Published 11 Jun 2020
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - Oct 2016 issue.
10 second summary
READ TIME APPROX 4 MINUTES
I was asked recently by a dealer principal, what I felt would be the most important factors for him to focus on when trying to increase the chances of a customer doing business with him, once they came in contact with the dealership.
My response? “focus on simplicity, transparency and the efficiency of doing business with you”.
We are all so time poor these days and your prospective customers are no different. You need to take up as little of their time as possible, but still present them with as much information as you have available for them to make their decision quickly.
Additionally, if you can also make the car buying process extremely easy and very transparent, your customers will ultimately appreciate your professionalism and have an appreciation of you really wanting to help them find a solution to their need.
This experience not only contributes to increased conversion of leads, but also increases referral opportunities from your new customer. You want them to share their positive experience with family, friends or those they come into contact with that could be in the market to buy a new car.
If you make it difficult to do business with you, obviously you will decrease your chance of conversion and referral. Surprisingly this is where many dealerships today have not evolved to where their customers are, and the way they want to do business.
It’s all very well turning up the customer service around the sales process once they visit your dealership, but if that is all you do, then you are working with a much smaller number of leads than another dealership that is more aware and focused on the experience that must be delivered before they arrive on the yard.
That prospective customer has made contact with your dealership for a reason, and that's because they are in the market to buy a car and you have what they are looking for.
If they want to stay behind the keyboard, then let them. The more you respect their process, the more confidence and trust they will place in you.
Automotive professionals should be just that, professional. It sounds simple and easy but is often overlooked as old school sales tricks come out to play, which frankly with today’s consumer, get you nowhere.
Dealers are always keen to increase enquiries but as I say to them, you need to ensure you have your processes and the way in which you engage with your customers mastered first.
At that point you will increase enquires, and you will convert more of them than ever before. Why spend thousands of dollars attracting customers to then push them away through poor experience and lack of procedures?
So, well done getting to this point, but the next phase is very much yours to win or lose.
It still shocks me that there are vehicles on some dealerships that are poorly presented with flat batteries, fuel lights on, fogged up windows, mud and stones on the floor mats, or in need of a wash. The car might as well have 'STAY AWAY, DON’T BUY ME' caution tape around it.
This is a sure way to either turn away that interested customer, or provide them with reasons to ask for a discount. So much money gets spent generating enquiries from prospective customers but is then wasted away across these very simple and easy areas that could be improved.
So it’s quite simple really, step back and look at your dealership, your vehicles and your process of engaging with customers whichever way or form you come in contact with them. Look at it from their perspective and see what areas you could improve upon.
The chances are that if you can improve, make those changes, for no extra expense it could be the easiest way to sell more cars.
The Motorcentral blog is intended for educational purposes only. All writers opinions are their own and nothing published on this blog should be interpreted as a recommendation or advice in any way. Motorcentral is also not responsible for and does not verify accuracy of any of the information contained within this blog.
In the event third parties are referenced within this article, Motorcentral is not necessarily affiliated with those third parties.