The NEW 21st Century Car Dealerships!

By Michael Royce
Consumer advocate, former car salesman

Despite the fact that today's car buyers are more savvy than ever, many stubborn dealerships continue to sell cars the old-fashioned way - with tricky tactics and high-pressure games.

Yet there are some cutting-edge dealerships out there that are changing the way cars are sold. These dealerships represent the future of the automotive business. They are the new breed of "21st Century Dealerships."

How will you know if you've luckily wandered into one of these new 21st Century Dealerships? Here are some clues:

When you interact with the car salesman:

  • He is friendly and helpful.
  • He treats you with respect, not disdain or indifference.
  • He respects your intelligence.
  • He answers your questions fully and clearly.
  • He genuinely wants to help you find the car that's right for you.
  • He lets you take your time and doesn't make you feel hurried.
  • He doesn't pressure you in any way.
  • He is interested in building a professional relationship with you.
  • He graciously lets you leave the dealership when you want.
When you are buying your new car:
  • The car salesman explains the buying process to you in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • The buying process is professional, respectful and friendly.
  • You feel good about the buying process - not hurried, confused or stressed.
  • The dealership negotiates with good faith in a non-intimidating, easy-to-follow manner.
  • The dealership may offer you a reasonable low price that doesn't even require negotiating.
When you are in the Business Office:
  • The Business Manager explains the paperwork to you in an easy-to-understand manner.
  • The Business Manager explains the additional options available for purchase - such as extended warranty, alarms, etc. - but doesn't pressure you into buying any of them.
  • The Business Manager doesn't make you feel hurried, stressed or confused.
When you are taking delivery of your new car:
  • The salesman makes sure that you have your full set of keys, the Owner's Manual and your Warranty Book.
  • The salesman invites you to contact him if you have any follow-up questions or problems.
In the days, weeks, and months after your big purchase:
  • You feel that you were treated with respect by the dealership.
  • You feel that you were treated fairly by the dealership.
  • You feel good about the dealership and your salesman.
  • You feel that you have a good relationship with the dealership.
  • You would recommend this particular dealership to your friends.
If you can find a dealership that offers this kind of respectful, helpful, stress-free, no-pressure buying experience, then you've found a 21st Century Dealership. Congratulations!

Avoid the dealership's games.
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