As I was listening to a recorded call on behalf of one of our clients, I ran into an exchange still happening every day at dealerships. A customer called in and asked for the dealership’s “best price” on a new vehicle. Not surprising, the salesperson responded with exactly what the dealership’s management team had trained him to say: “We don’t discuss price over the phone. You need to come in and speak to a sales manager.”
And that was it. Conversation ended.
Request for price will not go away any time soon. Even those dealers sharing discounted pricing openly on their websites for new and used vehicles, shoppers still question it and call in then asking for a “best price”. I understand, as an industry, the former regime has beat the idea into the heads of today’s sales professionals that “best prices” happen when the client steps foot inside the store, but, I ask, why must they? Because we want to see if they’re serious? To that, I say “Ha.” And “Rubbish”.
A week later, I was on-site at a long-time DealerKnows client in North Carolina, when their “all-things-digital-and-inventory” team member Brian Romans brought up the very same question. “Should You Answer Price Questions Over the Phone and in Email?” (I promised I’d give him a shout-out for bring up the topic and making me remember the need to write about this).
As an industry, we’ve recognized shoppers submitting leads expect pricing in the responses, but we still shy away from the discussion on the phone. I’ve long recommended in the past that you could always state that you don’t want any miscommunication in the pricing you give them, so you’d prefer to send it to them in email form. (There is a little more to this, but I don’t give away all of my secret sauces in our blog.)
[blockquote name=”Joe Webb” organization=”@zonewebb”]I’d rather be a shopper’s source of information than a source of their frustration.[/blockquote]
The more I think about it, the more I question if my philosophy is correct, or, if our industry is ready to share “best pricing” in phone conversations. In the end, I believe: I’d rather be a shopper’s source of information than a source of their frustration.
What say you?
I’ll be sharing my personal steps to overcoming customers’s challenges to dealerships’ online pricing in a later blog this month.