you how important it is to change the way dealers do business. Talk to any dealer and they’ll tell you how much the business has changed over the last 20 years.

What kind of change is everyone talking about though? When I look at dealerships today and compare them to the stores of twenty years ago, I don’t see a whole lot of change, do you? In the past 20 years we’ve seen the following changes:

• The Internet changed the way people shop reducing the number of dealerships they need to visit speeding up their ability to make a purchase decision.

• Email gave people the ability to ask questions without having to talk.

• Mobile phones offer people the ability to shop on the go and text questions to you.

• People rate their experience with you on sites like DealerRater, Cars.com, Google Reviews and Yelp!

All of those changes make it easier for a person to decide whether or not they want to buy from you, but is the experience any different when they get there?

Aside from new titles like Internet manager and BDC we’ve made one major change, the addition of the CRM. That’s a positive change when used properly but many sales people and managers use it as a way to put their follow up, or lack thereof, on auto pilot.

Even if people spend hours doing research before coming in we still play 20 questions with them. Even if they’ve had 10 Jetta’s and VW hasn’t made a single change to it this year, we force them into a test drive. If someone asks for the best price so they can shop, do you give it to them? And if one of your team members does give them a price over the phone, do they get chewed out?

Of course we need to ask great questions to help people get the correct vehicle but and all available incentives but with all of the technology we have, it seems that very few stores have made the process easier for the person spending their hard earned money.

So today I want to encourage you to look at your processes from a different point of view, that of the person walking in your door, and see if you are willing to make the changes that would make a visit to your dealership the ultimate buying experience.

If you are willing to do that, you may just cure your lack of customer loyalty problems too.


Mat Koenig is an Automotive Industry Veteran, prolific speaker and the author of multiple

books on sales and personal growth. He is the CEO of KonigCo & Buscador de Auto

helping connect Dealers with Buyers in English and Spanish and Co-Founder of the Rockstar

Auto Conference. For more information on Mat Koenig visit www.matkoenig.com