14 August 2023 by Neil Addley

Shifting Gears: Why Controlled Selling is Old Hat in a Modern Dealership.

Tech and raised expectations have changed the car sales landscape drastically in recent years. Sales tactics have had to adapt to keep pace with changing customer expectations. Among these conventional methods, controlled selling where salespeople disappear to discuss deals – has become increasingly outmoded, even detrimental to business. Here's why:

  1. Demand for Transparency:

The digital era has empowered customers with information at their fingertips. Consumers are savvier than ever and have access to a wealth of knowledge about car models, prices, part-ex valuations, and reviews before they even step foot in a dealership. This shift necessitates transparency throughout the buying process. The old method of a salesperson disappearing to "crunch the numbers" can breed suspicion and discontent, undermining the trust between the sales executive and the customer.

  1. Desire for Inclusion:

Modern customers want to be a part of the sales process, rather than passive observers. They want to buy not be sold to. The practice of salespeople discussing the deal behind closed doors excludes the customer from critical parts of the process. This can lead to feelings of manipulation and even dishonesty, both of which will damage the customer experience.

  1. Emphasis on Customer Experience:

Today's marketplace is not just about the transaction, but the overall customer experience. Practices like controlled selling, where the salesperson guides the customer through a predetermined process without considering individual needs or preferences, can be impersonal and rigid. Instead, customers appreciate a more flexible, personalized approach that caters to their unique circumstances and requirements. In effect, nowadays, they can jump into the sales process at any point.

  1. Rise of Relationship Selling:

Modern sales approaches focus on building long-term relationships rather than making quick, one-off sales. Customers are no longer just buying a car; they're buying into an ongoing relationship with the dealership for servicing, upgrades, and potential future purchases. Controlled selling can hinder the establishment of these crucial relationships.

  1. Need for Speed and Efficiency:

Customers today value their time and expect efficiency. The act of salespeople disappearing to discuss the deal, only to return with a counteroffer, can unnecessarily prolong the sales process. This can frustrate customers and create a negative buying experience.

To adapt to the new era, the best car dealerships already place a premium on transparency, inclusion, and customer relationships, introducing the Sales Manager into the process rather than hiding her behind a Wizard of Oz-style curtain. It’s time to retire the disappearing act in favour of open, customer-centric practices. By doing so, dealerships can better cater to modern consumers and build stronger, more enduring customer relationships.

Buying a car should be fun!


Did you enjoy this blog post? Subscribe to our email list to be notified of when we upload new content! We won't send you any other communications other than blog post updates!

photo of Neil Addley

Neil Addley

Hi, I’m Neil, the Managing Director and Founder of JudgeService. I have worked in the automotive industry for over 30 years. I have a passion for outstanding customer service and believe that reviews and insights can help businesses improve their customer’s experiences every time.

Add a Comment

Request a Demo

Enter your email address below and we will get back to you.