Most dealerships spend an enormous amount of money to generate their internet leads, phone calls and floor traffic for the store. We pay photographers to take vivid, detailed photos of our inventory and our websites have become more dynamic and interactive. But too often these great opportunities to WOW our prospective customers are met with dull, boring, generic responses from the dealership staff, and oftentimes generic automated responses from computers, as well – all followed by a boring, generic experience once they get to the dealership.
To convert more of today’s educated shoppers into buyers, we have to create a more exciting, personalized experience for them – starting with the lead response to the in-store visit and delivery. This is more important than ever with the Millennial generation, which research shows is looking for a personalized approach to their shopping experience. We have to make it about them.
A few months ago, while sitting at a dealership waiting for my oil change to be completed, I listened to a salesperson give a customer a presentation on an SUV the customer had come in to look at. The salesperson rattled off feature after feature, “This SUV has a 4.7 liter engine, it has power windows and locks, I think this one has a navigation system, backup camera, leather seats…” The salesperson did a great job of accurately reading the window sticker and telling the customer about every feature on the vehicle. But I never heard that salesperson mention why that specific customer would find any of the features on the SUV beneficial to them. They never mentioned how the customer would use those features, or how any of those features would make their lives easier or better. The presentation completely lacked personalization and excitement. And not surprisingly, the customer ended up leaving.
Most salespeople are unable to provide a really personalized experience to most of their customers, because they don’t know enough about them. And most salespeople do not spend enough time getting to know the customer before they start showing them a vehicle. Before we can properly present and demonstrate the vehicle, we need to know how the customer is going to use it, who will be riding in it, what this customer’s wants and needs are and what is going to motivate this particular customer to buy a vehicle from our dealership, right now. When a customer contacts us about one of our products, we need to find out why they chose that one, and we should also see if we have something on our lot that they might like even better.
Once we know more about our customer, we’ll be able to give them a targeted, personalized presentation, and we can explain to them how they can use the specific features on the vehicle they’re looking at. For example, let’s say the customer I mentioned above, who was looking at the SUV, needed their new vehicle to tow their fishing boat. When we show them the backup camera feature, we’re going to explain to them how they might use it…
“Bob, a great feature I think you’re going to love on this new SUV is the backup camera. Let’s say you want to go fishing this weekend. When you use the backup camera, you can back right up to your boat all by yourself, and hook it up in just seconds. That way, you’ll be on the water in no time. Won’t that be a lot more convenient for you, Bob?”
Instead of just saying, “It has a backup camera,” we’re explaining how our customer is going to use the backup camera, and why this feature is something beneficial to our customer, which could help motivate them to want to purchase the vehicle.
The next time you get an internet lead, take the time to plan your response with personalized emails and video. And regardless of how you’re communicating with your customer – whether by email, phone, text, social media or on the lot – take some time to get to know them better, and find out what’s important to them on their new vehicle. Then use that information to create more targeted, personalized presentations that will motivate your customers to buy from you right now. If you WOW them, you’re more likely to sell them!
Join me at my upcoming Digital Dealer 24 session, “Millennial Buyers Are at Your Dealership Today! Are You Ready for Them?”, where you’ll learn techniques to better connect with today’s new buyers that will generate more sales and profit.
About the Author
Eric Edwards has 20 years of experience in the automotive industry in dealership sales, management, and now, a Joe Verde trainer since 2013. He’s trained thousands of dealers, managers and salespeople in workshops across North America and online for the Joe Verde Training Network® on how to sell, close, negotiate, manage leads and retain customers. Before becoming a trainer, his career focused on the ever-changing world of online marketing, lead management and social media for major auto groups.
Author: Contributing Writer
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