How To Turn Tire Kickers In to Paying Customers: 4 Strategies Worth Testing

Tire Kicker

Tire kickers. Ugh, the word brings a shudder to salespeople who have spent hours and hours with one only to have them never buy from the dealership. Dealers are concerened that they will waste precious time and resources answering every question and going on test drives only to have wasted opportunity cost when the customer never buys. This worse case scenerio can be mostly avoided with the right angle of attack.

Generally the problem isn’t with your product, the customer is worried about commiting to a major purchase that might turn in to a lemon. If you are struggling with too many tire kickers, try the following strategies to turn those potential customers in to loyal and happy paid customers.

1. Use CARFAX or AutoCheck

Show the customer that the vehicle they are interested in is exactly what you say it is. With a large marketing spend, both of these services have earned media credibility and that credibility will rub off on you helping to gain trust with the buyer.


2. Vet the Lead Before They Come In

Obviously this tactic is less effective with walk-ins, but you can still vet them quickly by asking specific questions to gauge their intent. Are you looking to buy in the near term? What is your price point? Do you have a make/model in mind? Will you be financing or paying cash? What do you do drive currently? What will you be using the vehicle for? Have you already taken other test drives? What sites have you done research on? Found anything you like?

3. Build Trust In The Dealership

Connect as an invidual with the customer by walking them through the history of your dealership and what makes you special in the marketplace. Maybe you never charge a doc fee. Or your dealership has a special service plan included in all vehicle sales. Obviously if you have a long, storied history in your community that goes a long way towards building trust.

4. Followup

Even if you don’t get the customer the first time, treat them like any warm lead. Automate the process by dripping them emails of the vehicle and other potential matches. As long as the customer has been properly vetted, get them in the buyer pool and treat them like any other potential customer.

Follow Up


You don’t have to shudder when tire kickers come in to your dealership. Use these tips to save those potential deals. You’ll gain a customer for life that leads to referrals. Worse case you may impress the customer enough that they will recommend you to a friend or family member. Make the effort and you won’t be sad!


August 15, 2014 - Written by

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