As a specialist in Automotive Recruitment I like to keep an eye on the news and the changes to the industry. With the introduction of online car buying and the two week trial period introduced, I wonder what the traditional dealer needs to do to up their game.
For me buying a new car is once every 2-3 years (or sooner if I like the new model with the fancy extras!) and I have now built up a good relationship with my local dealership. For me, honesty & trust come above all else in this relationship, if there are any negatives with the car I’m looking to buy I would rather have all the facts to make an informed decision.
I can see why buying online may be a draw for some people, for some the thought of heading to their local dealership fills them with dread- almost as much as opening the door to a door to door sales person trying to charge them £1000’s for new windows. Online you can stick to your budget, pricing will be clear and the facts all available to review in your own time- it’s the no pressure sale.
So can you replace the sales team with online sales? I don’t think you can, there is no replacement for the Sunday outing to browse the dealerships, the excitement of seeing a car and falling in love with it even though you told yourself you would not be getting a new car! However I feel a successful dealership does not need to have a pushy sales team, they need a team who will go above and beyond what I expect and they will be clear and honest with me throughout the process.
To stand out from the online option some sales teams really need to up their game, they need to give you a reason to buy from them rather than order online. Maybe this starts at the personal element of the sale? Do they really know me, my life and how I will drive and use the car? This is where online sales really can’t be replaced, an online site cannot recommend that I look at a certain spec of car because it will offer me X, Y or Z extra that will make my life easier (like my reversing camera!) or let me test drive a couple of different models and put the car seat and the buggy into it to see how I would use the car.
I think there is room in the world for both options and it’s not a one size fits all scenario but let’s hope online sales do not replace the personal element of the automotive industry.
Written by Nicola Hedges, Recruitment Consultant