Opinions & Advice

Someones CarsDirect.com experience

Brian over at
sent me this link. Take about 15-20 minutes and

read this posting
and the following comments. It’s interesting to read
others different views.

It’s posts like these that really get my wheels turning. I sometimes get
caught up in the moment when reading something like this. It’s not easy for
someone like myself to read this and not wonder a few things like;

Where will my job be in 5 years?
Where is the dealer going to be in 5 years?

Will everyone want to purchase their car like buying something off the shelf
from Walmart?

Will it take 5, 10 years or longer for huge changes? (it is going to change)

I have several more thoughts about this that I think I will share in another
posting. For now, take a few minutes and

read this
then come back and leave some comments and thoughts on how you
feel when reading it.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • B
  • October 31, 2006
Hey Jeff,

Nice that you posted about the article and thanks for mentioning my site.

I will give you a few thoughts on this and please keep in mind, I am not a dealer.

I can see why you would be steamed, I think any car dealer would. While this may be upsetting, I also think there is another way to look this.

Instead of 'fighing' the user, embrace them. This may be very hard, maybe impossible but I suggest at least giving the following a try: look at the authors concerns or resistance in buying from you as opportunities for growth. Have a look at what he does not like about the process and see if that can be changed in your own dealership.

I don't know how reflective his experience is for all dealerships, but here are some things he did not like:

-dealers getting his phone number and being called after he visited the dealership
-getting back to the dealership and being played on by 'good cop' (dealer), 'bad cop' (his boss)
-being made to feel cheap for passing on upgrades
-psychological warfare as he puts it

Whether this is the case or not, it is important to realize that that is the perception of some buyers. If your dealership does employ some of these practices here are some questions to ask: are you comfortable with them being in place? Do these practices generate more sales than another way of doing business? Would you want that experience if you were buying a car and were not a dealer? What do these practices do for brand building and long term sales?

You can't fight the environment around you, see the sticking points of your customers as an opportunity to grow your business effectively. Improving the customer experience will generate more sales and keep your customers happy.

Maybe that is a naive outsiders perspective but that is the only one I have and I felt like sharing it.


  • J
  • November 11, 2006
Thanks Brian. I love to hear about others perspectives on automotive dealers. Everyone shops for vehicles differently and everyone of course has a different personalty and way of shopping. I know if I were a business owner and were spending millions of dollars to keep inventory so consumers would consider my establishment and product for purchase, I would like to have the phone numbers of these potential clients. I can't tell you how many times (when I was a green pea on the sales floor) I did not call the customer back, only for that customer to arrive back at the dealer a week later and work with different sales person because "Jeff never called us back". The customer assumed I did'nt want to "earn" their business. From there on, I always made an appoint to call every one of my potential customers the day after to thank them for stopping in and to be sure that they did not have any more questions. You can't do this without a phone number. I figure, if a customer truly does not want called...they will give a bogus number anyways. And that happens all the time. -Jeff
  • E
  • November 13, 2006

Our store is on of the largest dealers of a quality import brand in the nation (800+ vehicles per month). We have an internet, fleet and bdc department. I agree with you, Jeff, on the importance of followup phone calls. Our bdc calls several hundred people back every day. They can be yesterday's visitors, last week's, or from three years ago. We don't try to sort out who is on the national DNC list. Because we use a very low key approach from a courtesy call follow-up approach, we rarely offend anyone. We have never been reported for violating the DNC list. If someone is irritated by a call, we apologize profusely and state we will immediately delete them off our contact list (which we do).

A majority of people are pleased with a courteous followup call. It gets us a good percentage of "beback" business and lets our prospects vent if they were mishandled on the sales floor (not that it ever happens, of course). Even if they don't buy from you, it neutralizes a lot of ill will.