Auto Notes: There's No Place Like Home By Barbara A. Darkes

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I still vividly remember (thankfully) venturing into a new vehicle showroom to purchase my first new car. I really had no idea what I wanted to purchase or how I was going to pay for it. Of course, the sales staff and finance department were very helpful and, after many hours and several trips back to the dealership, I drove off in my new car. There have been quite a few new vehicles since then. The one thing that has changed, however, is the amount of time I have and am willing to spend at the dealership during the process.

Like many customers, I have generally built the vehicle I want to purchase, know the pricing, and am at least familiar with financing options when I arrive at the dealership. Access to technology has streamlined vehicle purchases and has cut down on the amount of time a customer spends at a dealership. As dealerships continue to strive to sell more cars, additional consumer-friendly techniques are being employed as well, meaning that dealers are completing as much of the transaction as possible by telephone or meeting customers at their place of employment or at their home.

As Dorothy feverishly repeated at the insistence of the good witch when trying to find her way back to Kansas, "There's no place like home", I suspect that is a true statement for most of your customers as well. A dealership should be aware, however, that sales resulting from contact with the customer at home can present special issues for a dealership.

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