People often ask us for the quickest and easiest way to sell more cars—fast. If only it were that simple. As you well-know, attracting, converting, and retaining the right kind of customers is a process that requires more than a quick fix. But the good news is, you can immediately make little changes that will start you on the path to selling more cars today, and some of these small changes will create big and lasting results at your dealership.
Little change one: Make your store appearance and experience match your advertising message.
It’s not uncommon for people to think that the advertising message you promote is nonsense. When a customer hears your advertising, it’s normal for them to be skeptical and even a little fearful. Most people have some fear and anxiety about the car-buying process. That’s why it is so very important to make your store experience match the message you put out, because if it doesn’t, you’re just feeding into your customers’ distrust and skepticism.
If a customer walks in and experiences something other than what you advertised, they’ll quickly become uncomfortable, even if they don’t realize—it’s a knee-jerk reaction that hurts your chances of selling them a car. You simply don’t want to begin with a negative, because it will make your job harder. Customers generally expect for the experience to match what was promised in the advertising, but they are frequently disappointed.
It’s so simple to fix your showroom experience, but many car dealers overlook the need and it costs them more than they may realize. So dress your store up—banners, standup cutouts of you, posters, stickers, hang tags, shirts, hats, etc. From the person who answers the phone to the person who offers them a drink, everyone should be aware of what message you are airing and be able to talk intelligently about it. We’ve seen it countless times: a great ad, but no follow-through at the dealership. It’s maddening! The worst is when a customer asks an employee about a promotion and the employee has no idea how to answer the question.
When your store experience does reflect your advertising message, you’re on your way to building a relationship with your customer. And you’re one step closer to creating a lifelong customer who wouldn’t shop anywhere else and who tells his or her friends about you, too. Now that’s a win—a customer who already feels safe doing business with you, or at the very least, a customer who hasn’t already crossed you off their list.
This requires a team effort. Communicate your current message with your team; sell your employees first. Incorporate ways to involve them in your promotion. Make sure everyone is on board with what you’re promoting. When your message matches your customers’ experience, you will soon reap the rewards of increased sales.
Little change two: Make sure your employees know why you are better than your competition.
Your employees should easily be able to answer the question, “Why should a customer choose you over other options?” Start by asking your employees that important question and then, if they can’t answer it easily or if it doesn’t match your “why,” you have work to do. They must know why you are better than your competition. Empower your team with a mission, but it’s critical for the mission to be more than just selling cars.
Once your team understands clearly why you are different than the competition, they will naturally work harder to live up to the mission, but it’s more than just understanding it—they have to believe in it, which is no easy task. You can’t train too much on this. Coach your people in a positive way. Write your mission on the walls. Encourage your team to talk about it during meetings. Frequently share positive customer testimonials with your team so that they can experience real examples of how you are different and how your mission is coming to life.
A great example is the Pledge of Allegiance. It was created to strengthen our allegiance to our country. Saying it over and over it again reinforces our allegiance and we start it as early as kindergarten. So, figure out your dealership’s “Pledge of Allegiance.” Incorporate your reason “why” into your mission and make it part of everything you do at the dealership.
Your employees want to work somewhere where they know in their bones that they make a difference. As a leader, it’s your job to create the “why” and communicate it to your team. It’s another “little thing” that will make a big difference.
Little change three: Be unique—”Same is Lame®“
Most dealerships look and feel the same. This does not help you sell cars. If, when a customer arrives at your door, they experience the same thing they did down the road at XYZ dealership, you’ve lost a big opportunity to differentiate yourself, to stand out, and to stop the shopping process. When you make your first point of contact unique, it now becomes your first point of impact.
Your dealership experience should have a personal touch—matching your message, mission and personality. And this isn’t just on the sales floor, it’s everywhere. From the person who answers your phone to the service department, everyone needs to be on board. This is your prime opportunity to stand out and get attention! You need your customers to remember you, and be able to easily recognize what makes you different from the rest. So discover the ways you and your team can be unique. And make it count.
Focus on each of the three areas we’ve outlined and soon you will be selling more cars and, even better than that, you’ll be having a lot more fun in the process. We strongly believe that your business should be more fun and profitable. Our mission is to help dealers like you achieve a business and life that are ESP®—Enjoyable, Simple and Prosperous. And it’s most definitely possible.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the founders of Rich Dealers®, the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers and the authors of Gravitational Marketing. Visit www.TrafficScale.com to request a complimentary Traffic Scale Report, which compares the quality of your traffic to other dealerships in your area and helps determine whether or not there’s potential business you’re missing out on. Use coupon code DMM1308.0