A Way of the Future: Stress-Free Buyers

Lexus Plus dealers introduces no-haggle pricing. Really!

Many people associate car buying with stress and hours of time as well as having to navigate a difficult decision process. Deciding which car is right is only the first step in a long process that includes negotiating, financing and service.

Women can find the process especially challenging, while trying to balance work and family. Women report that car buying creates a lot of apprehension and uncertainty.

Lexus Plus – Streamlining the Process Start to Finish
No-haggle pricing isn’t new. Pre-the great-recession, Saturn (when it was still around) was the first brand to adopted an “one price” strategy. Recently, even Cadillac announced it’s creating a retail overhaul that streamlines the sales process.

And now, Lexus has introduced #LexusPlus. This pilot program in 11 select dealers has a dedicated consultant for sales or service. This consultant is the single point of contact for the entire process, ensuring continuous communication throughout buying or servicing. This consultant has access to all of the information necessary to create a fast and efficient process. Click here to see Lexus Plus video.

No-haggle pricing is a big part of Lexus Plus. Each sales or service consultant knows the exact price of a vehicle or a service and offers transparency in how the numbers are calculated. No-haggle pricing removes the discomfort of negotiation and ensures that the buyer establishes trust in one person that will see the transaction through each stage – including financing. Frankly, a relief – for many.

Lexus may very well be on to something. Last year, Autotrader conducted a survey showing that 44% of car buyers did not want to negotiate the purchase of their vehicle. Other industry reports show that younger buyers are no longer interested in negotiating.

Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager for Lexus, shared more about what’s driving Lexus Plus, “Women rank trust at the top of their list of reasons to buy from a particular sales consultant. Lexus Plus appeals especially to this audience because relationships and transparency are the pillars of trust, and Lexus is already a strong brand with this powerful segment.”

Dealer Payoff
Dealers who adopt the dedicated consultant and no-haggle pricing strategy have several advantages over traditional sales methods:

  • Consultants can be selected to carefully match a dealership’s demographic. If the demographic is over 50% women, then at least half of the consultants should also be women.
  • Training is streamlined. When a consultant “owns” the start to finish process, can be delivered in a cohesive way.
  • Consultants provide a more personalized service, since they will get to know a customer in a more thorough way.
  • Possible issues during the deal will be more easily spotted, because one person is monitoring the transaction from start to finish.
  • A customer is likely to develop a more trusted relationship if there is only one consultant involved.
  • Further, because the client has had a rewarding experience over and over, retention and CSI will be increased.

Customer Payoff
A dedicated consultant can be a welcome change for a number of reasons:

  • A customer has a single point of contact for everything and can find answers to her questions quickly.
  • Streamlined communication and up-front pricing saves an enormous amount of time.
  • Knowing exactly who to talk increases a buyer’s confidence and reduces the confusion of shopping for a car.

Overcoming Possible Pushbacks
One price or “No-haggle” pricing may not be right for everyone. Customers who place a high value on getting “the best price” may feel negotiating is necessary, since it’s the overwhelming industry paradigm. Either way, get ready to see this more relaxed approach to car buying more and more over the next 5 – 10 years.