Let’s face it, the car business has never been one that excels in innovative business practices. In fact, in the most recent Gallup Poll study of trusted professionals, car salespeople ranked second lowest only to beat out members of congress. We won’t go into making this blog a political statement but suffice it to say there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to how we treat the customer.
Since you’re reading this, you are probably one of the few that takes investing in your training and knowledge of the industry relatively seriously. You probably frequently check out what your competitors are doing or have added social selling to your sales strategy, but here are 5 things you may still be doing wrong that you should consider today:
1) Not investing in your employees
Can we all agree training should be an investment, rather than an expense? You cannot afford not to train your people. Your dealership likely spends thousands of dollars on advertising, right? But is your staff able to successfully handle leads that come into the dealership and convert them to customers? If your training isn’t up to par, or you’re simply not investing in evolving your strategy, then our guess is no.
Plain and simple, trained employees work smarter, not harder. According to HR Magazine, companies that invest $1,500 on training per employee can see an average of 24% more profit than companies who invest less. Not making training a priority at your dealership is essentially leaving money on the table, or even worse, is actively losing you money.
2) Getting too specific on inventory
How often do you have someone come in looking for a specific vehicle and actually buy that same car? Or what if they call in looking for a price of a certain model? Less than 20% of customers buy the car that they initially came in looking for. But what do we do when we have the customer on the phone who is calling in on a specific car? We hone in on this one without opening them up to other inventory that we have available. We are missing a huge opportunity to bring them into the dealership and in essence doing them a disservice.
3) Ignoring CRM opportunities
Your customer database is full of hot leads. These people already have a relationship with you, you’ve already put in the hours to convert them once, and since the transaction went through, chances are they had a good experience. People resist change, so if they know you and have only good things to say about their time buying through you, then they’re likely to buy their next vehicle with you too.
You’d be remiss to overlook opportunities of not only the clients that you sold to in the past but the potential that their spouses or children hold for you as well. Who is following up with orphan owners? There is a goldmine of opportunity if put in the right hands.
4) Not following up on unsold inventory
Several years ago it was thought that the average customer buys a car in 72 hours. The truth of the matter is that this varies widely, with some buyers in market for months. In reality, 60-70% of customers take more than 10 days to reach their buying decision. This is good news for you as it increases the time you have to follow up with them. Ideally, you should follow up with them within 24-hours of them leaving your dealership.
If they are shopping around at several dealerships the last place they go to or the last person they speak with has an advantage. Why is this? Because they know what they want and it will make it easier for you to understand their objection. With this information in hand you’ll be better equipped to address their concerns and hone in on the advantages of the car they saw with you as well as the advantages of doing business with your dealership.
5) Not knowing when to say goodbye
Alas, parting is such sweet sorrow. Some sales people don’t know the right way to say goodbye when a client leaves, even after the manager has been in to greet them. Some customers genuinely need extra time to consider the buying decision. Yes, it’s true they may leave and never come back but if they are truly interested in your inventory you need to let them leave feeling good. The last thing you want to do is show them your disappointment and make them feel unvalued. It’s important that you thank them for their time and let them know that you’re there to help them through the process. Remember, it takes just as much effort to be rude as it does to be nice
These 5 tips are imperative to your success. Implement them in your yearly plan and let us know how it affects your business. We welcome feedback as always, so feel free to leave a comment below.
If you’re looking for real training to bring leads to your showroom, schedule a demo today with one of our team members.