Customer loyalty is obtained (yes, even today) when the marketplace sees your dealership as a serious and professional business model that, in every way (advertised and practiced) makes the customer feel like they are buying rather than being sold.
I have observed thousands of dealer operations over the years and have come to conclusions based on business practices throughout all industries and how they relate to the car business.
Three areas for Discussion: Answering Questions; Marketing; Used Cars
- Learn to answer the questions that are asked
- Learn to NOT answer questions that are not asked
- Do not ask questions until you have answered the prospect’s questions
- Equip your sales team with satisfactory answers to any questions that may be asked
- When I say ‘satisfactory’, I mean satisfactory to the customer, not to the dealer.
- Inspire confidence in your customers that you are following a realistic business model
- Don’t rely on event sales as they make you look not-serious to your market and will lead to vicious market share swings – both up and down
- Use intelligent and consistent direct marketing – stay in front of potential buyers consistently
- Quantify Sales – not UPs
- Use your broadcast media to brand your dealership as different from your competitors because you answer questions and present a *realistic business model that you follow.
- Use the available data from Cars.com, V Auto, Edmund’s, etc. to seek out high demand – low supply vehicle to make up between 30% and 50% of your inventory.
- Use all available auction services (online and otherwise) to find those high demand – low supply vehicles.
*When I talk about a ‘realistic business model’, I am referring to several aspects of how a customer perceives your dealership. One example is pricing. The most successful sales people I know answer questions about pricing by explaining how the eventual price will be determined, which is to work off of the invoice once the customer has decided what car interests them the most. When a customer hears how we will arrive at the price, he also hears that your dealership is not using arbitrary methods to price a car – this inspires confidence that you might actually know what you are doing because the customer can understand your methodology. When any aspect of your business dealings seem mysterious to the customer, you have lost credibility and are now viewed as some kind of con-man operation.
If all of this seems rather simple…it is.