Published 18 Oct 2019
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - Feb 2018 issue.
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One of the most important changes you can make today, without any additional expense, that will also help your dealership sell more cars, is... listen to your customers.
If at any time you come into contact with prospective clients, this applies regardless of what your role is within the dealership.
Be empathetic, build the relationship, listen to their needs and understand them. Stop trying to sell through old-school techniques and don’t use word tracks that make you sound like a cold, uninterested robot.
Listen, listen and listen. Whether that be online, through email, on the phone, or face to face at your dealership, you have to do everything you can to make every single customer feel important and that you care.
When people feel understood and have someone who is listening to them, this releases a dopamine hit in their body, which makes them feel good. Listening helps you build a more emotional connection with your customer, and this connection is highly likely to be the difference between a sale or not.
Would-be buyers have visited your dealership after making a decision to purchase a car. When they first meet you, they are determining – even subconsciously – do I trust you, do I believe you?
In the words of American educator Stephen Covey: “When trust is high, communication is easy, instant and effective.” Once that trust and belief has been established, you are a good way into a journey to success.
A considerable amount of BuyerScore feedback from those who “did not buy” from dealerships they visited, isn’t about price, it’s about people. It’s the experience they had when dealing with a salesperson or manager.
This information is critical to ongoing success and conversion of prospective customers that your dealership has fought hard to bring to the yard.
So, before you go adjusting prices to stimulate sales that negatively affect your margins, think about whether your sales people are:
This experience will also influence your after-sales experience with your newly acquired buyer.
Think about what type of customer is most likely to contact you with niggly issues that you can get with any car after the sale:
Remember, the first experience your customer has with your business is pretty much the only difference between buying from you or someone else with a similar car.
As we all know, the majority of buyers have already narrowed their choice down to two, perhaps three, vehicles to view. Therefore, it is yours to lose.
Your dealership needs to place a focus on the conversion of customers through making them feel important, listened to, understood and respected. You’ll be surprised how much effect this will have without you having to spend a dollar.
This area also has a significant impact on your referral and repeat business because it starts here – before they have bought a vehicle and during their purchase.
There’s no point giving them a rubbish experience, and expecting them to tell people positive things about your business and come back.
Start now if you haven’t already, and make sure you measure it so you can see the results and be proud of any time invested.
One way to measure success is by using BuyerScore to provide you with ongoing feedback from those who matter the most – your customers.
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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