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I need some help please. I have a new car manager that refuses to be competitive in a tough Atlanta market. How can I get these customers in without using price?


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You can't. Next question!

Understand that conventional conversion tools require an online shopper to visit your site vs. others with an expectation that they will get the best deal possible and unfortunately price is often the first filter that they apply. I suggest that you review the dozens of comments posted on ADM to my post -- To Price Or Not To Price, That Is The Question -- to get the variations on this reality.

That said, your best shot would be to shift your message to branding and long term positioning on social networking where C2C conversations might place you on the preferred list for dealers when online consumers are in their buying cycle but frankly you will probably be working somewhere else by then since that will take some time to mature!

One option might be to place your inventory on third party sites that will attract onlne shoppers with the hope that they will select your vehicle even though your prices aren't competitive, but again -- that will require a social networking message earned over time to validate your dealer's other attributes. Right now the only marketing / search portal out there with a built in social networking element is but fortunately they offer free listings and free leads so I suggest that you extend your online exposure through them until your management accepts the fact that today's Internet customers are in charge and they need to change from their push/pull marketing concepts to the current pull/push messages that drive today's retail auto industry.

Good luck and don't give up! Stupid is as stupid does and any dealer that survives in today's consolidating auto industry can't be stupid for too much longer!
As always, Matt has provided a real world example of a possible solution short of changing jobs so, I agree -- listen to him!
Might I suggest not using "Final Price"... my only "Final Price" is when their nose to nose, in the store, on a specific vehicle... Up to that point I'm always working for them to reach the best "Final Price". Good Selling! DTG
Ooops, I agree with David about the "Final Price" thing. I thought that Matt and VinSolutions was perfect so I missed that little detail but other than that ---- listen to Matt!
We currently use Matt's system of pricing on our website. We go a little further and discount to invoice minus rebates on our site. I still lose deals by sometimes up to $1500 because every competitor (not every dealer, but true competitor) is using all of the holdback plus stairstep to price the new cars. I might just be stuck with a NCM that would rather have gross over quantity. I believe that taking 10 deals at $1500 net is not as good as taking 50 deals at say $389 net (our doc fee). However it would take time for them to see the benefit and they are not ready to make the leap.
Another option to communicate a VALUE differentiation is to use something more powerful then price comparisons: "Word-of-Mouth" from existing customers!

Follow me on this for a moment. Your lead/customer has found your price online, which makes them an online buyer, which tells us that there's a 57% chance that they're a social network user (facebook, myspace, linked, in etc).
So, if your dealership has a facebook or twitter page - hopefully you have customers/references there. If that's true... then your response to leads could include something along these lines... "Thanks for the inquiry... yada yada yada, we'd love to ... yada yada yada" but BEFORE you do anything don't take our word for it - check with your community. Check with the people like you, who had similar questions and concerns - you can find them on our facebook fan page here ______! Let us know what you find from them... etc.
Encouraging people to crowdsource tells them that you think they're smart and it demonstrates high confidence in your VALUE!
Forget your pricing... That's a jack... You can drag these people in by the wheel barrel loads with a landline a rotary phone in a toll booth located on a country road and do it without over promising, under delivering or ticking them off...

Oh Brother....

This is the right statement Big E.
(please take this with a grain of salt)

Eddie Rule Number One: Look for a cure not a treatment…

Reasons to buy, if I could ya would ya wouldn't ya agree now come on ya said ya would now why don't ya, we got these, them, this that and baby fat or pimpin price will not change a thing at the end of the month. It's like teaching someone front kick, jab, jump spinning hook kick without teaching them to read where their opponent’s mental state is at and where the critical distance line is at so they know when to move and when to get out of the way.

You don’t need techniques or clever ways to drop numbers. You need to know how to find out where their head is at (which is completely different skill set than qualifying) so you know what to say prior to saying it or emailing it.

As you progress know that if you’re not getting at least 85% of your leads on the phone and 80-95% of those people to commit to come see you without making false claims, then you may be practicing kung-fu in front of a Jet-Li movie and you need to find someone who can successfully move the dryer out of the way and plug you into the 220 outlet.

I'm a little late to this party but I'll chime in anyway. Bottom line people look for a car first then a dealership. Price will get you a seat at the table but it won't get you the sale.

With that said, use time as your ally it's actually more powerful than price. EX:

"We will beat any advertised price on any vehicle and have you in and out of our dealership in 90 min. or the car is free" PLUS we'll give you a 30 day money back guarantee.

If you can't or won't use price you need to find something else remarkable to say.


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