Dealerships often are reluctant to give price and payment quotes too soon, even when customers ask.
Vehicle shoppers sometimes complain about that, seeing it as a negotiating ploy. It can gouge into customer-satisfaction score.
“It's important to respond to customers,” says dealership trainer Ron Reahard of Reahard & Associates.
He offers a solution to the dealer dilemma of keeping an inquiring customer happy, yet not prematurely quoting a price:
“When asked, give payment multiples; 36 months, 48 months, balloon and lease. Give them three. For purchase, lease and balloon. It gets off price, and steers the customer to the best way to pay for the vehicle.”
Reahard says customers deserve accurate, non-misleading payment quotes. “When there is hiding or misrepresenting, it's deceptive. It's not negotiating,” he says.
But he warns dealers against prematurely giving payment quotes while a customer is still shopping for a vehicle.
“If you don't let your people give guesstimates on trades, you shouldn't let them give guesstimates on payments. How can a dealership employee know what a payment will be without knowing a customer's credit history?”