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With all the talk about the changing demands of car shoppers, let’s not forget about the individuals who sell to those shoppers. It’s time to create a lean, mean, versatile sales team. And the first step is getting your team to buy in.
Old-School Sales Habits Die Hard, But Die They Must
Chris Hill, E-Commerce Director for Bill Jacobs Auto Group, often talks about what he calls “universal soldiers”—salespeople proficient in many areas, from answering phones to following up, turning chats into ups, etc. His point is that salespeople can’t live by ups and phone calls alone. Not anymore.
Borrell’s 2013 Automotive Advertising Outlook backs that up, comparing the new car-shopping path to a shot glass: About 31% fewer shoppers are actually on the path compared to five years ago, and they’re making their decisions in about half the time, due mainly to online, mobile and social media research. So by the time they make it to the dealerships they do visit, they mostly have decisions made. If you want to influence them, you need to get in the game earlier. You need to work Internet leads.
Train Your Team to Work Internet Leads
Lots of technologies can help you work these leads, from automotive chat to texting. And you don’t need a new team of people “who’ve never sold a car but are proficient online,” says Hill. Your current salespeople can do it. Here’s how Hill has trained his team to do just that:
Shifting from the old-school way of thinking (waiting for ups and calls) to Hill’s “universal soldier” can really pay off. “The old-school guys can outsell the mediocre salesperson online all day long,” Hill explains. “You just have to instill the value, make it easy and let them test it out. They will meet and exceed your expectations.”