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Does your dealership have tools that should help your sales and business development people be more effective?
As consumer transparency becomes more important in the automotive industry dealers are hooking up with more vendors that allow for transparency. It is no secret that some of the most effective dealers are making it easier to retail pre-owned vehicles online by employing consumer driven tools. It is shocking to see how many people at dealerships do not even know that such tools exist. This is a common issue where a lack of communication between decision makers (Owners/GM) and middle management (Sales Management) happens. I am noticing this in dealerships all over the country where I review a dealership’s website, inventory, and other marketing aspects only to find tools that front line staff have no idea they can use.
For example, there are so many dealerships out there using tools like PureCars, vAuto RealDeal, or AutoVisor in order to enhance VDPs and vehicle listings. These tools are meant for the consumer to learn more about the vehicle and see the value that they are getting. However, the buttons to these tools are usually only found in the listing and the consumer does not always know to click on it. At Dealer eTraining, I have recognized the importance of educating all management and front line staff to take advantage of these tools so that they can do a better job building value on the phone to secure more appointments as well as close more deals on the showroom floor.
There is nothing more disturbing then to listen to a phone call get mishandled because the customer takes control of the situation only to put fear in the call handler (BDC or Sales Professional). They say you do not need to know anything about the vehicle to make a solid appointment. While that may or may not be true, one thing is true and that is that these tools provide immediate product knowledge at your fingertips. There is no need to just rely on “old school” word tracks that get trained to every single dealership out there. Technology is created to help us become better professionals and not to replace us.
These same strategies are important on the showroom floor. Why should sales people run back and forth to the desk to work the sales manager for a bigger discount when they can use these tools to sell, justify, and create value? It is important to learn how to be a better presenter of value and incorporate the old with the new.
While the vendor might have some tools to train everyone at the dealership on how to be more effective it is very rare that management pays attention. Just a few weeks ago I was inside a dealership training sales people in the conference room and reviewing how they can leverage DealerRater as a closing tool. I also reviewed how they should be using AutoVisor (a tool they had). The bottom line is that dealers need to communicate the changes in technology and train their staff on how to use it properly. The proper use of these digital tools will increase ROI in the long run and create better sales professionals. I encourage dealers to evaluate the tools that are in place or are being considered and communicate with your people. It is also important to provide the proper training to inspire and motivate your people to adapt to these solutions.
Stan Sher is the founder and president of Dealer eTraining (www.dealeretraining.com), an elite automotive Internet sales and business development training/consulting firm.