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One time at band camp, I sold cars.

Round 3 Battle of the Big Cats Blogs

They've Battled over Google Adwords. They threw down about BDC's. Now we want to know what they think about Automotive Consultants and Vendors. Can you be an automotive consultant or vendor if you have never sold a car before? BDC Director, Josh Mitchell is up first.


For those who know me, you know that I am not a conventional car guy. To be honest I hate car guys. But that's not important. The question is, does a vendor need to have sold cars in order to consult a dealer on how to sell a car.

My answer is NO.

Let be honest here.

I know you have heard it before from a customer that you are trying to sell a car to. I “use” to sell cars. For me, that ususally means, "I couldn’t hack it in the car business." Most dealers think we do something amazing that no other industry does. But, the reality is, we are retail. Yes we sell something that is sexy and has a nice price tag but, its still retail.

As a dealer, I have heard it all from vendors. How they used sell cars and that they understand my struggles. I, frankly, don’t care.

Our industry changes.

So, what worked for you in the past, (and the fact that you know what a foursquare is) does nothing for me. Of course if you are a sales trainer and never sold a thing in your life, then that’s another story. Go do something and then we will talk. The fact that you sold cars doesn’t sell me on you or your product so why should it matter. I am more interested in how your product works. At the end of the day, is it going to move cars.

You have to ask yourself do you want your social vendor to know cars or how to engage with customers to build that relationship. Do you want your SEO company to know what a foursquare is or how to create more traffic to your site. Do you want your website provider to be in bed with your OEM creating an impossible partnership with you as a dealer (below the belt shot)?

The answer to all this is simple. You don’t have to know the car biz to do any of this.

I want someone who knows customer service and how to build a partnership. Understanding customer behavior and how to help me navigate better as a dealership is more important to me. Be upfront and understand that your product or service isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. The key to this is to work as a partnership and treat it as such.

Finally, I have heard a lot from the old car dogs and that’s why I say this. I simply think, as an industry, if we want to get better and raise the bar, then we have to look outside of the norm and grow what we do.

3 Comments

  • Michael Reply

    I agree with this. Just because someone worked in the business 5, 10, or 20 years ago doesn’t mean they were good at it. It doesn’t suggest that they were effective at building relationships of trust or understanding consumer behavior. Some of the best lessons I’ve ever learned have come from mentors, consultants, and coaches that don’t know anything about my specific line of work. They do understand behavior, and business, and life, and a whole slew of other things that make their advice work. It’s my job to take what I learn and apply it, regardless. Great points made here.

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