- Thinking Stage. Average length = 26 Days. There may be some event or realization that starts people thinking about a purchase during which time some conversations with friends, family, and colleagues take place as well as some casual browsing (usually online). As a car sales professional, this is the period when you want your name to come up in those conversations.
- Research Stage. Average length = 19 Days. The data collection stage involves lots of online and offline activities (including visiting dealerships) to determine what’s available, reviews/ratings, relative costs, etc. More and more of this phase is being done exclusively online
- Buying Stage. Average length = 12 Days. The buyer is comparing features, pricing, and narrowing down to a short list as well as test driving and checking promotional offers. If dealership visits did not happen during the research stage, they will occur now.
If your prospect in the showroom is in Stage 3, you may have what Duane Marino calls a "transaction-ready" buyer. These folks already know what they want and their financing preference so your job is essentially to "get out of their way" and make the purchase as friction-free as possible. For this customer, it is still important to remember your professional obligations to insure they understand which vehicle they are buying and their financing options but dragging them through your 90 minute sales process may lose you the sale.