Are Your Techs Turning Your Customers Into Internet Shoppers?

Online shopping. trolley on laptopA couple of months ago I decided to go look at new SUVs. I talked to my brother who is in the car business and he suggested looking at the new GMC Yukon Denali, the new Sequoia and a few others just to be sure.

I arrived at the first dealership, after about 10 minutes a salesman comes up to me and asks if I want the keys to the Denali I'm looking at. He goes and gets them and when he returns he just tosses them to me. As I am crawling around the back, sitting in the back seat, putting the seats down and measuring the space in the back all he is talking about is the new technology and HP. I ask him if you can get this vehicle with a bench seat in the second row instead of the captain chairs and he says he will go check. When he gets back he hands me a print out of the specs on one with a bench seat with his business card attached. He then tells me they can order it if I want one. I notice next to the one I am looking at an extended version of the same vehicle. Ask him to get the keys to that one, same thing, when he gets back he just tosses me the keys and lets me crawl around the vehicle as he is talking about the technology and HP. As I finally sit in the front driver’s seat he shows me a hidden compartment behind the navigation system and tells me how I could hide my *#&*#@ back there. As I am laughing on the inside and shaking my head I tell him thanks and drive off wondering what had just happen.

As I get to the next dealership I figure it can’t be nearly that bad, boy was I wrong! Ok, maybe not that bad but not a lot better. This time the salesman did introduce himself, and ask my name but that was it. I asked if they had any 2015 Denali’s and he said no, but we do have 2014 Ecalades and are discounting them $15k if I am interested, to which I said no thanks and moved on to the next dealership.

After arriving at a Toyota dealership figuring they have got to have better salespeople and customer service, I was disappointed again. I walked around the lot looking at vehicles for about 30 minutes with not one person asking me if I need help.

So ,on to the next dealership, a Lexus dealership, now they definitely should have great salespeople and customer service right? As I enter their showroom to look at vehicles a salesperson approaches me who can barely speak English and ask if he can help me. I tell him I am interested in SUVs, he shows me the SUV he has in the showroom. I ask if they have any other colors and he says no, they would have to order it. When I ask what that was I saw out in the lot when I came in he said he didn’t know because he hadn’t been out there to see what they had.

Being so disappointed by now and fed up with how untrained the salespeople where I asked for a brochure and left.

As I was driving home I called my brother to tell him about my wonderful vehicle shopping experience and asked him how they can stay in business. He explained to me that most dealerships have focused so much of their time and energy on internet sales that they don’t even train their salespeople. They have gotten away from the good old way of doing business, by building relationships and asking what the customers wants, needs and desires are.

I realized how easily this could happen in our industry as well. Information on our products and services is readily available online. What are your technicians doing, building relationships or turning your customers into internet buyers?

Guess where I am looking for a new vehicle now, you got it, the internet.

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