The auto retail industry is changing rapidly, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, dealerships must get creative to meet sales quotas and ensure long-term profitability. But everything can’t be blamed upon the pandemic because U.S. car sales were down 5.8% in December 2019 compared to the same month in 2018, while full-year sales fell 1.3%. It is imperative to know how to speed up dealership car sales, or it will be very difficult to prevent revenue leakage.
5 tips to boost dealership car sales
1. Ask qualifying questions
It is vital to know the needs, preferences, and budgetary limitations of customers, before you start selling cars. This initial conversation is the basis for the relationship building that is crucial for making the sale. It also helps retain customers in the long term. If customers are happy with the shopping experience, they trust your dealership and personnel. They are more likely to buy F&I products and return to your service drive for vehicle repairs and maintenance. Moreover, they will recommend your dealership to others.
Gauge your customers’ individual needs and preferences – ask qualifying questions when they visit the dealership. What brings you in today? What specific vehicle models are you interested in? What features are looking for? Have you ever financed a vehicle before? If so, what were your monthly payments like?
Nowadays, in-person shoppers visit an average of 2.3 dealerships before making a purchase, so a single interaction could make or break a sale. Yes, every sales conversation is different. Many of these questions may be answered naturally while speaking with car buyers – what they are looking for, or how much they are willing to pay.
It is necessary to avoid grilling customers about their needs and finances. Aggressive sales pitches won’t go anywhere. After getting to know customers on a more personal level, your salespeople will be able to hone in on the exact vehicles and F&I products that match their preferences. This helps improve car sales numbers and cut down on time customers spend at the dealership.
2. Make it personal
Personalization means the ability to customize processes that are unique to each customer. So, you have to meet specific needs rather than focus on broad sales tactics! Buying trends help your sales team to understand preferences of different customer demographics, but you need to treat each visitor as an individual.
Personalized experiences include things like offering product recommendations, special discounts and other incentives for customer loyalty. Focus on the person, not the product. After asking clarifying questions, get to know the person. Why do they need a new vehicle? What will they be using it for? How would a new or used car improve their lives?
These people-focused questions reveal the reasons behind customers’ purchase decisions and help the sales team personalize every aspect of the journey.
3. Focus on sales training
Consumer preferences are constantly changing, so it could be difficult to keep your car sales tactics relevant and impactful. Apart from training new hires, dealerships need to offer upskilling and professional development opportunities. It gives employees a chance to grow. Sales training should cover the following aspects:
- Psychology behind high-end purchases.
- Process of conducting retail presentations.
- Digital retail and sales techniques.
- Basics of sales conversions.
Staff should also be provided regular refresher courses regarding F&I products, loan and lease offerings, and standard maintenance contracts.
4. Use an automotive CRM to track leads
In numerous cases, car buyers aren’t ready to finalize a purchase during their very first visit to the dealership. To help collect, manage and organize customer data, many dealerships have integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools into their workflows.
One such software is Modera Salesfront. It helps car dealers build more productive relationships with buyers and prospects by storing key information in a secure, centralized format. Using this software, salespeople can quickly access customer records, contact information, and purchase histories to better understand individual needs of buyers. They can follow up on sales leads, generate actionable insights, increase conversions and personalize the experience.
By creating a detailed profile for prospective car buyers, your sales team can identify what vehicle models or accessories a customer may be interested in. Similarly, the F&I staff can identify what products customers are looking for or could benefit from. This improved accuracy can streamline sales conversations and open up upsell opportunities.
5. Have a strong online presence
If you don’t have a strong and active online presence, you could be missing out on easy sales and opportunities to build lasting customer relationships. A dealership website offers customers a way to collect information on vehicle features, prices, and financing options. It helps build trust early in the buying process.
Your website needs to be informative, engaging, and effective at driving sales leads, to have an impact on the bottom line. The content should be updated regularly – it must reflect precise information about your dealership and vehicle inventory. Make sure the web pages are optimized for mobile users to have a positive experience while browsing.
The website should offer real-time pricing info, comprehensive vehicle pages with photos, breakdowns of F&I products, and educational shopping guides. The idea of website optimization is so that online shoppers can locate the dealership, browse inventory, and begin the purchase process.
The above-mentioned strategies, should act as a guide to ensure that your dealership car sales are sped up. An automotive CRM is a certainly a must in the age of digital retailing, so you can efficiently track leads, keep tabs on them, and boost conversions.