Catch Your Breath—and Sell More Cars
New-car sales could reach 15.3 million units or more this year, a big gulp in growth and gratitude. While still off the prerecession years of 16 to 17 million vehicles sold, predicted total sales for 2013 are going to mean a great year of selling cars!
Congratulations to every dealer and OEM! Certainly, pent-up consumer demand and low finance and lease rates are continuing to propel this growth. A new and broader menu of available vehicles—very aesthetically-designed ones as well as sporty, muscle models—offer more choices, providing consumers increasingly refined value with additional performance, safety and durability.
To keep up with the increased sales pace, better ways of connecting to and engaging consumers are required. Useful tools include web and mobile technologies, loyalty programs, CRM tools, and sales opportunity analytics. These can help sell cars, boost service and retain customers beyond the expiration of warranty periods.
Similarly, dealers are increasingly attuned to the need to sharpen sales representatives skill sets with training, mentoring and leadership. Many dealers are also measuring service advisor performance aids in managing results, to identify opportunities for improvement.
Running as hard as possible to keep pace with the market and change can be exhausting and it can keep one from seeing opportunities waiting to be noticed. Often these are right under your nose, scary isn’t it? It need not be.
Instead, breathe deeply and look around. A fresh perspective might reveal that:
- The service lane is becoming the dealership’s best new-car sales opportunity. One West Coast dealer is closing five out of seven customers who are presented with “buy-a-car” proposal in the service lane.
- Assertively massaging and capitalizing on your customer database can substantially reduce advertising and marketing expenses.
- The most effective tools for selling another five to 50 cars per month are the dealership customer list, a telephone, and qualified personnel.
- Warranty administrators and service cashiers can sell service if equipped with key vehicle information and a script to set service appointments.
- Customers you sold just 11-12 months ago are ready to buy again and often will, if approached in the right way.
- An assertive dealership, that uses its customer database to identify buyer profiles ripe for receiving the right kind of contact from staff, can win customers by solving real-world problems. That’s engagement and word-of-mouth marketing no dollar amount can buy.
- The store’s appearance needs a refresh. Look at your property, facilities, and people as if seeing them for the first time. Are things as clean, crisp, and free of litter and debris as possible? Never lose a sale to clutter, cigarette smoke, dirty showroom windows, or desk disarray.
Be thankful for the return of good times. Catch your breath…look around. In all the hustle and bustle of selling cars again, what is missing…what opportunities are being ignored? Take care of these opportunities and assets and they’ll be around for you long into the future.