Knowledge is power

It is widely recognised that the sales staff being employed today are somewhat different to how they used to be. Some may think this is a good thing and some wont .The knowledgeable all rounder who could help you with plumbing and electrical problems during a visit to the builders merchants has been replaced by a middle aged housewife at B&Q who can sell you stuff cheaper but don’t ask her if its right for the job your trying to do. That is not to pour scorn on the lady it is just the way it has become and although there aren’t too many middle aged housewife’s selling cars, it is the same in the motor trade.

The ‘old school’ salesperson who had the in depth knowledge and experience who may have been quite a hard seller but usually made sure the car was right, has been replaced by the younger box ticker, who may be articulate and clever but not necessarily have the personality or confidence to engage with customers in the same way his predecessors did. But in the great scheme of things is this good or bad?

I don’t know as ultimately it is up to the customer to decide whether they are treated better today, and for sure the environment in which they receive the experience is certainly much more up market, but are they selling more cars more profitably than in former years? Well according to the consumers we come into contact with definitely not,

It seems harder to sell cars than ever and even harder to retain a decent margin, and that could be due to greater competition which can only be a good thing but also I suspect a little bit of the old magic has disappeared,

It’s now more likely that customers know more about a product they are interested in than the salesperson trying to sell it to them. Maybe it’s an acknowledgement that a confused mind always says no, so allowing the tables to be turned the chances of this happening are substantially decreased.

If a buyer doesn’t really “get” what a salesperson is offering then they will tend to back off so why not completely eradicate this problem by ensuring your salesperson knows as little about what they are selling as possible? On the other hand we don’t think anyone these days wants to be persuaded, cajoled and convinced into buying a car but there needs to be a balance.

Many people believe that allowing the balance of power in the showroom to effortlessly shift to the buyer over the years is probably not such a bad thing.

As we are big advocates of car buyers empowering themselves with knowledge, who are we to disagree?

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One Response to Knowledge is power

  1. Mark Robbins June 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    The trouble here is that almost all consumers only know what they read in the glossy mags and online “How to buy a car” sites and never take into account their “less than wanted tired old part exchange” or very limited knowledge of the vehicle they are thinking of buying, for example the latest try on is ” throw in some Sat Nav and we will have it” sure, why not, we all have margins of between £1,200 and £2,000 to play with on extras dont we? It used to be a set of mats but like everything nowadays the customer wants and expects more more and more, well sorry folks, but guess what, its not possible but being car dealers you dont believe us do you? i am always willing to learn even thirty years down the line even from my customers, but the old adage is usually true when it comes to customers and their limited product information ” A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

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