The same car being sold at a showroom achieves a great number while at the other dealer’s showroom, it hardly picks up. Wondered why this happens?
It is not the lowest cost of the vehicle that makes the sales nor is it the best brand that gets sold like a hot cake every time.
It is the perfect combination of the various measures that a dealer undertakes throughout the sales cycle- right from the entry of the ‘visitor’ in the showroom to turning him into a ‘customer’. A lot of more goes into sales and services than it can be contemplated.
Like other regular products, a car sold can’t be considered as a ‘deal closed’. The real thing starts only after the sales has been successfully done.
Here are 10 Things an Auto Dealer Should Do to Win Modern Customers:
1. Up-to-date showroom & facilities
The average auto buyer walks into only 1.4 showrooms before purchasing (DMEa’s 2014 survey)
Certainly, a showroom is the face of the business.
Buying a car or any other vehicle is a heavy buy and a visitor enters into the showroom with some kind of preconceived impression that they gathered from mouth publicity, advertisement, earlier purchase, etc.
Well decorated, properly lit, fragrant, showrooms with amazing displays & hassle free movement is symbolic to attract customers and keep them engaged.
An Auto car dealer must keep evolving with the looks of the showroom, service area, and keep them upgraded.
One more thing is that the cars in the showroom must be ready for test driving, neat and clean with enough gas in the tank so that it doesn’t get embarrassing between the visitor and salesperson.
More than 80% of customers take test-drives during the car buying process, underscoring the continuing strategic importance of dealers.
2. Strong Online Presence
Today’s customers are more informed about the details of the car having spent a good amount of time researching over the internet.
Hence, the Auto dealer must be active on the internet front. Glitch-free website with live chat options, updated and pro-active social media presence, positive representation on review sites, are vital for generating quality leads and ensuring greater sales conversions.
A recent Frost & Sullivan study suggests that about 5 percent of all cars will be sold online by 2020. Car companies such as Ford UK that make deals through its website and similarly Dacia are already starting to sell their cars online.
3. Accessible Location
Although popularity, relationships, branding can drive customers even to a remote location to purchase cars, location does make an impact, especially when a service station is accommodated in the premises of the car dealer’s showroom. Accessibility of the location escalates the number of sales.
A showroom should be ideally located in an extended size near to the transport routes that are easily accessible. The visibility should be high and eye-catching design and display should be highly considered too.
4. Sound Inventories
A proper selection of new as well as pre-owned vehicles is a must. The rider also applies to the right mix in terms of new vehicles. The Auto dealer must be able to predict the accurate number of vehicles in the shed based on previous sales, generated inquiries and the local as well as national trends. This shall ensure that funds are being utilized in the correct inventory and ready availability boosts sales.
An auto dealer should continuously improvise on the inventory management process and should streamline the things in order to earn the brownie points when the other auto dealers are just a stone’s throw away.
5. Pro-customer culture in showroom
When a visitor walks into the showroom, he has already made up his mind of buying the brand, so it becomes very critical for the dealer to manage the visitor and not lose him for the silly points.
Customer relationship building starts the moment the salesman-customer interaction begins. The showroom and phone communication management are the keys to closing the deal and paving the way for the next sales.
Right from the receptionist to technician, parts & service manager, accounts person and, of course, the sales person must strive hard to create a positive customer experience. The chain that begins from a courtesy test drive, following the loan, insurance, registration, payments, briefing about parts & services, after sales service must be greased well and hassle free for the customer.
6. Adroit & well-informed staff
Adequate behavioural training, technical briefing, industry specific knowledge sharing are some proactive steps required to be taken by the car dealer in order to keep the staff up-to-date. It is the salespersons, business managers and service managers who make the front face and interact with the customers.
This group must have excellent communication skills apart from product knowledge.
In a survey, it was revealed that if a manager introduction was made, the numbers jumped to a whopping 38% close ratio than a deal closed with no introduction at 17%.
7. Local advertisement sense
The dealer must be aware of the local festivities, purchase behaviour, trends, and a deep understanding of the local language & culture of the locality. This gives inputs into designing creative and attractive advertisement campaigns. The timing of the promotion campaign is a critical aspect. The Auto dealer must develop a great reputation & popularity over a period of time.
Keeping in touch with the customer even when an auto dealer is doing the best, is a strategy to be in the minds of potential/ current customers that further strengthens the brand establishment.
8. Cordial Relationship with prospects
In a survey 52% said that ongoing dealer interactions after the purchase and throughout ownership affects their next purchase.
Joe Girard, the salesman who sold 13001 cars in his lifetime maintained a constant touch with his prospects & clients. He sent them greeting cards every year and achieved a greater number of sales than anyone else could.
Similar to any business, cordial relationship with prospects helps car dealers sell more cars to same customers & their network year on year.
9. Satisfactory Customer Service
62% of auto buyers say that customer service at the dealership influences their next purchase (Google’s statistics, 2013).
After sales service is the real taste of any Auto dealer. The service part either leaves the taste sweet or renders it bitter. You can enable technologies like live chat, automation marketing like CRM, or any other things to make the process fast and improve customer service.
Once sold, customers require prompt service, reasonable costing, quality spares, parts and a caring attitude. If you can tick correct on all these parameters, you are building trust into your dealership and on for repeat sales and reference sales.
10. Timely Spare parts availability
Nothing irritates a customer more than unavailability of a critical spare or a part. In many cases, the car manufacturing company may have done away with a particular model, but the Auto dealer must have a stock of spares for that particular model. The availability of parts plays a big role in gaining trust, leading to better car sales.
After sales services play an important role in preparing the customer for the next sales. If a customer is displeased due to unavailability or delayed availability of the spare parts, then nothing can bring him back to the showroom again.