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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION - Selling Cars During Social Distancing

 

DrivingSales sat down with three automotive executives to have a roundtable discussion about how dealers are selling cars during social distancing. 

With the coronavirus impacting or halting, the normal dealership operations, dealers have had to think fast and prepare themselves to be as virtual as possible immediately.  During this discussion, dealers asked questions on how others were being impacted and were met with responses of how to approach operations and procedures for the current situation.

In the discussion, there were some common themes.

  • - How to meet the challenges from shelter in place requirements. Dealers shared examples of how they were selling and servicing vehicles e without breaking any social distancing requirements.

 

  • - The importance of building relationships of trust and value with customers. The discussion focused on how helping customers in any way shows how much you care.

 

  • - Why dealers need to change their website to inform your customers how you are handling sales and service. This discussion centered around leveraging the dealership website to communicate. One idea was to make sure your service page was updated with how you are handling different service appointments. 

 

  • COVID-19 has drastically changed the way dealers operate in a very short amount of time. Now more than ever dealers need to band together to keep automotive employees and customers happy.

    Stay tuned for more posts talking about specific takeaways from the roundtable.
Martins Ville

I hope everyone remains healthy, it's truly a time of great trepidation. Heavy hearts are everywhere and close to home. We'll get through this and be stronger than ever.

However... A local dealership has a banner ad on their website presenting a buy online option, fine print, Just give us a call. (The ad came on during this situation.) When you click the hero banner ad it takes you to a simple form. The auto reply asked me to get in touch with the people there, what am I looking for, in various fonts and sizes too (?) but nowhere was anything about buying online notated. I thought it was kind of a fail and wanted to bring that up. They had me click the ad and fill up the form and wait to get the email. I still haven't started buying a car online yet.

If you don't have a buy online process in place, like a literal prices to buy online where it's pretty much automated maybe we AI, then I would never offer anything like that. cuz you really can't deliver on what you're selling. And what you're selling is the convenience of buying online, like on Amazon.

If instead what you're telling people to do, is you can look at vehicles online, and if you find the one you like, then we can start the credit application show your payment options - and if you like what we present, You can set up delivery to your house, and we'll get all the paperwork signed. And I think that's a great option to have.

But you got to explain to people how the process works. Not send them to a form, reply with a time wasting email and then not get the process started. You need to create a visual experience. Show them the way with a slideshow or a whiteboard animation or a short video taking the customer through the process as explained in the previous paragraph, with graphics. You don't need to hire an outside agency to do this. So the takeaway is that you can offer an online experience, but dumping them on an SRP, or in a form, isn't too exciting. 

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