Is the Tesla Buying Experience changing the world?
Today on the show, Christian and I are going to talk about, should you automate service advisers or automate salespeople and are people still buying cars, even though they’re expensive? Is Christian actually an unaware pain in the customer? Do salespeople and service advisors add to the customer experience or do they make it worse? How should we get inspired by the Tesla buying experience?
We’re going to be talking about Automated Service Advisors versus Automated Salespeople. Christian had an experience that he wants to share. It is truly eye opening to where we are at as an industry and the art of buying a car.
Knowing that Christian bought a car recently, I asked him,
“How hard is it right now in the climate to find a new car?”
Christian retells his story about the car buying process at this Toyota dealership,
“We get to the dealership and Toyota dealerships typically have a pretty decent amount of inventory in them, right? Usually, the ones in LA that have pretty decent volume. They usually have really nice inventory and we get there and um, I go to the salesperson. I’m looking for this car, this VIN number and I just simply wanted to look at the car.”
The interesting part is that Christian already pulled up the car online before he got to the dealership.
It felt like false advertising to him because the website still said the car was still available compared to his Tesla buying experience previously.
Furthermore, the dealership proceeded to drive Christian and his Girlfriend to the pre-owned CHRs. Now a brand new CHR, the one that they specked out was around $25,700 bucks…
Guess how much they wanted for this pre-owned 2019 with 16,000 miles?
Christian told us that they wanted $25,000 for an old pre-owned vehicle with a large amount of mileage.
To learn more about how to become a better Service Advisor, click HERE.
I bet that people are buying that car anyways because they want a car badly.
Clearly if they’re pricing them at that, somebody is buying the car without hesitation whatsoever.
Christian goes on with his story and told me,
“So we didn’t spend a whole lot of time at that store and I did my online search again. I knew she wanted a blue one specifically, so blue popped up on my search and ran over there. What I did from sitting in the chair at the other dealership was an internet inquiry. Right and usually those internet inquiries are pretty fast.”
What shocked me was finding out that there we can find people’s inventory through the Internet.
Watch more about my Crazy Dealership Stories of buying a car, HERE.
Currently Christian is at this high volume well-oiled machine that knows exactly what they’re doing…
Christian pulled onto the lot in front of the building and noticed the car that he found on the internet. He took a picture of it because he’s going to need it to show the Service Advisor.
Christian Lafferty went in depth with his story and told us,
“So can I just say I’m an easy customer because I know exactly what I want. I’m super easy. I took a picture of the sticker and when I showed the receptionist which car I wanted. They proceeded to tell me that they did not have that car available.
Which was interesting because I just took a picture of the car on the lot. I’m currently standing at reception and they page over a salesperson to check out the car with me. I walked them out and I showed him the car. After we went back in, he told me that he’ll make sure that it’s not sold and it was available.”
Christian proceeds to tell us that he liked what they did. His salesperson got a little tag and put it inside the car, so no one else can buy it. Christian thought that was pretty smart because then it varied depending on the people around. The dealership was packed and Christian appreciated how the salesperson created the urgency there.
Christian sat down and they started to go over all the numbers and everything like that. Within 25 minutes, they were able to negotiate the numbers.
That’s just kinda what the climate of the market is right now. They had 1.9% financing, which Christian thinks is great financing. So a little bit at 1.8 or 1.9 was the bottom of the barrel, unfortunately.
Additionally, with all this good news came this interesting moment that happened to Christian and his Girlfriend, he tells me,
“So the trade ended up being good, she had a Mercedes and the daily driver Prius. She got rid of both cars and now she just has one car that won’t break for a long time. We go through the whole process and it’s around 5:40 P.M. We do all the negotiation, everything like that. I was really comfortable with what they give for the trade and everything like that. I’m pretty happy, so it’s 5:40 P.M. and we were granted the numbers, what time do you think we left?”
Christian left at 9:15 P.M.… Almost 4 hours after they negotiated the numbers! He recalls this moment and told me,
“I could think of those individuals in sales who have this negativity towards the service department. They go along and say things like how the Technicians take an hour to do an oil change. They shouldn’t complain because it takes them five hours to sell a car.
I don’t know how hard it would have been for us to go in there. Pick the car, the options, the financing and just click a whole bunch of buttons and walk out with the car. Comparing that to the last purchase experience I had before it was a disaster. There’s the warranty, gap insurance, and there are all these things that make the process much more difficult than it really is.”
Christian finishes by telling us that he doesn’t care if the dealer makes money from me, he’s about everybody having fair opportunity. Additionally, he told me that by the time he got the delivery done, which was six minutes, he left around 9:21, and the delivery of six minutes was his fault and not the salesperson cause he was willing to go through everything.
From here I wanted to know more about Christian’s thought processes and I asked him, “Would you have rather dealt with a kiosk?” Similar to buying a Tesla.
Surprisingly, he quickly replied with, “YES”. I believe it’s because a lot of places are going to one price because it’s headed that way.
The next question I asked Christian is,
“Do you think that service advisors are more vulnerable to being replaced by kiosks or salespeople?”
Christian thinks back to his Tesla Buying Experience and answered my question by saying that,
“I actually don’t ask any of our clients because I wouldn’t want to think worse of them because I had a crappy experience buying a car.”
Have you ever heard somebody go through a sales process where they don’t hate it? Oftentimes, I won’t even refer them to a friend’s dealership because they’re going to hate the process.
Christian adds on to my disdain for the way this industry has been selling cars and compares this to his Tesla Buying Experience.
“Buying a car should be easier like how Tesla does it. A lot more click, click, choose, and they can build their profit into it. If dealerships eliminate some of the layers of employees, they probably could be more profitable. I don’t think that my salesperson added any value to the transaction”
The customer service Christian received might have taken value away in a sense.
I go to a website and it tells me what it costs. Like you know that it’s going to be a certain amount. Everybody’s kind of selling them for the same thing pretty much.
Christian states that he wasn’t going in expecting anything. He understands supply and demand. He knew that he wasn’t going to negotiate $10,000 off the price of the car. Christian was the easy customer, he could have walked in and pushed my own buttons.
Christian goes in depth about his Tesla Buying Experience and I asked him,
Read more about how Tesla is changing the buying experience for everyone, HERE.
“When you bought your Tesla, what was the Tesla Buying Experience like?”
Christian was really excited to answer this question and he details his experience by telling us,
“If you remember me giving you the analogy, it was like buying an iPad. I literally walked in on a salesperson and they gave me a computer screen. They asked me if I knew what color and what kind of options I wanted on this Tesla…
He was enough where he explained all the stuff. I built it on the Tesla on the iPad and the price came up. It gave me my purchase option and my lease option where I checked the box.
I got approved for my auto loan in like 30 seconds.
Essentially, all I did was get in there and sign my papers virtually. There was no F & I, there was nothing like that and then the car was already parked outside. It said, “Mr. Lafferty’s Tesla” and it had a little thing in the window and stuff like that.
There was a delivery specialist that showed me how to do a couple of things. This process roughly took 45 minutes and the whole transaction was no more than 20 minutes.”
I think the point here that we’re trying to make is that both of those positions are at risk. They only will be saved by understanding that Salespeople and Service Advisors’ roles are to enhance the experience.
As we sit right now, that’s a toss of the coin. I always say, if you have your customers pull right into the shop and talk to the Technicians… If the experience is better,
The advisors aren’t communicating and are not making the experience better for anybody involved. It’s an expense, it’s not an asset and I think it’s the same thing with salespeople if it’s an expense.
It isn’t really improving the process if we aren’t adopting Tesla’s buying experience…
You’re a salesperson and you’re not enough of a professional to know the inventory. If you don’t have enough experience with financial knowledge, people and customers have to wait three hours.
You need more finance people and staff for the peaks as much as the valleys.
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