Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

Conversations That Sell

Advertising is a one-way communication, but selling is a conversation. When I sold Jeeps in 1979, there were only two forms of sales conversation, in-person and on the phone. Today, the conversations that sell also include:

* Chat

* Email

* Video Chat

* Back and forth click and response between a shopper and your website

* Back and forth interaction with you inventory on AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc.

* Back and forth with information about your store, store policies, and your employees

The in-person conversation is usually where the sale is closed, but the selling process includes all these conversations across both human and technological touchpoints.

The dealership website can be built to quickly lure shoppers away from technological touchpoints and into a conversation with a human. Some stores find the number of phone calls from their site goes up when they take price off the vehicles, only to realize many of those calls simply ask for the price and drop off. The irony here is that ecommerce sites try to keep shoppers from calling the store for simple information requests. Labor costs money. There is even a cost to having commissioned sales people answering these calls. They can get so burnt out being free information providers. They end up working the customers too hard too soon out of desperation or give up working them altogether.

It's frustrating for human employees to try to catch up with shoppers who have been having conversations with websites for hours and are just now letting the sales person in. More and better tools are being built to help stores bridge the gap and improve the holistic steam of conversations. I was delighted with some of what I saw in this area at the NADA convention and in online demonstrations since then.

Selling has not changed. It is still about conversations that help the shopper get the right bundle of features and benefits. What has changed is where those conversations are taking place. Keep your eye on video. Recorded videos are a chance to get the customer engaged with their ears as well as their eyes, and live video demonstrations are a fantastic conversation.

Look for interactive video to play a major role in the future. These videos will have tables of contents next to the screen, allowing the shopper to get right to the portion of the video they really want, or to bounce back and forth. Imagine that, the shopper having a conversation with your video.

The basic technology is available today. The army of people capable of fully utilizing these tools is a work in process. Fortunately the focus among product development teams is shifting toward ease of use for those in the dealership as well as consumers. As an industry, we will get better at these conversations, online and offline. The industry will sell more vehicles more cost effectively as a result of it.

Comments

Totally agree with the video component. Better networks, improved devices, larger screens - it's the perfect recipe for video.

It'll eventually include the ability for internal workflows with video as well.

Apr 4, 2013

Great points Dennis. Forcing a conversation because you've failed to provide adequate info to engage the customer is not a good way to start a relationship.

Apr 5, 2013

Throughout the customer's journey if dealerships can connect at a personal level, and work on to built a trust specially online through copy writing, videos, call to actions etc. than we will see a huge increase in conversion ratio's. Potential customers are looking for an experience and someone who is really solving their problem, this is how conversations begin online.

May 26, 2014

Thanks for the share. Conversations are what I am great at! The video chat is also an amazing idea that I am going to work into all of my future emails from now on.

Nov 12, 2014

We had 4 sales manages and 1 Director. We took the leads set the appointments sold the vehicle. We did not share our leads with the sales floor. We did not take any ups unless everyone on the floor was busy. We round robin the video chat between the 5 of us. That is the best tool you can have. These are the people that do not want to come to the dealership except on Sundays.,,,lol. That's not all together true. They will tell you more here (open up more). The wall here is soooo much small to break down and start the relationship and build rapport. Your appointment ratio will go up so should your sales. If you have done a good job then the customer is 2/3 sold before he comes to the dealership for a test drive.

Dec 26, 2014 (Last Edited: 2014-12-26 18:05:50)

Comments 1 - 5 of 5

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Dennis Galbraith's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Your customers talk...so listen!

    Moral of the story - listen to your customers! If they know something, they're not always lying (we've all heard the phrase, 'buyers are liars,'). Give them some credit - some of them are honest and just trying to make the whole process easier! What do you think? Have you run into any scenarios where you think listening to a customer would be beneficial?Read post

  • Need a Raise? It’s Sitting Right In Front of You!

    Do you know anyone who would not say that they would like to make more money? I know I don’t! This does not surprise me, as I believe that money is a motivator for us all. Those who don’t admit it are lying about it. Depending on which source you trust, the average automotive salesperson in the U.S. makes anywhere between $38k and $61k per year - Glassdoor.com quotes an average of $47,852. We all know folks at the lower end of that spectrum, and many of us may know (or are ourselves) the superstar who makes far more than the upper end. But, for the most part, I think most would agree with me that car salespeople’s wages generally do not reflect how many hours they work. There is plenty of chatter on automotive blog sites and social media pages about pay plans, commission structure, doing away with commission altogether, scheduling flexibility, bonus and spiff compensation, blah, blah, blah. Listen, it all comes down to this: You are trading with your employer; your time for their money! Read post

  • Banish Bullying Behavior for Long-Term Success

    We love our sayings in the auto industry. From “the feel of the wheel seals the deal” to “I like meat – if I don’t sell I don’t eat,” we have a ton of them. While many of these sayings are harmless, others work to promote a bullying culture that can hurt your business. A perfect example is the phrase “green pea” to refer to a new sales consultant. Industry veterans use put-downs like this, and other aggressive language, to gain dominance over newbies and protect their turf. However, the effects of harassment are widespread and may include pushing promising new talent out of the industry, turning-off customers who overhear foul language, and even depressing sales. If you want to attract the best talent, engage a more diverse customer base, and sell more, you’d be smart to tap down the scorn directed at new sales consultants. Schoolyard bullying tactics keep our industry stagnant at a time when what we really need is new blood, new ideas, more diversity of ethnicity ...Read post

  • As Beepi.com and others attempt to "revolutionize" used car sales, dealers should expect "some" impact.

    At last, Silicon Valley has entered the auto dealer marketplace with a used car startup named Beepi.com. The company, the result of an MIT graduate’s frustration with buying a used car, has raised a whopping $80 million since launching in 2013.[1] After debuting in California, the startup has recently expanded operations to Arizona and Texas, and “is on track to book revenue of $100 million[2].” Beepi’s model is relatively simple. If a car owner wants to sell his or her car, Beepi will handle the entire process – inspecting, photographing, pricing, and listing the car online. They do this by sending a “Beepi inspector” to the car owner’s residence or workplace, and performing a multi-point inspection and onsite photo shoot; the process takes about two hours from start to finish. After listing the vehicle, Beepi guarantees that the car will sell in 30 days, or they’ll buy it. Beepi determines pricing using a “proprietary algorithm” (I’m assuming a formula based ...Read post

  • The dealership sales and finance process has been built by dealers for dealers. Part 2

    A couple month’s ago, I posted a blog that got the DrivingSales community talking about how financing and the entire, old-school, 4 square process could be moved online. The argument being – this is what consumers want so what’s stopping us from giving it to them?   Since then, we've had a deeper conversation with dealers about whether or not they are ready for a connected car-selling process. And the answer was a resounding “Yes!”   Eighty percent of dealers we talked to agreed that connecting the online and in-store experience will help them sell more cars fasters. This is good news for everyone – especially consumers, 99% of who start their purchasing journey expecting it to be hassle, according to a recent DrivingSales.com study.   Thanks in large part to the transparency offered by online shopping, consumer expectations have made the traditional 4 square process obsolete. Instead, car shoppers are seeking out a pleasurable experience – and are even willing t...Read post

  • Navigating SEO: How to Avoid Site Quality Issues with Google

      Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.   Everyone involved on the marketing side of business is aware of Google's power. What most are not aware of, however, is that the search engine is constantly evolving.   This evolution includes updates that affect businesses around the world based on its vision of website quality. Staying on top of these updates is crucial to SEO, as what works today might not work tomorrow, and your ability to properly adapt can make a big difference in rankings.   If you've ever wondered how you can avoid site quality issues with Google, here are the absolute basics that will put your mind at ease and put you on the right path toward improving your site.     Get Up to Speed on Algorithm Updates (and Keep Up!)   It's more than likely you've heard about Google's vari...Read post

  • All in One Base Essentials Pack Plus, Business Edition, Gold.

    Software developer Steve Jives takes you on a tour of his new software that does everything. Introducing: Multi-Office All in One Base Essentials Pack Plus, Business Edition, Gold. See why no business would want this system in this funny look at the B2B software world from Capterra. Read post

  • Dealers Still Not Embracing Data Mining

    According to new data compiled by DealerSocket, dealers are still focused on driving new traffic into their stores from webleads. The issues with webleads: -Cost $20-$50 per lead -No exclusivity -Little info, lucky if you get a phone number -Low gross -Low CSI Benefit of using CRM/Data Mining: -Low cost, dealers already own customer -Use data to find people in equity, lower payment, etc -They know you -Send relevant message to right person, at the right time, for the right reason -Exclusivity and ability to pull customers into the market before they submit a weblead -High Gross -Higher CSI While dealers are seeing the advantage of Data Mining and using tools to do this, data shows that dealers still have yet to embraced it. Marketing spend by dealers is as high as 70% directed to drive new traffic to the store and as little as 5% on repeat customers. Many dealers using Data Mining tool still don't have a great appointment process in place. Average dealers only have 7% appointment...Read post