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True Stories: “I didn’t want to be pressured.”

Woman putting head down
Article Highlights:

  • Are pressure tactics costing you lost sales? They did for this dealership.
  • "I wasn't comfortable with the deal and wouldn't do it."

Old-school pressure tactics may have worked years ago, but not anymore. Car shoppers walk into your dealership with a lot of information and want a transparent, hassle-free buying experience.

I sat down with Marci, a no-hassle buyer, to discuss her recent car-buying experience. I found out she does a lot of research on vehicles, financing, and insurance and doesn’t like being pressured into anything she isn’t prepared for!

Read about her buying experience below:

So, you purchased a vehicle recently, what did you get?

I purchased a 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid.

Did you know when you started shopping that’s the vehicle you wanted?

I actually didn’t know what I wanted. I had a 1998 Saturn that was starting to have issues with the stick shift, and I was considering moving across the country so I knew I needed to get something; I just wasn’t sure exactly what.

I started out with a list of about five to six different vehicles I was considering but hadn’t driven any. They were mostly CUV’s and larger sedans, but when I found the Civic Hybrid it ended up being a good deal and a good fit for me so I couldn’t pass it up.

How did you come up with those five to six vehicles on your list?

It was Facebook mostly. I posted a status saying I was looking for a car and asked for suggestions and what cars I should stay away from. I also did some research online and talked to different family members and friends.

What kind of online research did you do?

I wasn’t sure what I was looking for so I started researching different “best for” and “top 10” lists. After I found some vehicles from those sites and Facebook, I went to KBB to compare prices for all of them.

I also checked out a couple of insurance sites to get quotes for the vehicles on my list. I wanted to be prepared with information when I went into the dealership.

How many different dealerships did you go to?

I went to about five different dealerships just to look around, but only test drove cars at two of them. The first dealership I went to is very well known in the community so I figured I’d check them out, but it ended up being a really bad experience.

After that, I walked the lot at two or three other dealerships in the same strip, but didn’t test drive anything or talk to anyone.

The second dealership I test drove cars at is the one I ended up purchasing from. They let me test drive a lot of different vehicles from my list and I ended up purchasing the Civic Hybrid.

Tell me about your bad experience at the first dealership; what happened?

It was fine at first, the salesperson let me take some cars for test drives, and we talked about my price range. Then he started pushing me into something I didn’t want. I took it for a test drive but wasn’t thrilled with it.

I told him I’d talk numbers to get an idea of what I’d be paying and he started pressuring me right away. Saying things like, “If you want this car, you have to buy tonight” and “What can I do to get you in this car today?”

He kept going off and talking to someone and coming back with things I didn’t want. By the end I told him I wasn’t comfortable with the deal and wouldn’t do it.

Buying a car is a big purchase, and I didn’t want to be pressured into anything.

What was your experience like at the dealership you purchased from?

It was much better! The salesperson was actually really good at looking at my list of cars and helping me narrow down my choices.

He let me drive all of the cars I wanted to, even staying late to finish up. He was very helpful, open, and wanted me to find the car that was best for me.

How was the buying process after you selected your vehicle?

It was a very good experience; they were easy to work with and very open during the whole process. I didn’t have any issues going through the finance department either. Everything was printed by the time I got there, and they explained everything as we went through it.

It was a completely different experience than the previous dealership.

Do you think you would buy another vehicle from them?

I’d probably at least start there. They had a great selection of vehicles and were very helpful in finding the one that really fit my needs. It would be a good place to start.

Conclusion

So, which dealership are you? The old-school dealership still using pressure tactics, or the buyer-friendly, helpful, open one? As soon as your consumer starts to feel the pressure, she’ll whip out her phone and start researching the dealership around the corner.

Your customers are changing. So should your sales techniques.

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Director, Brand Marketing, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ashley is Director of Marketing Communications for Reynolds and Reynolds. In her 10 years with Reynolds, she has managed the marketing strategy for several key Reynolds solutions and branding initiatives. Today, she leads the U.S. and Canadian marketing teams to drive brand awareness, product penetration, and content strategy for Reynolds and other key brands within the Reynolds Retail Management System.

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