Dealership Salespeople Have Largest Influence on Car Buying Decisions: Study

Dealership Salespeople Have Largest Influence on Car Buying Decisions: Study

The biggest influencer when it comes to buying your next car is… the dealership salesperson. That, at least, is the result of the Maritz Research New Vehicle Customer Study – touted to be the largest such study in North America.

In total, 21.89 percent of car shoppers surveyed last year said the dealership salesperson had the largest impact on their purchase or lease decision, with relatives and friends ranking second at 18.66 percent.

Chris Travell, vice president of Maritz Research downplayed the importance of social media and said that both Facebook and Twitter were not major influencers at all.

Consumer Shopping Guides like Consumer Reports ranked third overall as an influencer, though according to the Maritz study their importance has waned over the past few years. Of particular importance, third party websites out-ranked traditional print media automotive magazines in their influence.

Advertising by automakers, be it in print, TV or radio, were all ranked far down the list in terms of the influence they have on consumer purchase decisions.

The survey ranks what car shoppers think influences them the most, with the results flying in the face of conventional belief that online research is a major factor. The nearly $30 billion in advertising spent each year in America would also seem to suggest the level of influence ads have on a consumers shopping decisions is more significant than they think.

[Source: AutoNews]

  • Hmm, not sure I totally agree.  The only thing a salesperson does is influence whether or not I’ll by a car from a particular dealer.  They hold no influence when it comes to the car – but I go in knowing exactly what I want – often more than the salesperson.

  • John

    I believe with the largest group in the survey = to 21.89% of shoppers, the survey really says that shoppers get influenced in many different ways. Another way to read, is that Salespeople ONLY are the major influencing factor to just 1 buyer in 5. The other 4 buyers may get NO influence from salespeople. Decor Girl is in the latter group.

  • Parmramdial

    Customers are great they come in knowing all the info. on the car makes my job real easy I must say, But why do 80% of people end up buying something other than what they came in for !

  • T. Roll

    Salesmen know NOTHING! And they’re practically paid to screw you out of every last dollar.

  • dz

    I wouldn’t put too much faith in these earth shattering findings. I just bought a new 7-series and got an 8 page survey packet from Maritz that reminded me a lot of my SAT exam. I threw it in the garbage where it belongs. I did, however, take the time to send a snarky e-mail to Maritz.

    As someone that works in a quantitative profession, my curiosity got the better of me. I found this article while searching for feedback on their survey itself. I suspect the only people that complete these surveys are either:
    1.) unhappy customers or
    2.) retired people with nothing better to do.

    This could explain why conventional wisdom is actually right and unconventional surveys are wrong.

    Personally, when I bought my car, I knew exactly what I wanted, exactly what the dealer paid, and exactly what incentives were available. I picked up the phone and started calling dealers off of until I found one 1100 miles away that wanted to do the deal. My car was put on a truck and shipped to me. The entire sales and negotiating process took about 15 minutes.

    I attached a photo of the survey. Any results from this thing are suspect at best.