In this age of technology, car shoppers are more well-informed than ever, and that can sometimes pose a challenge for an unsuspecting salesperson. Consumers are more accustomed to a self-serve society, which makes the usual sales tactics more likely to backfire and possibly even drive customers away. So, how do you deal with today's savvy car shoppers?
Selling to Savvy Shoppers
Since customer expectations are changing car shopping behaviors, it's up to you to make sure your sales staff knows when to engage. According to a 2015 DrivingSales study, nearly 75 percent of buyers don't let the dealership know they're coming, and 25 percent of consumers leave without even speaking to someone. This adds weight to the notion that there's an increasing disconnect between shoppers and sellers.
Today's growing trend of online research means more consumers are going to be coming through your door with all the specs and technical terms that sales people are accustomed to doling out. This means you and your team have to be prepared to give them something they can't get online.
Hands-on demonstrations are a great way to get a customer to really connect with a vehicle they're researching. Before they even get to the test drive stage, go over the car's features and technology. Ask them what their favorite feature is and why, and demonstrate how it works. Making the customer feel like they're in the driver's seat by giving them a chance to lead the conversation is a great way to open the sale.
Balancing Social Media and Salesperson Interaction
With social media dominating the landscape, dealers have increased their ad spending on these platforms. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), internet advertising takes up the largest percentage of the approximately $600 per unit sold ad budget dealerships spend.
But is that money really well spent? NADA found that less than 10 percent of shoppers choose to communicate with dealers online, either via email or contact form, while only five percent utilize online chats. Meanwhile, 90 percent of shoppers still feel the dealership visit is the most important element of the car buying process.
This means that consumers are looking to the dealer point of contact for specific information. Often, this includes asking if the vehicles they’ve been configuring online are available in local inventory. Shoppers are looking for salespeople to corroborate the information they've already learned, be hands-on and knowledgeable, and prove that they can be trusted.
Keep a Consistent, Knowledgeable Sales Staff
As car technology continues to increase at a blinding pace, having a sales staff that knows the ins and outs of the various systems is important. Especially when vehicles and phones offer the capability of a seamless transition between the two, shoppers want to see firsthand how a particular car can be integrated into their life.
Having one "tech guy" on your sales team that steps in to explain the infotainment and technology features of a vehicle won't always cut it with today’s shoppers. It's important that training takes place so all sales people can confidently demonstrate the various technologies to shoppers. This includes having sales people that are equipped to sell subscription services.
The key to closing sales with well-informed customers is keeping up with them. Salespeople should do their own homework so that they know what these buyers are seeing and where they're getting their information. Adopt a sales strategy that encompasses how people are shopping today – don't fight it by holding on to past methods that shoppers are moving away from.
Let Us Help Bring You Shoppers that are Ready to Buy
Knowing that today's shoppers are going to come in with specific information already in hand and adjusting your sales strategies around this fact is a great first step to increasing sales with well-informed car buyers. To improve your numbers, it helps if the prospects coming into your dealership are ready to buy.
Getting buyers, not shoppers, to come through your doors is our specialty here at Auto Credit Express. We have over 20 years of experience in helping dealers get qualified buyers. With our quality subprime leads and our wide range of other dealer services and products, we strive to help you increase sales and boost profits. Learn how you can take advantage of our experience by calling us at 888-535-2277 today or filling out our online contact form.