Dealerships have a stereotype to overcome. Before a customer even sets foot on your lot, they most likely have the pre-conceived notion that their best interests aren’t going to be looked after.
It takes skill, integrity, and a good salesperson to help customers get over that preconceived notion. For some, its easier said than done. To help boost your dealership’s sales and customer trust we put together this blog outlining 7 tips to set you on the right track.
Know who your customers really are
To be a good car salesman it’s absolutely crucial to have the people skills necessary to create a dialogue with customers. Some are naturally gifted with this trait because of their people skills. For others, it may seem more difficult. The reality is, it’s not as hard as you think to understand your customers.
Ask them what the 3 most important things they’re looking for in a new vehicle. If they say they’re looking for a small commuter car that has good MPG, and low emissions it’s likely they car about their carbon footprint. In this case, if you’re a Toyota dealership you’d want to point them in the direction of the Prius.
If they’re looking for durability or asking about waterproofing and safety they may be looking for a family van. In the case of the van, you can ask why waterproofing is so important to them.
People love talking about themselves and their lives. In this case, it’s likely you’ll hear about how their young son is a messy boy who leaves a trail of mud everywhere he goes. Getting prospects to open up to you and talk about their lives is the first step to building a trusting relationship. When they feel like their concerns, needs and lifestyle is being listened to and cared about it really helps.
When a customer states a fact about their life feel free to open up and talk to them if its something that relates to you. In the case of the messy son, you can bring up how your son once spilled an entire liter of juice all over the leather seats in your F-150.
You can even offer the customer worried about their messy son 2 free detailing services with the purchase of their family van. Dealerships need to get on a personal level with their customers and simply listening to them can do wonders for trust building.
Stock the right inventory
When you get a good understanding of who your customers really are, it’s likely you’ll begin seeing trends. If you live in Colorado and have an overflowing inventory of small commuter cars, but the trucks and SUVs are driving off the lot and selling out its clear where your problem is.
To help you with this it’s important to keep a note of sales records and go over monthly reports. Analyze and keep track of what customers are asking about. What vehicles do people simply not look at when they’re at your dealership? What vehicles are they flocking to?
You can then use this information to develop a good strategy to sell both, the popular options and the smaller less popular vehicles.
Provide Your Potential Customers With Value
Become a go-to source of information for people. Through developing and pushing out high-quality content that helps people along their buying decision will turn you into a thought leader.
Think about where you live and what questions people may have when shopping around for a car. If you live in Colorado or another snowy area, people may be more inclined to be searching for vehicles that are larger and more capable of handling on deep snowy roads.
You can then write a blog on about this exact question. If you’re a Jeep dealership you may write a blog on how the Jeep Cherokee is the ultimate winter ready vehicle for your snowy commute. If you live in a more youthful or liberal area such as San Francisco or Portland you may write a blog on the 5 most eco-friendly mid-sized options available for young families.
Going back to analyzing our most popular vehicles, you can create a video series on said vehicles. Do this by starting a YouTube channel where you do a mini-series on the ins and outs of the vehicle. Go over anything the customer may have questions about including but not limited to: MPG, how much weight the vehicle can hold, a detailed explainer video of the engine and what’s under the hood.
You can even post a live test drive where you jump in the vehicle and go on a little drive around your city while talking about the details of the car. Going live and posting videos isn’t just available on YouTube either.
You can post the same videos to your company’s social media pages. A lot of dealers are actually starting to implement Facebook and Instagram live. They then take questions and answer them live, right on the spot for their followers.
Features VS Benefits
It’s important to understand that there’s a big difference between features and benefits. When you hear what your customer is looking for in a vehicle its best practice to sell benefits over features. Features VS Benefits is an old marketing term but the importance of it cannot be denied in sales. If you really wanna sell your customer on slick new car features, explain the benefit of having them. To be clear, a benefit is something that a feature provides.
For example, if you drive a car with a built-in navigation system that’s a feature. The benefit is that you won’t get lost again, and you won’t drain your cell phone’s data by constantly using Google maps to get where you need to go.
Dealerships really need to train their salesmen the importance of this philosophy. Sell your customers an experience, sell them a lifestyle. Don’t just say “this model is LOADED WITH ALL THE FEATURES.” Really explain how their lifestyle will be improved with said features.
Tell them you won’t have to worry about a flat tire anymore and you can drive your family to safety out of the woods late at night with run-flat technology on all the tires include on the vehicle they’re looking at. If you live in areas that get a lot of snow to explain the features of a modern SUV and how it’ll help the family.
Explain how its ABS, traction control technology features offer drivers the benefit and peace of mind driving in a safer vehicle in the snow than their current, out-dated commuter car with no ABS in Denver.
If you have digital vehicle inspections at your dealership you can tell them a huge BENEFIT of taking your car in to get serviced is extremely detailed, easily digestible inspection reports.
Have a top tier website
To go with your great new informative blog, its crucial to have a quality and MODERN website. Not only will it host your blogs, but it can also help you sell more cars. You can make contact forms, and even have an online test drive booking system! We’ve even seen dealerships offer test drives that come to YOU when booking online! Now that’s innovation!
If your dealership’s website hasn’t been updated since 2004 it’s time you jump start it. Give it some life! You wouldn’t expect the car you bought in 2004 to run as well as it did when you bought it. Your website should be viewed in the same light.
Most people now do research on what they are looking to buy online nowadays. For example when you’re researching or trying to find where to buy a new TV where do you turn? Our money is on Google. For this reason, its crucial t have a FAST, high-quality website that works well on mobile and desktop. As more and more internet traffic is coming from mobile devices it’s super important your site is optimized for mobile users.
When your site works well with mobile and desktop it also helps your SEO so you place higher in organic searches on Google. This means when somebody is typing something like “best eco-friendly sedans” your blog on the “5 most eco-friendly mid-sized options available for young families “ will appear higher in the search results.
Considering more and more car buyers are millennials, and this generation is highly digital it’s even more important to give them the information they desire online. If you don’t you risk losing out on younger car buyers. When all the new car buyers are digital there’s no doubt your business will suffer if you have no online presence.
Personalize Your Customers Visit
When asked, we found many people in the market for a new car crave a meaningful interaction at the dealership. People want salesmen to have an opinion, and not be a yes man. People want to hear a dealer’s honest opinions, tips, and suggestions.
When it comes down to it, people want to be treated fairly and with respect. Its the rule everyone should live by, treat others how you want to be treated. It’s no different for salesmen.When people are lied to and swindled out of more cash you can expect a backlash. People have the power to really get the word out there and through business to the wolves thanks to social media. On the other hand when you give them good experiences you can get more positive reviews online which can really help business.
When your salesmen are trustworthy and give honest, quality advice for people and their families in can do wonders for building trust. You can really build long-lasting relationships and get customers for life when you treat them well.
Trust and Transparency
More important than ever is trust and transparency in the automotive industry. As technology is breaking its way into more and more service bays, it goes hand in hand with a trustworthy, quality salesman.
With Digital Vehicle Inspections you can blow customers away with slick, modern inspection reports. Technicians can complete inspections on smartphones and send the report complete with photos and videos right to the customer’s smartphone. This technology lets customers approve work right from their phones with the click of a button. No more waiting on them to get back to you after leaving voicemails.
When customers see what the tech sees from the inspection report there’s an instant trust increase. They no longer have to take a service advisors word for it when the work is recommended. When customers clearly understand why work is recommended they are much more willing to approve work. The evidence is right in the report.
It’s true what they say “ a picture is worth a thousand words” except in this industry a picture is worth an additional 25% on an invoice.