For many years consumers have been complaining about the buying experience at the local dealership and have often compared the experience to pulling teeth without the benefit of a painkiller. However, in the post internet era where easy access to information has changed the way that vehicles are bought and sold, consumers have expanded the radius for what they consider their local dealership to include those within the length of time they are willing to travel to avoid the hassle and to get a better deal. The fact is buying clubs and services only exist because the consumer wants to avoid the car buying experience to include the antiquated sales practices that still persist in our industry even to this today. The reality is that $200MM is a lot of reason for everyone in the local dealership to take this threat not just seriously, but also as a call to action for personal responsibility that leads to change.
Over the past few weeks there has been an outcry from business leaders who stand to lose from the success of the business model being introduced by Truecar.com to include myself. But what’s even more fascinating is that the group that really stands to lose the most from True Car’s success has been silent! True Car wants to get rid of salespeople across the board and what many of these individuals fail to realize is that they might actually succeed! What I have come to appreciate in these last few years, is that there is no such thing as impossible, and if you do not believe me, just ask General Motors, Chrysler and even Saturn. Even to the bitter end they were running commercials stating that they, meaning Saturn, were never going out of business, but as we all know, they did.
Many of us are reluctant to acknowledge that change is inevitable, but just like the United States who at one point was a manufacturing giant and whose citizens are now complaining about the fact that their jobs are being shipped off to third world countries, for us the writing is on the wall. If we as a body of selling professionals do not begin to take responsibility for our own development, it will not be too long before the True Car scenario claims the livelihood that we use to provide for our families. Oh, by the way, those that are complaining about the manufacturing jobs going overseas constitute the largest portion of Wal-Mart’s customer base, Hmmm.
The fact of the matter is this, we, meaning salespeople have got to take responsibility for our own personal development by seeking out and committing to ongoing skill development, because it is the only way to secure our professional and financial future. Successful selling professionals are never unemployed and are always in high demand. He or she has the ability to write their own ticket wherever they go. They have developed and possess skills that make them inflation and poverty proof and in this case, True Car proof. Here is what I mean; the only reason that this company has any form of bite is that you the salesperson do not own your very own book of business. Many of you still believe that you have a job working for someone else instead of the real truth which is that you are in business for yourself but just not by yourself. The quicker you can come to this realization about your employment status, the quicker your life and your income will take on a whole new meaning.
The first thing that will happen is that you will realize that your success is totally in your control so it is your responsibility to seek out the information to fill those knowledge gaps that are currently keeping you from what you want. The second thing that will become apparent is that you must go on the offense and become proactive about developing your own book of business. It will become immediately obvious the importance of developing multiple streams of client sources that does not include standing at the door waiting for the next up. And finally it will become really evident the importance of developing and protecting your customer base. If you have a real relationship with your clients, then no one, not even True Car can get between you and them.
The reason that they have raised $200MM is they think that people buy cars from dealerships instead of from the people who work at those dealerships. The clients that have no relationship with you, but are just sitting in the CRM tool dormant, are the ones that will shop your deal and will sell you out just to save a few dollars. But your ignorance to this fact keeps you at the door waiting for them to show up, instead of investing in yourself by upgrading your skills to protect what’s rightfully yours, your right to a career…