The car buying experience: from pressurised and over bearing to being completely ignored

There is a difficult line to tread between being an overbearing salesperson and completely ignoring customers, and because we are all different it is quite a skill to communicate in a way that makes potential customers in the showroom feel at ease and not just a big fish that’s about to get landed.

The irony is that, after massive investment by manufacturers and dealers, the new look showrooms with state of the art facilities are in some cases putting buyers off simply because they find these kinds of environments intimidating.

Whilst I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for a car sales exec it must be difficult in today’s customer centric world to provide customers with a fist class service, when their bosses and their brand are fighting a viscous battle for market share in a dwindling market.

If any sales person I know decided to let a potential customer just browse the display cars on the forecourt without being all over them like a rash there would be hell to pay. However some buyers would just like to take in the cars, maybe have some coffee and mooch around and there is no point having luxurious, comfortable surroundings if you don’t allow your customers to relax in them.

There are, and probably never will be, any right or wrong answers but according to all the recent surveys we are still getting it wrong and buyers feel ill at ease when confronted with a sales exec who seems far more interested in getting to the sale point than allowing customers to find out more about the products on offer and consider them properly before making a decision.

With the advancement in technology there should of course be more empowerment for the car buyer. Car reviews, as you will see by our own growing collection, are great ways of gathering information and opinions so that car buyers can have more knowledge about particular cars before entering the showroom environment.

The art of knowing just how much or how little engagement customers require cannot necessarily be learned because we are all so different, and what some might call being pushy others will call efficient service.

For every customer that says that the experience was pressured and overbearing another will say that they were ignored. So how do dealers change the perception and get more customers saying that the showroom experience was a positive one?

Tomorrow we reveal a cunning plan by one of our insiders that might just be the answer.

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