I was invited to do a radio show interview this week about my company (mydealerreport.com). The host of the show asked me a simple, but puzzling question. What do I see as my biggest challenge? Is it keeping the course or is it getting the word out about what we are doing?
Now, both of these things have been challenging, however neither are my most challenging. Convincing auto consumers to research their local car dealership is the most challenging. I know this sounds strange, but alot of consumers don't feel this is needed. They feel confident in their ability to negotiate a great deal. After all they have become experts by surfing every corner of the World Wide Web about purchasing a vehicle: They have bought cars before; they always work the salesperson into giving them a great deal; the salesperson sold their neighbor a car or the salesperson goes to the same church. These are all the things some of the auto consumers feed themselves.
I am glad to say that we have been helping an overwhelming amount of consumers everyday. However, one consumer lost is too many. What a majority of the above auto consumers don't realize is car salespeople are trained soldiers. They receive training every day of the week. They are taught how to react to any and every objection created. Salespeople go to seminars, watch videos, study books and role play. They share war stories to help increase their knowledge of actual combat. These lot soldiers are taught how to interpret the way a consumer talks, walks and reacts. In many cases they are taught to make a consumer react a certain ways (mad, frustrated and worried).
I am not saying that auto consumers are not smart. But what I am saying is auto consumers don't train year round to buy a vehicle. How many of us truly believe we can swim faster than Olympian Gary Hall? Not many! He trains year round to be the fastest swimmer. That doesn't make us dumb or less talented, just less experienced.
Carfax is a perfect example of how my company is presently positioned. Five (5) years ago most auto consumers didn't feel the need to receive a report on the history of a vehicle. However, most consumers were aware that vehicles with body damage existed, but thought they could out wit the dealer. Now in 2005 auto consumers will not buy a used vehicle without running a Carfax report. Carfax had to educate many used auto consumers about the dangers of buying a vehicle without knowing the history. My company finds itself in the some position today. We are now on the mission of educating consumers on the need to know their local dealer's history before purchasing from them. That is why we adopted the slogan “Who do you trust? Know, Before you go!”
Check out the website that trying to help auto consumers: www.mydealerreport.com