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Credibility: The Key to Improving Dealership Buying Experience

Earned or not, car dealerships don’t necessarily have the best reputation. The negative connotation of being called a ‘used car salesman’ in any situation is evidence of the major problems most dealerships face in being associated with positivity in potential car buyers’ minds.

At the same time, establishing a positive buying experience is crucial to success in selling cars. If your customers don’t feel comfortable during the process of one of their life’s biggest purchases, they’ll go elsewhere and you will lose their business. How do you turn your buying experience from one of assumed dishonesty to positive? One keyword: credibility.

The Importance of Credibility in Marketing and Sales

In any type of marketing and sales effort, credibility is absolute key to success. Inherently, your audience will suspect ulterior motive in any type of message you put out; after all, you are clearly posting or speaking about issues specifically designed to sell your product or service.

Because of that, marketing and sales has begun to suffer from credibility problems. The challenge of marketers willing to raise sales by whatever means necessary has resulted in an audience cynical toward advertising and any type of sales communication.

Fortunately, there is a way out of that vicious cycle. Content marketing, for example, has been shown to significantly enhance the credibility of any company that engages in it. By focusing on actual value to your audience rather than a sales message, you can build trust in the eyes of your audience that ultimately leads to greater sales.

Applying Credibility to Car Dealership Processes

Initially, the process of content marketing may not seem like it’s closely connected to the buying experience at a car dealership. But in reality, it follows the same underlying process: building your credibility in order to enhance your sales. How you get there, of course, may differ slightly.

For one, you’ll be interacting with your customers in real time, and in person. That means everything you (and someone from your dealership in contact with potential car buyers) can have a potential impact on your credibility.

You have to be careful that your customers leave your car dealership feeling that you did their best for them, not your own bottom line. In other words, as is the case in content marketing, you have to provide actual value rather than being a hurdle in their way of a new car.

How to Enhance the Credibility in Your Dealership

Saying you need to enhance your credibility is easy. Following through, of course, is an entirely different question. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Stay Within the Budget. Don’t try to upsell. Listen to your customers demands and find a car that matches their needs as closely as possible.
  • Answer Questions Honestly. You may lose a sale if your answers are not satisfactory. But customers buy more than one car in their lifetime, and they’ll be more likely to come back if they feel that they got an honest experience from you.
  • Keep Straightforward Prices. Many cars are priced to bargain, but that bargaining can be a chore for both the buyers and the dealership. Instead, try to price at least some of your cars to sell, with the express note that no bargaining will be possible. Price is the single biggest sticking point in buying a new car, and this step can alleviate that.
  • Be a Person. Don’t be the stereotypical used car salesman. Instead, present yourself as a person who is doing their job as thoroughly as possible. The more personal you are, respectfully of course, the more believable your message will be.

If you want to improve the buying experience at your dealership, credibility is absolute key. Using the above tips, you can get started, but financing will also play into the process. To learn more about how we can help with that aspect, contact us.

Author: Pete Maclnnis

Author Bio: Pete brings over 37 years of experience in automotive finance and technology as Founder and CEO of eLEND Solutions.  Founded in 2003 as DealerCentric, eLEND Solutions is an automotive FinTech company specializing in online and in-store digital credit, identity and finance solutions designed to create a more efficient and profitable vehicle purchase process for the retail automotive industry. 

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