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One person, one hour, one price- Is that really possible?

Why transparency and speed in car sales matter.

Buying a car has always been a family affair. Families used to go to dealerships and look at cars, test the features, drive it around the neighborhood and spend a day with the salesman negotiating the price. Cars have always been a large purchase and the process has always been lengthy. Part of the reason for the extended process was the limited information available to consumers. Most of the research took place at the dealer’s lot. Today, consumers do not have to go to a dealership to look at cars, ‘test’ the features, or even understand how it will drive. There are many online sources that provide consumers a wealth of information in real-time and with virtual reality. What has not changed is that it is still a large purchase and consumers have to touch and feel what they are buying. What has changed is that the process can no longer be an all-day event.

Consumers can purchase a car entirely online or complete most of the process online before coming to a dealership. At the dealer, the final tasks are to agree on the car, agree on the price, and sign the paperwork. To meet consumer’s demand for a shorter process and a better experience, some dealerships have turned to upfront pricing, one person, and one hour. A customer can come into the store and purchase the vehicle of their dreams in one hour!

Up-front pricing is key to making the one-hour sales process possible. Having only one dealer member involved also contributes to the success of this process. Having only one salesperson means that they know everything they need to know about their customers. This limits the time of getting to know them, collecting disparate pieces of information, or figuring out what they really need. The last element of the formula is the paperwork. Most dealer management systems make the paperwork process easy allowing for better collection of the required signatures and documentation.

According to Brian McCafferty speaking to Automotive News, “With One Price, One Person, a single sales employee handles a customer’s entire vehicle transaction with no price haggling, including financing and the sale of ancillary F&I products, such as an extended service contract and guaranteed asset protection coverage…. Customers’ loan interest rates, which are quoted upfront, are based on their credit scores… All customers are charged the same price for F&I products… all aspects of the dealership are one-price, including service items and parts.”

Schomp Automotive of Colorado and Utah sells cars through their model of ‘One price, one person, one hour’ to meet customer expectations. According to Schomp, their customers love the transparency. To make this culture work, they look for salespeople with customer experience, not necessarily automotive experience.

Walser Buick GMC is a Minnesota dealer that has found success with this strategy. Their mantra is ‘a better car buying experience.’

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