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Experience Sarasota: Gettel Hyundai

Experience Sarasota: Gettel Hyundai

McGuire’s objectives for the future are quite simple: make sure customers buy a car the way they want to buy a car and, along with that, maintain a sense of trust the dealership’s staff of more than 100 have worked so hard to earn.

On Sean McGuire’s desk you’ll find the gently nodding bobble heads of former Tampa Bay Rays’ manager John Maddon next to the Rays’ current third baseman, Evan Longoria. 

Now, depending on where your baseball fandom lies this could be interpreted either as a determined confrontation by the general manager of Gettel Hyundai, or a sly sales tactic.

“I’m from Tampa,” McGuire said as a way of explanation. “My dad is a huge fan of all the Tampa-based teams and I just followed his lead.” 

No unsportsmanlike conduct from this dealership, then.

And having worked his way up through the car dealership ranks, McGuire’s professionalism and enthusiasm for his job is as evident today as it was when he started selling cars more than a decade ago despite the demanding schedule his job entails.

“It’s actually a great job,” he admits.  “But some of the biggest headaches that I have is finding good people to join my team. It takes a lot of time because we want to break away from the typical perception of a car salesman.”

It’s a business model that is reaping financial rewards. As McGuire points out, since he arrived at the dealership five years ago, sales have risen 16% with no foreseeable dip in consumer confidence.

“The economy is getting stronger and gas prices are lower,” McGuire offered. “So our customers are feeling confident. They want to check out the latest Hyundai models we have on the forecourt and hopefully drive one away.”

But the car buying process has changed beyond recognition since McGuire became involved in the industry. Now, he explains, his sales team spend far more time ‘talking’ to customers online than face to face in a showroom.

“When I started selling cars in 2002 the majority of dealerships had no internet department,” he said. “It was looked upon with suspicion. But now, we sell about 60% of our vehicles online. The studies have shown that 90% of people start the process of buying a car online before they visit a dealership. They’ve done their shopping at home.”

In fact, as McGuire points out, less than six years ago potential customers would visit five dealerships in their hunt for the perfect car. Now, on average, it’s a smidgen less than two.

But although that traditional shopping route has all but disappeared, first impressions still count as McGuire is quick to point out. 

“It’s crucial to ensure that when customers visit our website they have a positive experience,” he said. “The dealership has a group of nine people staffing the internet department. They are constantly in contact with our customers who are a loyal group of people. We have to make sure that doesn’t change.”

McGuire’s objectives for the future are quite simple: make sure customers buy a car the way they want to buy a car and, along with that, maintain a sense of trust the dealership’s staff of more than 100 have worked so hard to earn.

“Many of our competitors don’t invest in that concept,” added McGuire. “I want to make sure our customers get the answers to their questions and keep on coming back to Gettel.”

Gettel Hyundai
3500/ 3530 Bee Ridge Road
941 923-1411
gettel.com
smcguire@gettel.com

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