The iPhone changed everything. When Steve Jobs announced this new product in 2007, it revolutionized the way we viewed the Internet. Developers started using the mantra “Mobile First”, and responsive websites are now commonplace.
A responsive website automatically resizes, shrinks, and orders the content on a website depending on the type of screen. This improves the user experience for the web visitor, ultimately improving conversion rates.
What does this have to do with your sales process?
The answer is everything. Just as a responsive website adjusts to the needs of the user, your sales process needs to be responsive to the objectives of your customers. How responsive is your sales process? How can you be more responsive to your customer needs?
Here are some tips to help you improve your customer experience.
This has been an important step from the dawn of time. When selling anything, you need to know why the customer is looking at your product. Every customer on your lot has a problem. Their vehicle is too old or small or ugly or large, etc. Your job has always been to identify the problem and demonstrate how you can help them solve it.
A responsive experience needs a strong needs analysis. Its not only about identifying product needs, you need it to determine where your customer is in their shopping process. Is this the fourth dealership they’ve visited? Did they rent one of the vehicles they are looking at last week? What research have they done?
Save your customers time by identifying what they are trying to accomplish in their visit and then deliver on those objectives.
Today’s walkaround shouldn’t look like a walkaround contest. The seven-point walkaround highlighting specific vehicle features isn’t responsive. You still want some organization to your walkaround, but it should emphasize the customer’s vehicle needs and answer questions they have about the vehicle.
The importance of a good needs analysis really shines through here. You must know what problem they need to solve so you can demonstrate how your vehicle can solve it. The walkaround is an opportunity for your guests to get to know the vehicle. Avoid using heavy technical jargon. It’s ok to use a little that establishes you as a product expert, but just don’t go overboard.
It is more important to connect customer needs with vehicle features and benefits.
Transparency is a buzzword that has been floating around automotive retail for a few years, and we always associate it with price.
Price is important, but there are a lot of other areas where you need to be transparent. Explain your trade process and your F&I process. We deal with these daily, but your customers don’t, and it can be a great way to demonstrate you are different than everyone else. I always like using phrases like, “we do things a little different here” when possible.
In a customer research project we conducted we asked customers what they wanted in a salesperson. Transparency was at the top of the list. If a customer asks a question, you need to be able to answer it correctly and promptly. The better you get at handling questions, the more transparent you are.
This one gets overlooked a lot. We have all heard, “Customers can buy a car anywhere, but the can only buy one from you right here.” But this is extremely important, and it extends further than just you as a sales consultant.
Why should a customer buy from your dealership? What do you offer that sets you apart? How can you build value in your experience? Research your dealership benefits and create a “brand promise” that you can articulate to your customers.
You need to get proficient in building and delivering on an experience that differentiates you from everyone else customers may deal with. You are a professional. It’s important to know your product. It’s more important that you know how to communicate with customers and respond to their needs.
Just as the goal of a responsive website is to increase conversions, your responsive sales process will lead to increased gross and more sales.