Christina Rogers finance.yahoo.com A car salesman used to spend long days on his feet. Now he's becoming like everyone else—stuck most days in a chair in front of a computer screen. The Internet has been upending car sales for more than 15 years. That change is now coming down hard on the people on the front lines—converting them into more into concierges than hand-shaking sales maestros. Customers are simply different today. They've scoured the Web for up-to-date price information and have probably made a decision even before showing up on a dealer's lot. The salesman doesn't have as much to do. "The whole process of buying a car has been flipped flop from what it used to be," said Alison Spitzer, vice president of Spitzer Auto Group in Elyria, Ohio. "Today, customers find the car first, then the dealership." Take Mia Morris, the new face of auto sales. The 30-year-old doesn't work on commission, isn't interested in haggling over price and spends more time online conversing with customers than on the showroom floor. Her business card identifies her as "product specialist," and the low-key title matches her duties at Nissan of Manhattan. Instead of the hard sell, she says her job is more tutorial. "Everything is visible. It is transparent for the customers," she said. "It is more like trying to help them find the right car and make a smart choice." Before price-information websites like TrueCar.com and Edmunds.com, dealers typically had the upper hand in negotiating a car's price, and often could score a healthy profit on a sale. Today, buyers call or walk into a showroom already armed with a car's invoice price, competing dealer bids and discounts from the manufacturers, and can get updates on their cellphones while standing in the store. They can access online reviews of the salesperson and dealership. That has led many dealers to eliminate commissioned pay, price new vehicles closer to their own costs and station more staff in front of computers, where they are rewarded for generating sales quickly and in higher volumes, rather than trying to talk a customer into buying a more expensive model. to read more click here: finance.yahoo.com
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