WINNER of the "Drove the Farthest for the New Whip" AWARD...Jack from Georgia! I love the way the internet has changed how we sell cars. I was an early adapter back in 2005/2006, when I was hired by Mr. Royal to help out with our sister store, Royal on the Eastside's, Internet Sales Department. Back then, we had a regular salesman handling all things internet. If a customer emailed us, he would respond. This guy was a great salesman, great at customer service, but a horrible typist. He was unfamiliar with Windows and email. It took him forever to get back with customers, and he couldn't, for the life of him, figure out how to consistently send emails. He was always deleting them mid-draft, getting frustrated, and calling it a day. Mr. Royal hired me to help out because I knew how to run Window's 1998--and that was all the qualification I needed to be better than their current "Internet Salesman". Even back then, it was such a novelty to have a customer from out of town ask about a specific vehicle.
Things have come a looooooooooong way since then. Today, customers expect lightning fast responses via text or email with real time updates on a vehicle's status: is this vehicle here? what are the current incentives? can I come by today at 4:30 PM and test drive the vehicle? Many of these requests come from local customers who find it easier to browse our website and shop online while at work or home. But a good number of requests and emails come from customers out of town, or out of state!
In this world of online marketing, the "world is flat". That phrase is used often in business circles to describe the way business can be conducted across large areas. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Is_Flat). Whereas it use to be that you bought your vehicles only from your local dealership, maybe visiting a few dealerships over a couple days and then choosing the car you liked the best, in today's market, it's common to shop for vehicles in a 100 or 200 mile radius. And if you're looking for a very specific, hard to find car, something really rare--it isn't uncommon to shop nationally for your dream car.
Which brings us to Jack! He contacted us from Mineral Bluff, Georgia about a very special Cadillac CTS Turbo we had in stock. He was looking for exactly what we had, and he wasn't put off by the great distance between us. Jack was a retired educator and didn't mind driving out here to Bloomington to get the best deal, on the best car. So...that is exactly what he and his wife did! They drove out from the mountain town of Mineral Bluff, Georgia to come buy our special Cadillac.
I put them up in my favorite local hotel, the Grant Street Inn, right near campus. (https://www.grantstinn.com). They got to town, spent the night, and then came in the next morning to purchase their dream car!
I love the way Internet Shopping has expanded our customer base. Because we display all our vehicles online with special pricing, we get to interact with customers from all over the US. We've sold cars from Florida to California, from Texas to Minnesota! We even sold an old Porsche 911 to a customer in Germany! What a time to be alive and selling cars! Amazing!
- Andy Long