It goes without saying that your dealership must sell cars to succeed. There is considerable information already available about car sales strategies, much of it focused on the craft of salesmanship and the psychology of car sales.
Though this approach to sales and sales training is valuable, car buyers today are getting smarter and demanding more from dealerships. As the landscape gets more competitive and more digital, it’s going to take more than charisma to move cars. Dealerships need to develop real competitive advantage and real improvements to customer experience to see major growth. Below you’ll find 5 strategies your dealership can employ to position your sales team for the future of retail car sales.
Product Knowledge. Before the internet, many car buyers did not know much about the vehicles they were considering buying. Obviously, things have changed. New car buyers today do extensive research before making a decision and your sales team must know more than the customer to be convincing and make the sale. Enthusiasm and product knowledge can often compensate for weaker sales skills. As a manager, build comprehensive product training processes and you’ll find your team is much more effective.
Selling Your Dealership. It’s not enough to sell a specific car - you’ve got to sell the customer on your overall brand. This means giving the customer a tour of the retail shop and body shop, having them meet your service team, and presenting your dealership in the best possible light. This will help you make the sale, and also increase the lifetime value of the customer as they return for services after the purchase.
Customer Retention. It is dramatically easier to get a past customer to buy again than it is to acquire a completely new customer. Despite this fact, many dealerships place limited efforts on reaching out to past buyers to offer new vehicles and expanded services. Focus on selling into your known customer base for a quick path to revenue.
Loyalty Programs. Practically every successful retail brand has some kind of loyalty program in place.Companies like Starbucks, Bloomingdales, and American Express all reward customers for coming back time and again. Despite this technique being proven in retail, many dealerships don’t adopt this winning strategy. You can gain a competitive advantage by offering customers incentives for each service department visit, each parts purchase, referrals, and more.
Focus on Digital Retail. As the value of Amazon and other e-commerce companies soars, it should be obvious that today’s shoppers demand quality digital retail experiences. Though automotive retail has historically resisted some of this digital evolution, things are changing fast, and dealers must accept and embrace the importance of digital retail. Car dealer websites must offer an online experience that matches the dealership experience and is robust, compelling, and mobile optimized.