This post will make all the professional sales-reps sick, just sick. It all started when I took a little trip North a few hours to watch my best friends son play baseball this weekend.
In the middle of the 3rd painfully slow inning (watching 9 year old baseball is like watching grass grow!) my buddy says: “what in the heck is Lexus thinking, I need a new car and they refuse to tell me what cars they have to sell.” I giggled a bit because I knew exactly what he was referring to. Lexus dealers generally do not list their inventory online. Why? I have no idea. I can imagine a few ideas but they make no sense. They may have 10 years ago but not today.
The tragic (tragic for dealers local to him) story goes like this: “I went online and clicked around to see if they had the car I wanted. I was surprised to find that Lexus dealers do not list their new inventory on their websites. Since they do not list their new-car inventory I have no idea who to buy it from. I am ready to just drive down there and drive one home. Yes, I know it is tons of money (over $60K!) but I know what I want and I am ready to buy it and they refuse to tell me if they have it before I drive down.” Sound crazy? I thought so.
He ended up inquiring with the web-form to three different dealers in his metro area. All three sent a generic auto-response that did not address his specific question. “Do you have this car?” Two of the three dealers ended up emailing back but still did not answer his question. Heck, he has no concern about what it costs - he already knows the MSRP and is willing to pay it. Sound Crazy? I thought so.
If you are not going to answer inquiries with answers, why bother answering at all? I know this sounds silly but geez, answer the darned question already. I made one phone call to a friend at a Lexus dealer and we made the deal in 5 minutes. Everyone won.
This is a simple example of how to lose money online. Three dealers lost a car deal that we made so easily it would make you laugh. Before the Little League game ended we had arranged for my buddy to go pick-up his new car (for MSRP, wink). The difference between the first three dealers and the dealer I called was simple, they answered his question. In an interesting twist, the car is being delivered to the helping dealer FROM the first dealer he contacted. Tragic - for some.