Why Should Shoppers Choose Your Dealership?

I read a recent Wards Auto column, “Sell the Dealership and the Vehicle,” which suggested salespeople treat each customer interaction like a job interview. The gist of the column is this: at a time when there are nearly 20,000 franchised dealerships in the United States and Canada, salespeople need to be mindful of the question, “Why would a customer pick my dealership?”

Great question. How well you answer it could make or break your dealership. As we note in The Cars.com Guide to The 4Ps of Automotive MarketingTM, 97 percent of car buyers would like to select a salesperson before they visit a dealer. That’s exactly why Cars.com added profiles of salespeople to the Cars.com VDP with our Salesperson Connect feature.

About half of car buyers write reviews based on their experiences with salespeople. What kind of review will they write about yours?

Simply put, people matter more than ever in the car-buying journey. The process of purchasing an automobile begins with a person looking for a vehicle and ends with that shopper connecting with a salesperson. People also make the difference after the purchase, including:

  • The finance executive who manages the terms of the purchase.
  • The service representative who handles follow-up maintenance.
  • The salesperson who nurtures the customer relationship, leading up to follow-up purchase down the road.

Salespeople go well beyond describing a car’s features. They help shoppers make one of the most complicated decisions of their lives, one that involves all The 4Ps of Automotive Marketing. At the center of the purchase is a salesperson who acts as a lifestyle consultant, guiding the shopper along the decision-making process, making sense of the increasingly complicated nature of the vehicle itself.

In The Cars.com Guide to The 4Ps of Automotive Marketing, we advise dealers to train salespeople to be forward-thinking consultants. Showcase them to consumers so they can connect before a lot visit. Equip them to speak knowledgeably about emerging trends and technologies. Make them aware of tools that influence the shopper’s decision, including the availability of the Cars.com badging feature.

Salespeople who help shoppers make decisions will ultimately be more valuable. Salespeople who consult, not just sell, will bring shoppers to your lot. Why should a shopper choose your dealership? Read The Cars.com Guide to The 4Ps of Automotive Marketing for an answer.