People want one thing, and they want it now: INFORMATION. We in the industry are taught to holdback as much as possible. Do this, and you will fail in the digital world. The automotive industry has come to a point where it needs to change. Consumers are tired of the current sales process – a typically long, dragged out day spent at the dealership, purchasing a car. With the number of online sales inquiries increasing at all stores everyday, we need to give the people what they want. This is something that, in theory, should be simple to do, yet most dealers have a hard time giving up information.
The old school sales process that most dealers currently use does not work online. In fact, as an Internet Sales Manager, I was never taught an online sales process because one didn’t exist. Over the past years, I have developed a sales process through trial & error. I’ve learned that dragging the sale out, keeping the customer within the dealership for hours and holding back information does NOT work for online sales. Consumers can be talking to multiple stores at once while online, so withholding information will drive your customers to shop more stores, looking for the information they require. They want answers, and they want them now!
My team and I emailed multiple competing dealers, on their most popular vehicle. We asked several questions, ranging from best price to trade value. Every dealer went straight to booking an appointment, without giving us any answers to the questions we asked. Why would I, as a consumer, take time out of my busy schedule, to visit someone who didn’t GIVE me any information!? We, as an industry, need to do the opposite of what we have all been trained to do – GIVE INFORMATION!
A digital sales process must be put into place and outlined for the individual responding to ALL online guests. The main goal should be to answer all questions, whether it be best price, monthly payments, vehicle options or trade-in value. Customers are shopping online for information. They want transparency. When they find a salesperson who is willing to do that, you will leave your competition behind. Giving consumers all the information will be the reason AND motivation for them to make the trip to the dealer and purchase the vehicle from a true sales professional.
If information is what the customer wants, give it to them! They will be happy that you did, and you will have full control over the process. This leaves an open, honest, and easy going relationship, which becomes the foundation to long term customers and referrals. Moral of the story: GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! Be the sales professional that your customers are looking for, and the results will follow. Now that’s the REAL secret to online sales success!