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Dealership Desking Tactics for Modern Buyers

Dealership Desking Tactics for Modern Buyers

Today, the ideal automotive desking process is built around the modern retail experience. With the right tools, any dealership can capture online customer activity, increase price transparency, and still deliver the highest possible gross for every deal.

More customers are using digital retailing tools to structure their own deals before coming to the dealership. Although a traditional desking process is not going away, dealerships need to level up their technology to meet this change. Sales staff need tools and training to work efficiently with virtual and in-person shoppers. Here are five areas that are leading the way.


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Integrated Systems
A modern retail experience hinges on successful integration of your dealership desking solution with your digital retailing tool, CRM, DMS, and third-party rate and incentive providers. Once in place, as soon as a customer introduces themselves, your Sales staff can check the CRM and/or digital retailing tool to see what steps have already been completed. Then pick up the deal with the customer from wherever they are in their journey.


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Pricing Transparency
You control the pricing and options presented through your digital retailing tool. Never present a first or second pencil that contradicts your online pricing. Consistent pricing from online to in-store is what the customer expects.


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Empower Sales Staff
Empower and train Sales staff to process a deal in front of the customer. Customers like having one point of contact, and when you work with them in calculating a monthly payment, they see that you’re doing your best even if you can’t hit that desired number. Sales staff can share their screens or work from a tablet, confident that online and in-store numbers always match.


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Solution Uniformity
More dealers now require in-house use of the same digital retailing solution that customers are using online. This guarantees that everyone will see the same calculations and payment details. Equally important, it shows the customer that the tools they’re using at home are industry-quality and transparent. After all, Sales staff are also counting on them to put together deals.


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Helpful Consultants
Most digital retailing customers still want expert help from your Sales staff. A customer might calculate a payment of $700 a month, but $650 would be a better budget fit. Your dealership desking presentation should allow Salespeople to show customers side-by-side comparisons of multiple payment and/or lease options. Changing a monthly payment should be as easy as plugging in new numbers.

A common mistake is to jump into a traditional dealership desking process with every customer. Don’t risk alienating a customer who has already put in hours on your website calculating terms and narrowing down a deal by asking them to start from square one again.



Modern retail has completely changed what the customer expects when they walk through your door. In a recent CDK Global survey of new car buyers, 24% started the buying process online before coming into the store. Make sure your salespeople know how to account for the work that has already been done online and leverage your dealership desking tool to deliver great customer experiences and maximum profit.

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