Before pricing information websites, salespeople were the gatekeepers.
When it came to vehicle features, availability and negotiating, it was a dealer’s market. However, today the playing field has changed immensely.
Many prospective car shoppers walk into a showroom already armed with all the information they possibly need, including the car’s invoice price, dealer inventory listings, competing dealer bids, color options and even any discounts they are eligible to receive from manufacturers. According to a study conducted by J. D. Power, the average car shopper spends more than 14 hours online researching cars before making a purchasing decision.
Studies show that buyers already know what they want and how much they want to pay well before they step foot into your dealership. This shift in thinking has led many dealers to eliminate commissioned pay incentives altogether and instead price new vehicles closer to cost and reward their staff members for generating higher sales volumes.
The era of the old-school car salesperson has come to a close, and in its place begins the era of the “product specialist.”