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Research Claims Car-buyers Want To Spend More Time With Salespeople

So it turns out that the commonly held belief that consumers can’t stand car salesmen, is a load of rubbish. Research has shown that your typical car buyer wants to spend more time with their salespeople, and it demonstrates that prolonged absences by those salespeople during the purchase process lead to poorer satisfaction with the overall car-buying experience.

A study, sponsored by Roadster, examined the in-store car buying experience from both the dealer and consumer side of the equation. Among the key findings was the fact that car salespeople leave their customer every 20 minutes during a typical car-buying transaction.

Roadster’s Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Denogean said.

“When they do leave satisfaction drops significantly – up to 30%,”

“And an important thing is what customers are doing when they are left alone. They’re texting back and forth to their spouses, looking at third-party sites, and maybe talking themselves out of the deal.”

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

Contrary to the notion that car salespeople can sometimes alienate their customers, the study found that salespeople often develop a genuine level of trust with their customers. With some customers reporting they added their salesperson on social media platforms such as Facebook.

Absences are often prompted by the conventional car sales process. Typically, salespeople must leave their customers to get answers to questions they are unauthorised to answer on their own – things like the value of the customer’s trade-in or the finance/lease terms. Whatever the reasons, the absences, often unexplained, create confusion and distrust around the entire car-buying process. In fact, over 25% of consumers surveyed stated they had no idea what the salesperson was doing in the time they were away.

Tech Solutions

Technology can help provide salespeople with the answers they need to maintain contact to assure that valuable level of trust they establish with their customers. Roadster began with the idea of helping consumers purchase cars online, but in doing so the company discovered that its technology solutions could also give dealer personnel the information and guidelines they need to sell more effectively and efficiently.

Roadster CEO Andy Moss said:

“One of the benefits of the technology is giving the dealer the ability to empower their salespeople”

“There are four or five people touching each deal, and the salesperson has limited authority. A lot of what we’re doing is focusing on a trend towards one-person selling.”

The trend doesn’t simply have consumer benefits; it also has significant benefits to the dealer.

“If it takes six hours to buy a car, then it takes six hours to sell a car, and that is incredibly expensive when margins are compressed and you have four or five people touching a deal,” Moss told us. “We see a huge level of interest to change the way cars are sold.”

Groundhog Day

One big change technology can bring is the elimination of redundancies and wasted time involved in basic information-gathering. The study noted almost a quarter of consumers said they were asked to provide personal information they had already completed online. Of these, 41% said they were asked to re-submit basic contact information; 43% were asked to re-fill out their credit applications; 33% were asked to re-state their desired payment terms, and 25% were asked to re-state their vehicle of choice.

“When the customer has done a lot of work from home and then they have to start over like ‘Groundhog Day’ when they get to the dealership, it is just incredibly frustrating,” Moss said. “Our efforts are around making that transition seamless.”

It seems that as automotive retailing adds more technology and transparency to the car-buying/selling process, the desires of customer and dealer are revealed to be very similar. Both want to take the friction out of the process and speed it up. To the customer, a faster, more transparent process is at the head of the list of desired results.

For information about how Click Dealer can help independent dealerships to increase efficiency and profitability, get in touch today via 01782 478220, marketing@clickdealer.co.uk or through our contact page.


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