Your car sales representative must act as your consultant with your interest in mind.
As exciting as it is to get behind a new set of wheels, the process of buying a car is stressful, confusing and somewhat scary. You’ve done your research and decided that you want a pre-owned vehicle. You’ve set a budget and narrowed down your options or honed in on a type of vehicle. Now you need to visit your pre-owned car dealership, take a car (or two) for a test drive and then go through the purchasing process. You expect help from your car salesperson. Whether you choose Global Auto Sales or other dealerships, you must demand from your car salesperson no less than the following 10 expectations.
With a pre-owned vehicle, you will often have questions that online research is not able to answer. A knowledgeable salesperson should offer the following:
- additional information about the car model you’re interested in
- other options while staying within your budget
- advice on options that best meet your needs
- information about buying and owning vehicles in Ontario
- answers to any lingering questions you have, in clear and simple terms
2. A No-Pressure Sales Approach
Buying a car is a big decision and often a big spend. It is not something you want to be pressured into. Good sales representatives should make you feel at ease when you’re inquiring about a car from the dealership’s lot. Their interest must not be in how quickly they make a sale but how well they are able to understand your needs and how hard of an effort they put in to help meet those needs. Their goal must not be about putting pressure on you to go over your budget but about working within your budget.
They are employed by the dealership to work for you in a consultative role, advising and steering you in the right direction so that you are able to make an informed decision.
Whether you’re still considering various options or have your eye on one special car, your salesperson should show flexibility in your readiness to buy a car. Similar to the no-pressure sales approach, flexibility affords you the time you need to process the information you gather about a purchase. Your salesperson also demonstrates flexibility in making sure you have taken the time to explore various options before coming to a final decision. Then of course you also want some flexibility in the price negotiation process. Whether it’s with payment options or an add-on that the dealership throws in with the deal, you want to be confident that are paying a fair price for your vehicle.
4. Quality Dealership
A sales representative of pre-owned vehicles is as good as the quality of the vehicles that the dealership carries. Before you visit a showroom, make sure your research your dealerships. Start with the location. In fact, you might want to venture out of your immediate area or city and expand your search. For instance, a dealership in Ottawa may very well service customers in Smith Falls, giving you access to a wide range of options. Once you have selected up to 3 locations, look at reviews and read what other customers are saying. Dealerships who are proud of their reputation and who are receptive to customer feedback will enable reviews directly on their site. You could also run a Google search to see what customers have said elsewhere about their experience with that each of locations you have selected.
5. Car Variety
We talked about quality but does quantity also matter? If you’re a newbie at buying cars, you want various options to be readily available. You can test drive different cars and get a feel for how closely each of the vehicles meets your needs. But what if you’re set on a specific vehicle, does variety matter then? In a sense, yes. When dealerships carry a variety of vehicles, they are inclined to work hard to meet every need. They are not catering to one type of buyer, which means they are always receptive to your needs. Some dealerships will even accept custom orders about a specific make, model, color or any combination of must-haves you have, and bring you exactly what you asked for. They would even ship it across the country if needed.
6. Team Work
Teamwork goes along with excellent service and is a testament of the overall core values of a dealership. A customer experience starts in the parking lot and not at the salesperson’s office. A good dealership knows that and works in unison to ensure you are treated well. In order to ensure that level of service, all staff members treat each customer as their own. A respected dealership makes you feel welcomed with a greeting starting in the parking lot, the administration staff acknowledges you as soon as you walk in, the sales representatives make themselves available to you and the maintenance staff help answer questions about the mechanics of a vehicle.
7. Smooth Sale Process
In addition to the professional dealings that you expect from your salesperson, you want the sale process to be handled promptly. A professional salesperson understands the acquisition process and continues to work for you even after you’ve signed a sales contract. You don’t want to be waiting for weeks to drive off in your new car.
8. After-Sale Service
When researching dealerships, you want to assess whether they have an on-premise service shop. You may have your own mechanic that you trust, but an in-house service shop is critical. Aside from answering your questions during the purchasing process, an in-house service shop would give you the same level of service before and after you’ve bought your car. After all, you are a customer.
Much like software, things can go wrong with a car. Any car owner knows that. Should you run in to any trouble shortly after you buy your car, a reputable dealer with a service shop is likely to handle the repair and cover most, if not all, cost.
9. Returning Customers
Whether you buy a new car every other years or every 10 years, it is rewarding when you return to your old dealership and you are immediately recognized. Your loyalty should mean something or in the least be acknowledged. A respectable dealership seeks to not just close a sale but gain a lifetime customer. It’s a win-win after all.
This one is yours, whatever you want it to be depending on how you define excellence. We have ever-changing needs, from being single to having a growing family and beyond.
When dealing with a salesperson that is knowledgeable, consultative, flexible, and a team player who offers excellent quality and variety, ensures outstanding buying experience and values the loyalty of return customers, you can establish a relationship of trust and expect to be treated like you are part of the family.