The Future of Car Sales: Single-Point Interaction
Buying a car has been considered a challenge for decades. Many people rank the dread they feel about buying a car in the same league as getting a ticket or going to the dentist. It’s considered a hassle at best by many car shoppers.
A handful of dealership across the country have started to adopt more modern sales practices. One of those practices that is starting to pick up steam is the concept of single-point interaction. In a standard car buying experience, there are often four or more people involved in putting the deal together. There’s a salesperson who goes on test drives and fills out paperwork, a used car sales manager who drives and values the trade in, another sales manager who works the numbers in the “back and forth” negotiating style, a finance manager who handles the completion of paperwork, and any number of other specialists and employees who interact with the customer within a single buying experience.
The single-point interaction concept eliminates all but one of these people. It’s designed to streamline the process in a way that can only be accomplished by consolidating it all down to one person who handles everything.
Logic would have many people wondering why this isn’t commonplace. It makes sense to simplify the sale, but in the car business, complications can often be a benefit to the dealer. Very few dealerships have been willing to go to a single-point interaction process, but one who is finding great success is Wilsonville Toyota, a Portland Toyota dealership. When buying a car there, the customer works with a single person from start to finish.
There’s no finance manager. The person who test drives the vehicle with the customer handles all of the paperwork from start to finish. There’s no high-pressure “closer” coming in during negotiations. In fact, Wilsonville Toyota makes the negotiation process simple by posting the lowest price on every vehicle. There’s no need to haggle. Everything is transparent and upfront, including the use of Kelley Blue Book and Manheim Auto Auction reports to determine a one-price offer for the trade in.
They accurately call this their No Bull pricing and sales process. This is how cars should be sold in the 21st century.
Modern technology combined with common sense makes this type of sales process completely favorable to the car shopper. The mystery behind buying a car is eliminated, making it closer to the experience of shopping at Home Depot rather than a total hassle. This is the future, but it’s available at some dealerships today.
Here is a video showing some of the reactions to their process: