Shrinking dealer margins do not translate into happy customers: Most customers (approximately four out of five) dislike the purchase process, and many still come away feeling cheated and mistreated. This strong antipathy is largely responsible for the rapid growth of Internet-based services that offer alternative means of gathering information on cars, soliciting price quotes and, in some cases, conducting transactions.
There was an interesting revenue tactic last week by the Associated Press when technology company Samsung advertised on the AP’s twitter feed during CES. AdWeek immediately covered the story, since there is some discussion about AP blurring the line of between “editorial church and state.”
9. The “Be Back Bus” doesn’t stop here. I think I can safely say that less than 2% of the customers that ask for your business card and tell that they will be back won’t. Yes, some do, but you will never make a good living waiting for “Be Backs”. Most customers that have decided that they are not buying from you or your dealership will tell you that they are going to be back and need a way to leave without making a commitment.
Make an opening offer that is lower than your maximum price, but in the ballpark based on your average price paid research in Step 3. Explain that you’ve done research on Edmunds or wherever else, so you have facts to support your offer.
Hi Vasu. Wow, sounds like you have your hands full! My suggestion would be to structure your time for dealing with each one. If it is possible to work on one company each day – like company a on monday, company b on tuesday, etc then you could find your time is structured and organized. That will help your thinking to be structured.
I took a class through National Auto Academy a little over a year ago to get into this business. It was a smooth transition from the classroom to the sales floor. I’ve been one of the top three salesmen in my showroom since I started!
On the other hand, reports on millennial car buyers suggest that virtually all their car shopping starts online, before walking into a showroom. If you’re not online, you’ll likely miss these buyers.
Should your dealership be on every social network available or concentrate on just a few? How can dealers find sales on social media without alienating their “friends?” What tools are available to help dealers manage their social media efforts? Is advertising on social networks a good idea? These are all great questions, for which there is no short answer. The truth is, it depends on your market demographics, location, and marketing strategy. We can, however, examine some of the different social networks and tools available and take a look at how they work and how they can work (or not) for your dealership.
*Niche brand dealerships (say Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover, Ferrari, etc.) may or may not have a quota. It will depend on how many people they have, how big their market is, etc. They also often have lower commission rates and minimum monthly guarantees.
Automotive companies face a number of unique marketing challenges. Incentive programs for Customers and Dealers, for example, are constantly evolving and costly to execute. Generally taking the form of Financing, Leasing and Cash Back programs, incentives are continuously offered, thus making it difficult to discern their ability to drive new versus repeat purchases. The vehicle purchase cycle is also much longer than for most products. This increases the importance of striking the right mix of short-term, product-focused and long-term, brand-focused marketing investments. Other major challenges include pricing, innovation and an intense competitive environment. The automotive industry is a complex system. MMA is well-versed in building models to capture these complexities and help automotive companies better understand the impact of marketing on all levels of their business.
This is purely based on the dealer. Some have flat-rate commissions of $50 – $150, and others pay on a percentage sold over invoice. Used cars are where you can make more money, but that is slowly changing.
As disruption faces our industry, we must recognize that the best people to disrupt our industry are ourselves. We must do this with strong leadership, and a genuine goal of becoming more consumer-facing in every aspect of our business.
Increase customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction and loyalty are rich veins of potential functional improvement. Manufacturers’ efforts are usually unsuccessful when they try to bribe the channel to improve customer service. Good performers in the channel end up getting paid for what they are already doing and the poor performers undertake short-lived, superficial steps to “manage the measurements.” Customer service in auto retailing is mostly about executing the basics well — fixing cars right the first time, keeping commitments, offering conveniences like pick-up and delivery where feasible. Service advisors and computer-driven follow-up calls will not regain ground lost to sloppy execution.
Winter is notoriously challenging when it comes to auto dealership sales, with January typically being the slowest month of the year for U.S. auto sales. January 2017 was no different than past years, with the three companies in U.S. sales—General Motors, Toyota, and Ford —all reporting declines.
Organic click-through rates are important. Highly relevant landing pages with content that solves the user’s problems are literally what Google recommends and what they want to see when crawling your website. Your content must match the user’s intent!
Dress professionally. Customers will size you up within a few minutes of meeting you at the dealership. Make sure you present your best self by dressing professionally every day for work. Put on a clean collared shirt, dress pants, a blazer or suit jacket, and formal shoes. Be well groomed and well put together so customers see you are trustworthy and professional.
This is the most important tip to follow when buying a used car. Whatever you do, you should never buy a car without first verifying what you are buying by running a history report. I get a ton of emails from people that ended up buying a used car and later finding out it had been wrecked. There are body shops that are professionals at making a car look good. It can happen to anybody. If the VIN isn’t clearly listed in the ad and the seller won’t give it to you then move on to the next car. They are most likely trying to hide something. Since you are normally buying a used car “As Is,” you will want to know about any problems before the purchase.
You can’t sell here and there. You can’t pick up the phone when you have a minute. Sales requires a strategy, a process, a way to proceed that you can measure and monitor. Sales is something you have to commit to on an ongoing basis. You can’t just try it for 30 days! It takes persistence, energy and focus.
Last week, the Temkin group released the reports of the “Sixth Annual Customer Experience Ratings” which evaluated 294 companies across 20 industries. The report revealed that Toyota delivered the best customer experience in auto dealers, with a rating of 66%. This report was based on a survey of 10,000 customers in the US. Mercedes Benz came second in the survey with a rating of 65% .
I also think that the internet is helping improve this ratio in favor of good salespeople and sales managers. Search engines and a few websites allow consumers to post reviews of any car dealership out there. The internet is also increasingly becoming the starting point for people shopping for cars. Bad dealerships are losing money when people leave bad reviews.
– Make sure you provide sufficient contact information. Some dealers make it incredibly difficult to contact them, which doesn’t give a great impression of customer service. If you can’t offer more than just a contact form, then make a commitment to answer it in a short time frame and stick to it.
What might such a game-changing revolution be in the automotive context? Marketing and selling extended-mobility service to consumers as opposed to pushing new cars? Life-cycle management of automobiles through multiple transactions? Selling cars and support services directly to consumers? We’re not sure, but evidence suggests that only those companies that are experimenting with such innovative concepts have a chance to be the future leaders of the industry.
However, reaffirming that it’s okay to negotiate will put you on stronger emotional footing. For example, you may feel uncomfortable asking for a higher salary than the one that’s offered, but managers likely expect you to negotiate (and may even see it as a lack of confidence if you fail to do so). “When [people] learn that it’s not only acceptable to negotiate, but expected at a certain level, they become very good negotiators. Initially, some of them are afraid to negotiate and therefore pull their punches.” Miller says a negotiator’s mentality should always be that “I’m happy to give you what you need, as long as you give me what I need.”
With billions of users on Facebook and Twitter, it is becoming essential to have an online presence where you can interact with your potential customers in real-time to answer any queries they may have. Facebook pages also allow your customers to review your business, which providing you have a good reputation, can boost your potential customers.
5. Manufacturers will seek and attain much closer contacts with consumers. We have no doubt that someone will figure out the riddle of consumers’ needs, aspirations and experiences as they relate to cars; the tenuous part of this prediction is that manufacturers, and not other channel players, will get there first. Manufacturers are surprisingly — if not shockingly — cut off from their consumers today. Their dealer partners spend much of their energy figuring out ways to disguise the product-push allocation system in a way that conceals true market demand from the manufacturer. Manufacturers spend small fortunes on advertising, sponsorships, customer clinics and surveys but continue to introduce market duds.
Acquisio provides software that facilitates customer acquisition using ad platforms such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Bing Ads. Marketers of any size can benefit from Acquisio’s advanced data science tools to automate and optimize most of the processes involved in acquiring new customers online.
One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.
I’ve been following Marcus for the last few years and his story about turning his swimming pool company around back in 2008 using content marketing is one of my favourites. Marcus brought some real interesting perspectives to what he though was wrong in the car business. If you aren’t reading his Sales Lion blog you need to start.
21. Don’t forget the extras. Whether it’s your dealership’s policy or not you need to sell the extras to earn more income and at times to qualify for bonuses. No matter how hard it was to close the sale or how tight the payment was to reach you might be able to sell them accessories or options. Some car buyers are conditioned to buy the extras and you will lose an opportunity to make more money if you can sell them some extras. You might be surprised who will buy the extras if you give it an honest pitch. Plus you can turn a “Mini Deal” into a good deal with some extras when you follow this advice for selling cars.
An effective CEM platform will not only give you the power to personalize questions for each team to collect feedback on, but also helps you store, organize and analyze the collated data on one single dashboard. Auto dealerships that use CloudCherry have reported that their processes have benefited immensely from the insights dashboard.
Less formal car sales are also taking place online between brands and social network users. Recently, Spanish driver Raul Escolano used the hashtag “#compraruncocheportwitter” (translation: ‘#buyacarontwitter’) to challenge car manufacturers to sell him a vehicle over the social network. Nissan took up his challenge and Escolano became the proud owner of a Nissan X-Trail.
As a goal to get started with diversified content, aim for four core pieces of content a month. An easy way to get started is to think of your audiences. You may have one piece of content speaking to truck buyers, one for people who need service, and one for people who are interested in your community work. Those core pieces of content can be spread out over multiple channels.