How to Respond to Slow Dealership Sales
When I recently went to a dealership, I spoke with the general manager and inquired about the condition of the shop. His comment on their sales was that they weren’t where he intended them to be. He provided me with his explanations for why leads, traffic, and sales were down as we talked further. He didn’t sound like he had a clear solution yet as I listened to him. I had the impression that he simply intended to wait until the situation shifted. This prompted me to consider what I would advise, and I came up with this.
Get Sought-After Used Inventory
It will remain on your lot if you don’t have the correct inventory to get customers into the dealership. Don’t hold off until people trade in their cars. Determine which automobiles (High Gross + Low Days to Sell) you have sold well in the past and buy more of those. Look to the folks you sold those cars to, and invite them in to swap in something you know you can sell. These folks will also require automobiles. This increases the number of consumers who can be served. Don’t tell a person looking for a car you don’t have that you’ll call them when you do, and then let them go. Try to locate the person you sold the automobile to in your sold database and invite them to come in since you have a buyer.
Befriend anyone holding an equity position.
Find folks who have the previous body style and are nearing the end of their warranty so you can get them into a new car with no money down and maintain their payment mostly the same. Take a look at your hard drive. Anyone bringing in an out-of-warranty vehicle will probably have a pricey customer-pay RO. Allow them to keep the money and trade in their current vehicle for a new one. On the day of their birthday, call equity holders and offer them a birthday special. You’ll be able to buy more merchandise as a result of this.
Your database is sterling.
Stop concentrating solely on gaining new clients. Customers and prospects abound in your DMS and CRM. Make proactive contact with customers before they begin to shop using your own data. If they have filed a lead, they have likely also sent leads to other dealers. Unless you have offered (and have continued to provide) an excellent customer experience and have developed a loyal client base, the only way to win that business is by lowering the price and your gross.
Cut Down on Response Time
Make sure you react as soon as possible. Because the lead gets to the wrong individual, customers are still witnessing response times of 45 minutes to two hours or more at some dealerships. Ensure that the appropriate, employed, and available individuals are receiving the leads. While they are still on your website, try to respond. Every rep and manager should be alerted, and someone should follow up on a lead if it isn’t followed up on after 15 minutes.
Utilize text messaging
Make sure your clients are aware that they can contact you by text message. When you call them, they might be in a meeting and more likely to answer. Use an opt-in and opt-out messaging tool that is compliant. If not, you run the danger of incurring expensive legal fees for your dealership. The correct texting solution enables you to keep track of the messages sent to your customers and will save those messages to the customer’s file in your CRM.
Hold your salespeople responsible.
Make certain that your CRM includes customers who come into the store. Have the front desk staff record the number of customers who drive up, park, stroll around the showroom, and even come in for service. Salespeople frequently only enter customers into the CRM if they believe there is an opportunity to offer them something. However, the mere fact that they entered creates a chance for you there in front of you. Make sure to collect client information so that your reporting is more precise and can properly identify the driving factors for traffic. You may cease doing something if it is effective but the customer is not being added to the CRM. Additionally, make sure your salespeople inquire as to “What brought you in?” or “How did you hear about us?” If they are asking and recording those replies, you will only know what is working and what you need to do more of. Verify that they are placing calls. Take note of their calls. Instead of requesting to drop by whenever they ought to request an appointment. They ought to be enticing individuals inside if they are not with a customer. Salespeople prefer simple walk-ins over wrangling for an appointment.
Engage the management team
Managers should confirm reservations. This makes sure that the salespeople are setting quality (and real) appointments and introducing customers to the manager earlier in the process rather than at the end, when tensions are high and patience is low and the manager comes in to close the deal. Hold your supervisors responsible for managing their staff, speaking with each customer, and conducting one-on-ones.
Boost Sales Process Speed
The length of the process is what aggravates customers the most when buying a car. Look for opportunities to reduce the amount of time the consumer spends at the dealership. Limit the amount of time you are away from the consumer. It is at this point that the salesman either starts discussing amongst themselves and becomes uneasy or begins to shop your competitors while still within your dealership.
The best customer experience can be created.
Why should someone choose your dealership when there are so many others nearby that provide the same vehicle for the same price? It ought to be about the encounter. What are you doing to give the customer the experience they want? What are they seeking? Are you aware? Something that is quick, simple, open, beneficial, and stress-free is an excellent place to start. The majority of people consider purchasing a car to be the second most expensive and emotionally taxing purchase they will ever make. Recognize their troubles and worries and take aggressive measures to address them. Negative survey results are acceptable. They let you know what has to be fixed. Often, dealers are more concerned with the manufacturer’s CSI survey than they are with actual customer satisfaction. Reach out to customers who give positive feedback and surveys to go rate you on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. But listen to the unhappy customers so that you can gain an outside perspective.
Reduce Employee Turnover
Our industry has always been plagued with turnover. Most people leave because they are not happy and/or successful. Often, we hire anyone, even someone with no experience, and have them watch some training (maybe) and then throw them on the floor to sink or swim. Have your managers take time to train them on how to succeed. Give these new salespeople the tools that will help them do their job. Managers need to make sure that they are setting goals with the salespeople, going over their metrics, coaching them, and helping them realize the tools management has in place are not to be “Big Brother,” but to help them be successful.
Automate as Much as you Can
Let your software do as much work for you as possible. Most processes get set up and forgotten. Let your software keep you organized, in contact with everyone, and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Run lots of campaigns that are very targeted and specific to both the audience and the message.
Reward Loyal Customers
Do you know who your most loyal and long-standing customers are? Use your CRM to identify and segment these customers so they receive notifications when they call or visit your business. Create a customer appreciation campaign to thank your loyal customers and reward them for their repeat business. Send them birthday, anniversary, and special occasion cards in the mail. Offer discounts to entice them to continue doing business with you. Offer incentives for their referrals. Invite them to special VIP events, such as new product introductions or a customer appreciation party.
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