You wouldn't believe the horror stories I hear from friends and family about car shopping. But guess what? They're not the only ones. As a lifelong retailer, I've seen firsthand the internal circus creating such a frustrating customer experience. Here's a dirty little secret: a lot of the blame falls on lazy managers who simply don't care. 

 

The Dropped Inquiry: A Buyer's First Sign of Trouble

Imagine you fill out an online inquiry, eager to learn more about a car. In this ideal world, a knowledgeable salesperson reaches out, ready to answer your questions. But more often than not, your inquiry falls into a black h***. Why? Because some sales managers just can't be bothered. They toss these leads to whoever is free, resulting in generic responses that dodge questions and push for an experience from 1975. It's a tactic straight out of the sales nightmare movies we’ve all seen, completely ignoring the fact that today's consumers research online and know a bad deal when they see one.

 

The Price is Wrong (But We Hope You Don't Notice)

Let's talk about that initial price you get quoted. There's a good chance it's inflated, a starting point for a lengthy negotiation that wastes everyone's time. This strategy relies on the outdated idea that customers are clueless. In reality, it's insulting. Thanks to the internet, we all know a fair price when we see it.

 

"Peeling You Off the Ceiling" Isn't a Thing Anymore

Remember that high-pressure sales tactic where they start with an outrageous price and slowly "come down" to something reasonable? Yeah, that died with disco. Yet, some dealerships cling to this strategy like a bad habit. Worse yet, they do it online and over the phone! Welcome back “Black Water…” It might have worked on your grandpa, but today's customer sees it for what it is: a transparent manipulation tactic.

 

Professionalism? Never Heard of Her

You'd expect salespeople at major dealerships to be professional, right? Wrong. Grammarly should be every salesperson's best friend, but some offers I've seen are riddled with errors. This carelessness reflects poorly on the entire dealership and destroys trust before the negotiation even begins. How can you feel confident buying a car from someone who can't be bothered to write a proper email?

 

Stuck in Slow Motion: The Deal That Never Gets Done

Remember the days when a salesperson could whip up a personalized offer in minutes? Apparently, those days are gone. Now, you might wait days for a simple quote, thanks to a system bogged down by outdated practices. Modern technology exists to streamline this process, but some dealerships just can't seem to embrace it.

The result? Frustrated customers who walk away, taking their business elsewhere.

 

A Former Salesperson's Plea: It's Time for Change

The car industry is stuck in the past. While customer expectations have evolved, the sales tactics haven't. People today are informed, busy, and expect transparency. Dealerships need to wake up and adapt.

A new model is emerging, and it's not just a shiny widget that everyone will soon lose interest in. It's a customer-centric sales approach built on efficiency, honesty, and respect. This is the only way to turn car buying from a dreaded chore into a positive experience. The industry has a choice: embrace change or get left behind. The future of car sales isn't on some dusty showroom floor; it's online, waiting for dealerships to catch up.

The unenlightened “manager” is a big part of the problem some stores experience. Another part is the has-been/never-was “guru” industry consultant… There’s proof of some of them being involved in financial crimes, fraud, and illegal narcotics, to name a few. Plus, some served time for their convictions of said crimes, and others dismissed the internet as “a passing fad…” The worst part is these people are still out there trying to ask dealers for money! More on them in an upcoming writing 😊

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