CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
The automotive industry would be nothing without good customer service. Anyone can go online and look at a car, but the sale is all determined by how helpful the sales person is for the client. They have to be the customer’s expert and resource.
The word “sell” can be a scary thing. It tends to have many negative hidden connotations that frighten customers away. It’s your job to ease their nerves and let their experience with you be the least of their worries.
Here are a few tips:
1. Save the customer time and money starting with the phone. If they call to check on inventory but you don’t have what they want, or if what you do have doesn’t fit their price range, whatever you do, don’t let that caller hang up. Offer some sound advice on other cars that might fit their needs, and offer to personally show them some features if they come into the dealership. That way, you don’t leave them high and dry without options.
2. You can’t help the customer get what they want unless you’re available 24/7. Stand out from the rest of the crowd by having your calls forwarded to your cell during your lunch break and after hours. That way, you are still their go-to resource and you don’t miss out on any opportunity.
3. Simplify the car shopping process by being accommodating to the customer’s schedule. Many people have long workdays during the week, so the last thing they want to do is be inconvenienced by a salesman when they’re busy. Identify how your customer wants to be contacted, be it by email, text message, phone call or in person. On top of that, ask them what time of day is best to contact them. That adds a personal touch that they’ll respect.
4. Sell the dealership, not just the car and be thorough on the road to a sale. Focus less on the end result and more on the process. Meet and greet with them, have them do a test drive or take them on a walk-around. Even if you don’t end up selling the car, know that you answered every burning question they had. Have them thinking “I didn’t find the car I liked, but I’d definitely refer a friend here.”
5. The job is not done when the appointment is over. You have their info regardless if you made a sale, so send them a thank you card with your business card inside of it. It’ll remind them that they made the right choice, and keep the relationship open ended for the future.
6. Follow up, follow up, follow up! If you lost a sale over not having the right car, don’t just forget about them. A trade-in that night could be the car they need. Be different just by following up with the customer--good or bad-- the next day.
Your best marketing strategy is when customers can vouch for your services and professionalism. Every dealership might have the same car, but they most definitely won’t have the same sales experience-- because they won’t have you. Make sure you stand out.