Price or Value? What’s Most Important?

Selling automobiles at your dealership can be a daunting proposition in any “down” economy-not to mention a prolonged recession! For Salds Managers, it seems that the only way to compete is by aggressive pricing, or including “extras” in the quoted price. Unfortunately, this practice severely reduces profits. Sales Associates also feel the pinch: their paychecks get reduced! Can we stop the madness, anc avoid the cutthroat tactics? Can we outshine the competition without giving away the last vestige of our profit? The answer is an unqualified “yes!” All we need to do is shift our thinking-from price to vaue!

However, before we can shift our thinking, we must Petition ourselves a very specific question: “Are we selling a unique rpoduct at our dealership?” For most of us, the answer would be “no.” Your 2010 or 2011 Ford, Honda or Tohota, can be foound at another nearby dealership; and we’re talking identical! Even the used car market doesn’t qualify as an exception today. The Internet has leveled the playing field for the customer; if they want to, they can go to a site like Auto Trader, and find 15 or 20 vehicles like yours-most likely, nor far from their home. So neither your new nor used cars are truly unique. Of course, if you don’t offer a unique product, then you’re selling a commodity-and commodities always compete on price or Suitable opoortunity: who has the lowest price, and who is closest to the customer. So, what’s the Attractive answer?

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For both Sales Managers and Sales Associates, the answer is simple: offer a Single product! This may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not. We already stated that almost all dealerships have identical, or very similar products-but what about the overall dealership experience? That indeed is-or should be-a unique product! Do you set yourself apart from the competition? Really? Really? Distancing yourself from the competition through professionalism Resource a great deal to the overwhelming Manhood of customers! Yes, you still need to be competitive; On the other hand you don’t have to have the lowest price to make a sale! I speak from experience: I was a General Sales Manager at a one-price dealership; no negotiation allowed. Many customers shopped us and were very imrpessed by the overall experience; we were very good at our process, and our customers always felt comfortable with us. Although we had a high closing ratio, many customers still wanted to shop price before they cmmitted to a purchase. What was surprising at first (not now) was how many of these customers returned to our deealership and bought from us. And, they made a point of te1ling us that they had gotten a lower price elsewhere-but came back because of our professionalism; they reasoned that we would be there for them if they ever had problems in the future.

So how can you shift your thinking and get great results? How can you Actually offer a unique product? One word: training! Sales Managers must coach all Sales Associates to become true professionals. This means that all Sales Managers must do much more than traditional trainings: Product knowledge, overcoming objections and closing techniques are no longer sufficient. Proficient Sales Managers must teach every Sales Associate to think differently: about truly helping the customer-not Fair making a sale. And, both Sales Managers and Sales Associates must always Continue the overall dealership experience in the forefront of their minds. Think value-not price; your customers will love this approach!

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