The Hunter vs Farmer Sales Mentality: Which is Best During Times of Economic Uncertainty?

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automotive-dealership-marketingThere is no question that COVID-19 has completely rattled the auto industry – and for many, it will forever change the way they do business whether you’re still open, partially open, selling by appointment only. Dealerships everywhere have had to REACT quickly and adapt their sales process in order to stay in the game.  However,  now that we find ourselves six weeks into lockdown, you should be past the point of simply reacting and instead thinking of sustainable solutions to keep your shoppers and gain new ones.  The key to your long-term success hinges on the proactive efforts & outreach to your clientele TODAY.  

In this special COVID-19 blog post, we’re going to cover three main things. First, we’ll discuss the  psychology behind the hunter vs farmer concept in sales, which incidentally is one of the hottest topics in our Management by Fire Class for managers.  We’ll also let you know which one you need to be right now, the hunter or the farmer.  Secondly, we’ll provide proactive strategies to implement in your business today to nurture your relationships through the pandemic and get more shoppers reaching out to you.  And thirdly, you will learn how you yourself can take advantage of some free COVID-19 specific tools and resources our team has created for dealers to use during this challenging time.   

Let’s begin by briefly touching on the hunter vs farmer concept, one that is nothing new to the car business – or to sales for that matter. This was a topic that Alan was pretty passionate about, and for good reason.   When you think about a hunter, he finds a spot to settle and waits for his prey, shotgun in hand. If nothing passes, the hunter doesn’t eat that day. The hunter’s next meal depends entirely on that prey. This hunter mentality is rewarded in the sales world.  Meanwhile a farmer is patient, puts in the time and labor to tend his soil and water his crops. And although the farmer might not see immediate results, his proactive measures will eventually yield consistent results. The farmer in traditional industries is usually an account manager, the person who maintains the relationships with the clients and grows them by building rapport and trust. In the dealership world, the best sales people will possess the attributes of both the hunter and the farmer.  While it’s important to close deals, now more than ever, your sales will rely on building a relationship and trust with your shoppers and nurturing those relationships, and using farmer skills 

Below are five tactics to implement in your dealership today that really will set you up for success.

  1. First, pull a list of your unsolds from your CRM who were in the market before the pandemic.  Now is the time to start reaching out to them if you haven’t already.  If you’re a client of ours, we’ve included the scripts on what to say during these calls in the file vault. Ask them how they are and let them know what you CAN do during this time. By educating and Informing them of their options, you’ll work on building trust.
  2. Secondly, reach out to clients who will be coming close to the end of term, most often on lease.  These people will be interested in knowing their options. In these trying times, if you can help them and lower their payments using the OEM incentives, they’ll appreciate it.  
  3. Third, reach out to clients who recently purchased or leased from you. Follow up to make sure they are still happy with their purchase. Again, in the current economic climate, people may be looking for more affordable payment options. On the call you should be sure to still update their drivers in the household and ask for referrals. 
  4. Fourth, keep top of mind on social media. Now is a great time to leverage video to show what your dealership is doing to keep shoppers safe.  Everyone is checking social media for updates and you’ll get some bonus points if you infuse some humor in them. 
  5. Fifth and finally, send an email blast to your client database with your information and dealership’s status.  This is a great time to include video in your communication. People are starved for human connection and this is the perfect time to show them all what your dealership is doing.  Let them know what adjustments or special services you are providing.

Now is a great opportunity to take the time and nurture the relationships.  The work you put in today can translate to a sale tomorrow.  We are here to help provide dealerships with the right things to say to get shoppers to buy from you and we’ve just released 4 new ready-to-use client-facing scripts in our platform: COVID-19 Outbound Call Script, COVID-19 Inbound Call Script, Dealership Main Phone Line Greeting and Dealership Website Messaging. Hopefully you’ve already made some really great changes to your sales strategy in response to covid-19. We are offering a free thirty-day trial to the first 10 dealerships that schedule a free consultation.

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