CommentaryMar 27th, 2018

There's No Such Thing as Giving Too Much Information to Prospective Buyers


As an industry, we’re finally getting it. We’re realizing that when it comes to selling cars, there’s no such thing as too much information. Traditionally, dealers trained salespeople to withhold information from car shoppers because they believed that if they gave that information out, the shopper would go somewhere else.

They believed that if they could just get that customer in for an appointment, they could make the sale. These beliefs just aren’t cutting it with today’s consumer. Thanks to information available online, it’s easy to research every last detail about a vehicle before making a decision.

For example, I have a friend who spent more than three hours researching coffeemakers before she decided which one she wanted. The Amazon experience is now considered normal: a plethora of choices, transparent pricing, information overload, and hundreds of customer reviews.

So is it really surprising that when prospective buyers visit your website, they quickly become frustrated? Many dealer websites offer little information on vehicles other than some photos and basic specs listed on the VDPs.

Many dealers still don’t list pricing, and they don’t set any expectations for the consumer about what the buying experience is going to be like, or how that consumer will feel after purchasing a new vehicle.

If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re giving away too much information, I have news for you: You can’t ever give away too much information. I realize this is a complete 180-degree paradigm shift from the way we used to sell cars. Dealers are no longer the keeper of the information.

The customer is, and if you don’t give it to them, they’re going to find that information somewhere else. You spend a lot of money to bring customers to your website. Once you get them there, don’t you want the prospective buyer to stay a while? To me, many dealer websites look the same.

They have a few photos of the dealership and/or dealer, a promotion for their latest offer, a few widgets, photos of new and pre-owned inventory, and an “about our dealership” section. If you’re a shopper in the market for a vehicle, what’s missing? Well, only about a hundred things.

If someone can spend three hours researching a coffeemaker, how many questions do you think they have about buying a vehicle? Or, if a customer needs to have their vehicle serviced, how do you let them know that your service department is more trustworthy than the local independent repair shop? People want information so they can make a decision.

Find a way to convey as much information as possible on your website, and you will win the customer’s attention and trust. Think about typical questions that car shoppers or potential service customers have, and provide answers to those questions on your website.

You can do this via frequently asked questions (FAQs), but the most efficient way is with video. Videos convey a lot of information in a very short time span. List the top 10 questions car shoppers typically ask, or may be afraid to ask. These may include:

  • What is the best way to get the lowest car payment?
  • Can I buy a car with no money down?
  • I owe more than my car is worth; can I still trade for a newer vehicle?
  • Is it possible to push back my first payment?
  • I’ve declared bankruptcy; can I still get a loan?

Next, make a series of videos that provide shoppers with an answer for each question. Ideally, the videos will be short and informative. Try not to get too cute with your basic informational videos.

You want to set the customer’s expectations of what it will be like to do business with you, and you want that experience to be professional.

Some short descriptive video title examples could be:

  • Fair, Upfront Pricing
  • Our Pre-Owned Vehicle Standards
  • Educated and Informed Staff
  • We Respect Your Time

You can do the same thing in service. Answer typical service department FAQs, such as:

  • How often do I have to change my wiper blades?
  • How do I know when I need to buy new tires?
  • Why is it important that I keep my tires properly inflated?
  • How can I get better gas mileage?

Again, make a video for every question. Be sure to feature your service advisors and other personnel.

The more videos potential customers watch, the more they will get to know and like your staff, which is half the battle when it comes time to make a decision. Informational videos are a great way to build rapport and earn customer trust. Don’t forget to always include a call to action so your customer has a reason to call you. Give car shoppers the information they’re looking for, and there’s a very good chance their business will be yours.

Tim James, COO of Flick Fusion, is a dynamic sales and marketing strategist with more than 20 years of success in driving revenue growth for auto dealers. He is one of the auto industry’s leading authorities on the use of video marketing strategies throughout the entire online merchandising and sales process.

Authored by

Tim James

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