Published 17 Jan 2020
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - Aug 2017 issue.
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I really enjoy when this question comes up in a dealership, as it starts some great conversation and gets the thought process going about the many aspects that influence the ability to sell more cars. There is however, opportunity to generate more revenue from every sale, which then lessens the pressure of selling more cars.
The one area I don’t want to focus on is slashing prices and eroding whatever little margin you had in the car to begin with. This isn’t best business practice and won’t set you up well for the long term, when there are many other areas you can be proactive in, to significantly increase the sustainable future success of your business.
When considering the answer to this question it’s much better for your bottom line to focus on:
1. Converting more leads to sales – selling more from what leads you have.
2. Maximising the opportunity from each customer – this strategy isn’t about selling more, it’s about selling better.
3. Generating more customer referrals – recommendations have significant worth to your business.
4. Retaining more of your existing customers – repeat business is your most profitable business.
5. Generating quality leads that are active – get their attention, then respond quickly with useful information.
Hopefully by now these five points have got you thinking about them in relation to your own business. Due to what we need to explore in each of these strategies, I will cover them in multiple parts over the next few articles with this being the first part in the series.
Maximise the opportunities at hand before you increase your leads through spending more money on advertising. Don’t get me wrong, spending more will likely lead to selling more cars, however if you can focus on understanding your customers and converting more of what you’ve already got, then when you bring even more leads in to the top, you will convert more. Converting a higher percentage of leads increases sales productivity, and therefore return on investment.
Remember the customer on their purchasing journey only visits two to three dealerships and potentially the same number of private sellers. Therefore beginning to understand why they didn’t purchase from you provides highly valuable insight into what you could do differently to convert more.
Ensuring your conversion of phone calls and emails, to dealership visits, is the very first phase in this process to increased conversion. You need to understand how many of these are received into the dealership each day, week, month, and how many resulted in dealership visits and/or test drives, right down to a per salesperson level. Understand these numbers and you will identify areas you can improve, to maximise customer visits to your dealership.
Once you have converted leads to visits, if you lose these customers then there is a reason they didn’t buy from you, and most likely purchased their new vehicle somewhere else.
If you can identify any trends amongst the customers that didn’t buy, these are the most critical areas for your dealership to focus on improving. They will make a profound difference to how many of your customers you convert to sales.
Now think about how many active leads (customer opportunities) visit your dealership each month? These are the customers that have gone further than emails and phone calls and have physically visited your dealership and better yet, test-driven a vehicle.
The difference between the number you have just identified and your monthly sales, is lost opportunity for more sales. Regardless of how big or small the number is, it’s still a number and they are yours to convert.
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.
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