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3 Words All Dealerships Should Follow During and After COVID-19: Digital, Effort, Transparency

With life as we know it being drastically changed since the pandemic, now is an important time as ever to offer customers the comfort and value they are willing to invest in.

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Social distancing, stay-at-home orders, non-essential businesses shut down, gloves, masks, hand washing, disinfecting and the list goes on. With this being the environment we are all selling in, now is the time to make the sales and service process a comfortable experience for our customers. Cleanliness, social distancing and fears of the future and economy are on every customer’s mind. Knowing this, we have to accommodate our customers accordingly.

Digital, Effort, Transparency

First off, let’s touch on what selling and retailing has become:

Digital selling is going to grow over customers coming into the dealership to choose and purchase their vehicle.

Digital and online selling and retailing has closed more brick-and-mortar businesses in the past five years than anything else. This means sell where your customers buy, creating a seamless process that’s easy to use, navigate, checkout and where the customer receives the products and goods they purchased. It is important to make the buying process simple for your customers, with the assistance available when they need it.

Make sure all departments are working together to make this a smooth and cohesive transaction where the customer sees value in your products and services.

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“Do what works the same way every time and expect the same or similar results.”

This is a quote I use when training dealerships and businesses consistently, yet as a salesperson or business owner, make sure you are making the necessary adjustments when appropriate.

Second, let’s touch base on what our customers expect from us:

Effort is going to be expected from the salespeople and business when the customer chooses where they do business.

The perceived effort your customers sees you doing to offer them the best value, give them a good experience and ensure you are taking the necessary steps to keep everything clean and sanitized is going to make or break your following in these current times of uncertainty.

Show and tell how you are putting in this effort, accommodating their fears and being socially and actively looking out for their health. Now is the time to regain repeat, referral and residual business, and remember how the customer reacts to your actions will speak volumes over your words.

“Never run blindly, keep thinking and look blindly for your advantage in every deal.”

Enthusiasm + Drive + Productivity = Success

Last, let’s talk about the buzzword from a few years ago that’s as relevant right now as it ever has been:

Transparency, now more than ever, is important in the customer’s buying decision when it comes to the purchase and the peace of mind their vehicle is sanitized and better than their previous vehicle.

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Regardless of where you get your data and information, it’s important to know you are dealing with a well-educated and cautious customer. If this sounds like bad news to you, I hate to tell you that you have been following and enduring an improper approach.

Now is the time for 100% transparency where you can effectively communicate how, when, where and why you will deliver your goods and services to properly and efficiently accommodate the customer’s wants and needs.

“Remember talk is cheap, the experience supersedes the purchase price.”

Educated customers want to know exactly who they’re dealing with, what that person or company is doing for them and how they are getting the most value for their purchase. Does your message and actions convey this to your customers?

We are all going through uncharted waters that are creating trying and uncertain times for almost all of us in life and business. Now more than ever is the time to hunker down in the slow times and race ahead of the flood gate known as the U.S. economy. When this floodgate opens up with a lack of inventory, pent up demand, not to mention the largest incentives in history from the manufacturers and lenders, will you be ready?

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