When shopping for a vehicle in today’s environment, customers know what they want. However, choosing the right car is only half of the purchasing process.
“Today, the customer is informed. They have done their research. By the time they walk through our doors, they know what they want,” says Jerrit Lindgren, Sales Manager at Braby Motors in Salmon Arm,
With online shopping guides and search tools, customers often turn to the web to point them in the right direction when choosing their vehicle.
“Sometimes, people will put inquiries out on 10 different sites. The one who answers first gets the sale,” Lindgren says. “When we don’t hear back, we know it’s because someone was faster in responding.”
But choosing who you do business with is about more than a click on the keyboard. When choosing your vehicle, it is also essential to carefully select your dealership. Search out a company that will work with you and one with whom you want to build a solid relationship. Vehicle ownership is not just about driving a new car off the lot. What happens after the sale is of paramount importance.
“Look for someone you can trust, who has integrity,” Lindgren says. “Make sure you check out their reputation. What are other customers saying about them? Do they have good reviews?”
A fun, upbeat, and happy environment is equally important, he adds. “If the sales and service staff are happy, it means they are genuine, approachable. It says a lot about the type of business it is. If the staff want to be there and are happy, then they will ensure the customer is happy too.”
Look for sales staff who take a quality-based over a volume-based approach to sales. It is much more vital for them to build a long-term relationship with you. For Braby Motors, almost half of their business comes from referrals or repeat business. When shopping for a dealer partnership, ask them their stats. If people are coming back or telling their friends, it is for a reason.
As a customer, choosing the right dealership to do business with means ensuring a partnership that will last beyond the day of sale. Check out the dealer website. Great ones will have profiles of their staff. You can get to know them before you spend time with them.
“Make sure you are choosing a dealership that will meet your expectations after the sale,” Lindgren says. “What is their service department like? Will they work with you in the manner you expect; will they meet your expectations?”
Roughly 90 per cent of the transaction happens after or during the sale process, he says. “Only 10 per cent is selling the vehicle.” Meaning, the finance team, service team, and administration all play a role in how happy customers are with their decision.
“Is the dealership willing to work with you on every transaction?” Lindgren says.