What influences us to buy cars? – Buying Decisions
I started working in sales roles straight after high school, throwing myself into the deep end as a Real Estate sales person before my 18th birthday. I have worked in mortgages and financial services and sold it all, throughout this I have always been intrigued by why people buy? What leads to them signing that contract or leaving with that product?
Go to any sales training or read any sales books and there is an overriding ideology that people buy people. That is to say that the salesperson becomes one of, if not the most important factor in the buying decision.
As we discussed in our Is car brand loyalty dead article, 79% of car buyers start their search online nowadays for both the car and the finance. So where does the sales person step in and do they hold the same power they used to?
In 2011, market research firm Maritz Research released a report stating that 22% of car shoppers said that the sales person had the biggest influence on their eventual decision. In 2015 that number is down to 14%. So the question must be asked, what is influencing our buying decisions?
FAMILY AND FRIENDS INFLUENCE OUR CAR BUYING AND CAR LOAN DECISIONS
We have always gone to our Family and Friends for advice when buying or financing anything and this is no different when it comes to cars. One look at Packard Motor Cars 1910 advertising confirms this with their slogan “Ask the man who owns one”. Now that we have a 24/7 feed of everything our friends, family, acquaintances and their pets are doing through social media it is easier than ever to see what the people around us are buying and whether or not they are happy with that purchase. This is even more true when it comes to motor vehicles, all the time people are posting pictures of their cars as they do their Sunday drive or even just because it has had a wash. We have all seen the slamming cars get online when they break down! We trust these people to lead us to the right vehicle and to give us advice to help our buying decisions. But also we want things that our friends have we want to feel like we are part of the “in crowd”. In primary school it’s all about back packs and pencil cases, as adults it’s cars, houses and boats! In sales circles they call this the Jones theory, we are inclined to follow the perceived trends of the people around us and this leads us to buying similar products, seeing the same movies and utilising the services of the same car finance broker.
MANUFACTURER/ DEALER WEBSITES PUSHING FINANCE AND GLOSSY IMAGES
We have all been to these sites. Most of them are marvels of web design where you can do everything from order a brochure to book a test drive. Some of them even have the ability to customize a vehicle to your personal preferences! From 2011 to 2015 we have seen a 15% increase in buyers using these websites when taking out a car loan to purchase a vehicle.
CELEBRITIES ENDORSING CARS
Celebrities sell products. This is a proven fact, companies spend millions to have Nicole Kidman smile in their commercials. This is the same with cars. Motor vehicle manufacturers will go out of their way to make sure celebrities are driving their vehicles, not just in commercials but in their everyday life. Let’s look at the most marketable family on TV right now, yes I am talking about the Kardashians. Love them or hate them you cannot deny their scope and audience. You can’t walk past a newsagent without seeing at least 2 of them splashed across magazines. There is one thing you will notice if you watch even one episode of any of their approximately 50 different tv shows. All of them have a Mercedes-Benz G63. Without fail! Do you think this is coincidence or is Mercedes-Benz doing some not so subtle advertising? When it comes to people with the reach of the Kardashians companies will clamour to have them use their product because they know this will result in sales. People will buy a product because a celebrity has used it or because it was on a tv show and this is what is happening here.
There is a feeling you get when you look at a car and just know it’s the right one. For whatever reason this car just captures you and you can’t stop thinking about it, next thing you know you start seeing them at every red light and in the parking lot at the shops. You find yourself going past dealerships that sell that model more often. Next thing you know you are signing a contract and driving away in your very own “dream car”… in red of course. It is hard to explain what this feeling is but we have all felt it, we have all been driven to purchase something because some small part of our brain just couldn’t let go of the idea of owning it.
This is the nuts and bolts of the car and surprisingly for a lot of buyers has a very small influence on our purchasing decisions. We all want a reliable car that will be safe and comfortable, but how much does that really play into why we buy. For the more analytical amongst us it becomes a vital part however for most people it is far behind some of the other factors we discussed earlier. I was speaking with a friend who recently financed a new car and she based her whole purchase on the feel of the car. She didn’t research the ANCAP rating nor did she check the engine capacity. She drove the car and liked it and that’s exactly the same thing I did when I bought my most recent car!
Here at 360 Finance we will find you the best rate and repayment on any car no matter why you chose it. We can even help you find a car with our fantastic car finder service! Call us on 1300 361 360 or visit our homepage to get a quick quote on car finance today.
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