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Top 3 Reasons Bad Reviews Hurt Your Auto Dealership

If you own an auto dealership, or work for one, you know one thing to be 100% true. Reviews will affect your daily business success. 86% of car buyers, spend their time researching online before they even make it into your dealership. (Adtaxi, the digital marketing agency)

Even though most car buyers are not buying cars online, they are researching everything they can to get a grasp on what car they want and what they can expect from the dealership.

Thanks to the ecommerce industry and the giants like Amazon and Groupon, reviews have become a very important factor buyers use to influence their buying decisions. There are people who will consider buying a product in a store, but then pull out their phones to check Amazon or the Internet for the reviews on the same product. If the reviews come back as positive, then they buy. The ROBO Economy did a report that showed 82% of people (using a smartphone) check their phones on items/services they are about to purchase in store.

There is no objection that reviews have become as important as a personal recommendation in every industry and business.

Good reviews are a great step to establishing trust with a customer that has not even stepped foot into your auto dealership. If more than 85% of people are shopping online before they walk in, you better make sure your reviews are overwhelmingly positive to capture their interest and get more qualified foot traffic.

Establishing trust with anxious or uncomfortable customers before they meet your awesome sales team is great because the customer is more informed and closer to the purchasing mindset by the time they get to your door. However, even if the customer sees the car of their dreams at your auto dealership, but then sees your reviews, which are mediocre at best, they will absolutely pass on your auto dealership or expect a killer deal that ends up loosing the dealership money.

Why does this happen?

The power of reviews brings more influence than you might think. Below are the top 3 reasons bad reviews hurt your auto dealership.

1. Reputation

Customers these days only want to do business with those they know, like, and trust. Bad reviews online gives your auto dealership a bad reputation and drives away qualified leads before you even had the chance to speak with them. As a result, people will start talking and become “Personal Walking Killers” to your dealership which will hurt your long term success, and even kill your business. With bad reviews, how can you ever establish trust with your customers?

2. Poor Google Search Rankings

Because we know that customers start their car buying journey online, Google ranking is very important. With a bad ranking, customers may make their decision before even seeing your auto dealership online. You might be their 3rd, 4th, or even 5th choice to visit if someone doesn’t close them 1st, (which is a bad gamble for you). Google favors companies with good reviews through their local search algorithm. Make sure you show up on a basic Google search. You will receive more walk in traffic and qualified leads because they will already know your dealership has what they are interested in, and you have a good reputation (which again, establishes trust and shows your authentic influence).

3. Less Money From Auto Manufacturers

The most overlooked factor for reviews is the additional funds car dealerships receive from the manufacturers themselves. This is a huge factor from the car dealerships we have worked with because they tell us that positive reviews allow them to get more funds for their business, which are used for additional marketing campaigns and other objectives. With bad reviews, you may be missing out on the additional funds from the manufacturers to help drive more business.

All in all, good reviews will keep your dealership running and allow you long-term success. Reputation, Google rankings, walk-in traffic, and additional funds will increase with good reviews.

How do you ensure that your dealership and sales team overall are doing everything they can to bring in good reviews?

In order to get positive reviews, your sales team needs to be trained properly with the correct intentions in mind. These intentions are based around 1 thing: putting your customer’s interests above your own!

If you learn and remember 1 thing from this article, it needs to be this.

Putting your customer’s needs above your own will allow your team to establish trust with the customer and move sales faster because people buy from sales people they Know, Like, and Trust.

When we do our in person trainings, I can’t tell you how many times sales people will greet the customer and then almost immediately ask “So what is your budget?” or “Do you want to take this beauty for a test drive?”

How can you expect to gain the customers trust? This “tactic” comes off as aggressive, and will push the customer away even if they need a car. You need to learn how to ask effective questions.

The power of asking the right question at the right time can make or break a sale. There is a time for those questions above, but the average sales person has not been trained on when to ask them.

At Applied Excellence, we train businesses of all kinds on how to establish trust the right way, and how to shift your focus from GETTING to GIVING, which is the only true way to establish meaningful, client centered relationships.

We are focused on the real human-to-human interaction and effective body language that reinforces all stages of your sales cycle. Car sales is one of the best industries to learn this training because trust, and of course REVIEWS, are the most prevalent.

If you can learn the correct way to put your customer’s interest above your own, remove any emotional connection to your desired outcome (getting the sale), and sell based on the importance of value, then you will create, in abundance, what we call “Personal Walking Ambassadors.”

These ambassadors will tell other people who are looking for a car to visit your car dealership because you gave them such a positive experience and they felt good about doing business with you.

Reviews and investing in the proper way to receive them will not only grow your business and sales goals, but your team’s overall enjoyment of sales.

Good selling to you!

Hudson Sherr

Business Operations Manager


Looking for sales training for your team?

Reach out to us today! We have special pricing for corporate training and would love to take your team to the next level in sales. Even if you already have training in place, online training and onsite workshops have been made to only enhance your current teachings you already have in place.

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