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Inevitably, pricing is a necessary aspect to a customer’s decision. They do their research online and expect to receive answers to their pricing questions. While many of us old folks were groomed to avoid pricing when on the phone or email with shoppers, evolution has thankfully adapted us to the practice of giving out a discounted price in advance of their visit. However, pricing questions no longer begin and end with the price of the vehicle. Shoppers want more from you? Do you give it to them?
Consumers initially began with an availability question and, we as dealers, eliminated the bait and switch tactics to become more transparent. Then they asked for a price, and after years of internal arguing and measuring results, we now offer it to them out of the gate. But they’re still hungry for more.
We, at DealerKnows Consulting, monitor how thoroughly leads are handled for our dealer clients, and we notice that many customers want the out-the-door price before coming in. Or they ask for monthly finance payments. Or lease variables. Or trade estimates. These are hurdles that some dealers still have a hard time jumping over. Store by store, there seems to exist an unspoken policy as to whether you can or cannot send out these types of answers to customers. Many believe that you shoot yourself in the foot if you do. You’re told it is wrong to do so. Let me set the record straight.
It isn’t wrong. It is never “wrong” to give the customer information if they request you to do so. Giving them pricing, payments, residuals, trade estimates, etc., is not wrong. It may not be the most profitable. It may not be the best for your own time management. But “wrong”, it isn’t. Cursing a customer is “wrong”. Refusing to respond back is “wrong”. Telling them you refuse to give them the information is “wrong”. It’s just different. It’s a new way of doing business to what you had done in the past.
So starting today… give them what they want. I know it may not always be in your best interest, but it is better than ignoring their request. I would rather overeducate a shopper and lose their business than piss them off by not answering their questions. Why frustrate them to no end by ignoring them and lose all potential for service and future sales business? You wouldn’t be wrong for trying to do more for them and that may make all the difference.