Trust and Transparency Trumps Distance

“Advertising is based on one thing – happiness.” 

Mad Men buffs will remember that Don follows that pearl with the revelation that, “happiness is the smell of a new car.” Damn if that ain’t the truth.  

So, we know they want to be happy and they want new cars. How do we get them to choose OUR dealership? Loyalty, proximity, price, selection, experience, and perks. Those are the basic factors that consumers weigh when considering where to buy their next new car. It’s an easy assumption that of those five, proximity is key, and to some degree that is true. It’s not likely for a California car shopper to pull the trigger on a Lexus in NYC, regardless of how low its priced or how nice the staff is. 


We’ve discovered something VEEEEWWWWYYYY INTEEWWWESTING. 

Through the magic of illumination, we’ve noticed that dealers using our personalized, interactive payment presentations are experiencing an influx of out-of-town car buyers. “What the what??” Could it be that shoppers are willing to abandon loyalties and drive a little further in order to do business with a dealer who gives them what they want? 

Let’s break it down.

  • Loyalty:  Where you or your dad/friend/aunt/cousin bought a car and has a “friend.”
  • Proximity:  Duh. How close the store is to your home or office. 
  • Price: Lowest price. Again, duh (this is starting to sound like a Billie Eilish hit.) 
  • Selection:  How many suitable options you have which closely match the customer’s desires
  • Perks: Free oil changes, engines for life, women’s clinics once a quarter, manicures, coffee, free high fives… etc.
  • Experience:  Hey Oh! Thought you’d never get here. Welcome. You might be shocked to realize that as much as all that other stuff DOES MATTER. It matters less than the experience of the individual to whom you’re hoping to sell a car today. Read that again. 

The experience your dealership offers to someone hoping to buy a car today trumps (for lack of a less politically charged word) everything else. Loyalty is fading, proximity is second place, price is important but, contrary to popular belief, it is not everything. Selection is pretty much a moot point if you’re not a jerk to your fellow dealers, and perks are a cherry on the sundae but they don’t sell the ice cream. 

Experience is EVERYTHING. You might need to sit down for this next part. Your customers determine your dealership “experience” long before they ever step foot inside your showroom. Online research is a massive part of the buying decision, once the customer determines they are ready to move forward, they are met with a sensation of both excitement and dread. The internal monologue sounds like this, “Ok, we’re serious about this. It’s time to find out who has the car in stock and who has the best price.” 

Don’t be confused. Yes, the customer thinks the best price is more important than anything else. They will quickly be hazed by your antiquated competitors. 

They’ll submit a handful of “I’m interested” and “Get ePrice” lead forms to the dealers located a stone’s throw from their doorstep. They’ll inevitably be disappointed and begin to consider Amish-ism… or however you say that… because here’s what they’ll get back:

“Is email the best way to reach you or would you prefer a call or text?”
– Jane

“Did you receive the information you were looking for?”
– Betty

“Hi customer first name, I’m Geoff with a “G”, be sure to ask for me when you arrive at the dealership. I’m awesome and I’ll knock your socks off. Can you come by today for a test drive? Don’t forget to ask for me BY NAME!!!!”
– Geoff with a “G”  

… and other bullshit. 

Stand out. Do better. Sell more. Send your leads a personalized, interactive payment presentation with illumiQUOTE so they know you’re more interested in providing an excellent experience than making a quick sale. You’ll be rewarded with business from unexpected places. You’ll see. 

Learn more:

Written on August 14, 2019

Written by Christine Plunkett

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