Published 28 Jul 2020
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - February 2016 issue.
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There wouldn’t be many dealerships around that don’t appreciate extra sales they get every month from buyers out of their town or region.
Before the internet, non-local customers were harder to come by, but they now form an important part of business models. However, despite how important these buyers are, in my experience dealers are still underutilising opportunities to increase sales in this area.
A better job can be done by informing these customers of how easy it is to purchase vehicles from out of town and from the comfort of their homes.
There will always be a percentage of people who want to see and touch what they are spending money on, but some – when given the right information and service – are happy to purchase without physically inspecting cars.
Even if they do want to visit your premises to view stock, you must let them know how easy that is and you would love to see them. Why not pick them up from the airport or, if they make a purchase, give them some petrol vouchers?
Respect these buyers because they have different requirements to local ones. They need to trust you, have confidence around what happens further down the line and, in particular, believe you will continue to support them after the sale from a distant location.
To ensure clarity on two specific areas, I’ve broken down the pre and post-sale stages.
Check out our demo website, Acme Cars to see what both of these look like and how they can be used to build trust.
As part of Motorcentral’s ongoing development of our website platform, we have previously asked buyers what information they wanted available on dealers’ sites to assist them with buying vehicles. Generally, we were surprised the majority did not know a vehicle can be transported or delivered to them from a dealership that isn’t nearby and how affordable it is.
The most overlooked area when it comes to out-of-town buyers is looking after them should anything go wrong post-sale.
I’ve lost count of the number of traders who have mentioned they are dealing with problem cars with customers hundreds of kilometres away with most of this frustration stemming from having no relationships with workshops in the buyer’s area.
Not only do they not know who to deal with, it’s also whether workshops are happy to deal with them, and start repairs without accounts set up and so on. That's why the best thing a dealership can do is sell mechanical breakdown insurance to all out-of-town buyers even if it’s at cost or given away to sweeten the offering.
The reason for this is that if anything goes wrong with the vehicle, the customer will be directed to his or her nearest repairer by the insurer, which has hundreds – if not thousands – of established workshop relationships.
That way you can be certain your customer will be looked after, given a good experience and have the vehicle with the best repairer suited to what needs fixing.
Even if the remedy isn’t covered by the policy, just using the insurer’s repairer may save a significant amount of money and time, as well as removing the stress and headache of trying to get a workshop to do what’s perceived as your work.
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.