Last month in an interview with The Associated Press, Ford CEO Mark Fields said, “It always has to start with the customer. The customer demands a certain level of price and value.”

And Fields is right. We must meet (and occasionally exceed) customers’ expectations in terms of values and price. But wait, are we changing our tune? Are we finally telling you that you must compete on price in order to remain competitive and attract new customers? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

In fact, we believe that Fields’ statement is a resounding endorsement that you can and should balance the price you charge with the value you provide, which means that if you start providing more value, your concerns about higher grosses and cash flow will disappear.

How can you start providing more value to your customers today? Here are two simple ways you can add more value without adding to your budget.

Stop Selling Cars. Start Selling Solutions.

People want solutions to their problems. But oftentimes dealerships overlook this need.

In fact, most dealers believe that prospects who visit their website or their location know everything they need to know about buying a car. They think their customers know the features they want, the price they want to pay, how to trade-in their old vehicle and the process of getting approved. The truth is they don’t. They need help with these key areas of buying a car. And oftentimes their lack of knowledge is actually what is keeping them out of the market for a new car.

When you start selling solutions to these common problems, not only will you add intrinsic value to each and every interaction that happens on your lot, you’ll also open up a whole new pool of customers who had previously disqualified themselves because of a perceived problem.

Give Value First

When you provide valuable information upfront for free, you go from being a product-pushing car salesperson to being a trusted advisor. Being a trusted advisor is in high-demand because good decisions are in high-demand. In fact, people will even pay a premium for expert advice. Just think about how people line up to get advice from experts and gurus.

Plus, people are constantly seeking information. And by providing this information without getting anything in return, you are showing prospects that you care about helping them make smart decisions this allows you to create relationships based on trust, which makes customers feel good about doing business with you.
In today’s automotive industry, Ford CEO Mark Fields is absolutely right. Customers do expect a balance between value and price. But if you can begin providing more value, you can stop competing on price and gain a competitive advantage over other dealerships in your market.