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AUTO RETAIL PAST, "ROAD TO A SALE", AND AUTO RETAIL FUTURE (In Response to Jim "Alpha-Dawg" Ziegler)

Although the traditional "Road to a Sale" of Auto Retail Past has absolute and exact steps, the evolving "Road to a Sale" of Auto Retail Future is chock-full-of-options.  Among these options exist various ways for sales professionals, managers, and consumers alike to approach auto retail transactions.  A constant in each of the approaches is 'the handshake', and the fact (as Alpha-Dawg has stated) that Internet has affected the people in our industry, BUT Internet CANNOT REPLACE THE PEOPLE IN AUTO RETAIL TRANSACTIONS.  In speaking with any number of you guys in the beginning of the year when Google was asking me about "Social Media for Auto Retail", I have relayed that while Internet can replace people in some online consumer transactions (such as consumer electronics, fashions, books, and other nic naks), we are still generations away from that being the case in Auto Retail.  Auto Retail Future demands that we work to optimize the value proposition for the consumer, and that we learn to leverage a virtual space in so doing.  At the end of the day, a car does not zoom into one's driveway and keys plop into his/her pockets because they find an unbelievable deal and swipe their debit card online.  The auto retail transaction still requires a people dynamic.  As the "Road to a Sale" dictates, as soon as rapport is built through the handshake, then the real nitty-gritty begins in the qualification interview.  At this point, it isn't that the process is being rendered obsolete; it is just that professionals who deal with consumers prepared to buy a car must dedicate themselves to intensely discovering their true value pursuit.  Then, and only then, can the deal be made - after following the rest of the "Road to a Sale".  The best managers don't rely upon their technologies, but instead upon their rapport to achieve A Big Championship Trophy Hoist for themselves, their dealers, and their teams.  Anyone of the pro's, trainers, or Zieglers in this thread will agree people still buy cars from PEOPLE they like and trust.  As Scott Painter began his ZAG product deployment back in the 90's, he used an approach that dealers had readily accessible to them - he found the auto consumer in the place where their comfort zone already existed.  He went to banks, credit unions, insurers, etc and leveraged the value proposition that car buying could made easier when initiated from within these networks.  His TrueCar model is indeed discount-intensive, and (with all other discount driven models such as Groupon, ScoutMob, and countless other daily deals services) eventually will wane in value and/or existence because merchants including car dealers will determine they want to keep more of the profit margin for themselves.  In the meantime, we must be vigilant about learning how to overcome the obstacles that Internet savvy consumers pose as resistance to doing the deal, now.  And, the "Road to a Sale" is a solid foundation upon which to accomplish this.  And, the Internet is a tremendous space for your properly trained dealer professionals to pursue 'the handshake' that ultimately leads to more opportunities in the sales funnel without physical boundaries.

A final note to Mr. Ziegler about the "legacy" that will outlive the rotund temple we all must someday let go back to whence it had come.  Apply these three affirmations to your works daily, and keep pushing up the sky! 

1)"GOD IS GREATEST!"

2)"Appreciation Rules Creation..."

3) "All In=All Out."

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