What do consumers really want in a car buying experience?

Most of you (the one’s that sell cars for a living) may have to make a concentrated effort to look past the way you like to sell cars in order to answer honestly. With any luck, everyone that comments will do so from the perspective of a consumer.

Is there anything in the traditional or expected car shopping/buying experience that consumers really like? I’ve had dealers, General Mangers and salesmen tell me over and over for years that “buying a car is an emotional experience.” Those words are always spoken with an “I’m so smart and I really understand people” kind of tone. Do I disagree? Yes and no. Buying a car obviously involves some emotion, but the truth is that it’s primarily negative emotion. Car dealers and the typical way they run their businesses create tension, worry, frustration, anger, fear and depression often before the customer has even considered them.

Not that any of you read the newspaper, watch the boob-tube, listen to the radio or use the internet, but if you did then you’d know that car dealerships advertise in these places. Have you ever seen a TV commercial advertising a vehicle at what seems to be an impossible price? Have you ever seen a newspaper ad doing the same? Can you say loss-leaders? Can you say trickery, manipulation, coercion? So, what’s my point? When dealers market and advertise themselves in these ways they’re already stirring emotion in consumers. Guess what kind of emotion? Maybe this video will help paint the picture.

So…what do consumers want in a car buying experience? I have my opinions, but I want yours. You took the time to read this, so think like a consumer (if you can) and let the community know your thoughts.

With encouragement and hope.

Shaun is the CEO and Consultant for Dealer Advisor

Shaun Raines

I am a true internet car guy and the Vice President of Marketing at DealerOn.
My automotive career started in a parts warehouse after I fell in love with a girl (long story... ask me about it sometime). The internet part of my automotive career began in 1998 with the Reynolds and Reynolds team that launched Microsoft’s CarPoint.com, CarsDirect Connect, Yahoo Autos, Automark Websites and Reynolds Web Solutions. Some people say my Marketing prowess coupled with expertise in Social Media allow me to effectively market DealerOn’s capabilities, extend its reach and build the right reputation. I probably wouldn't disagree with those people. On purpose, I try to blend my sense of humor and automotive experience in effort to make true connections with people. This has made me a sought after speaker at industry events including NADA, NCM, Digital Dealer, DrivingSales Executive Summit and 20 Groups. I'm grateful, blessed and deeply appreciate the opportunities offered by so many to speak to, coach and consult. I don't take it for granted.

I live in Frisco, Texas with my wife, kids and dogs.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.