The reason automotive retail has such a bad reputation is for the exact reasons some have listed — forcing the customer to follow a “road to the sale“, trying to control the customer, and most importantly not allowing the customer to have a voice.


Customers are demanding something different. If your store doesn’t offer them a better and faster experience – someone else will.

I’m especially concerned with the spiff justification. Traditional retail commission plans incentivize the sales rep to do exactly what you said- steer the customer down a path they don’t want to go. There is an inherent distrust built into that model.

You are assuming the dealer or sales rep (whose being extrinsically motivated by money) knows better than the consumer themselves what the consumer wants. All because they had a 5-10 minute conversation about their “lifestyle choices”.

It doesn’t matter that the consumer has been researching their purchase for months and has probably sought guidance from friends and family. The sales rep knows best (and their pockets are lined as a result).

The reality is less and less people have any brand or dealership loyalty.

The new way of buying a car must be faster and customized to each shopper. If you can’t buy a car in an hour you are doing something wrong. If your sales reps are being paid a spiff based on a “special of the day” you won’t have any of the repeat business you mentioned in your post.

Eliminating the road to the sale and empowering your customer advocates to customize the sales process to meet (and exceed) the customer expectations is how you are going to survive.

This was a response to an engaging that’s been a long time thread around whether or not the Road to the Sale is DEADWhat do you think?

I would love to hear what you have to say over in the forums comments. Why not join me, over in the dealer forums, we have over 30 comments –