Autumn can be the start of wonderful dealer-customer relationships.
Fall is finally here. And just like you can’t escape the cooler weather and shorter days, dealers can’t escape the start of the sell-down season.
The goal may be to clear out ’16 inventory and make room for ’17 models, but the sell-down season is as much an opportunity to start relationships as it is to make sales.
Long-term customer relationships lead to more F&I opportunities, service revenue and repeat sales. Retaining a customer costs 10 times less than winning a new one, so nurturing relationships with your customers makes good business sense. And with so many customers visiting dealerships to take advantage of year-end deals, there are more opportunities than ever.
Here’s how to nurture a successful relationship with sell-down season customers before, during and after the sale.
Step 1: The Match
All strong relationships are built on mutual understanding. If customers don’t believe a dealer knows what they need and is invested in helping them get it, there’s no reason for them to stay loyal. But magic happens when offerings align with customer needs.
First things first: To meet customers’ needs, stock what they want. Local market intelligence tells which inventory segments are most in demand. Adjust stocking tactics accordingly.
Of course, inventory is only half the battle. Customers are price-conscious, too. Check days’ supply regularly during sell-down season and adjust prices accordingly.
Once dealers have the right cars at the right price, they should optimize listings to reflect that. Today’s automotive customers spend 59% of the buying process online.
That makes listings the first place they’ll interact with a dealer. What customers see in listings should be what they see on the actual lot. Listings can boost trust in other ways, too. For example, Kelley Blue Book’s Instant Cash Offer can provide additional credibility by verifying your trade-in offers against a third-party source.
Step 2: The Connection
Compelling listings might bring customers into a dealership, but that’s not enough to keep them coming back. Customers can buy a car anywhere. What they can’t get anywhere is a sense of connection. If a dealer can become a knowledgeable partner committed to helping customers get what they want for a fair price, it will set the store apart, encourage retention and spur referrals.
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Author: Digital Dealer
Digital Dealer exists to help dealers and their managers sell more vehicles more profitably by creating the best live events and media in the industry.