No one yet knows the lasting impact of recent events on dealership operations. What we do know is that people will still need reliable transportation.
One casualty we already see is ride-share. Consumers may increasingly desire to forego this option, again finding it safer to be moving about in their own vehicle versus one used to haul many other people throughout the day.
What also is clear is that the motivation for digital retailing has arrived. Consumers will find conducting car deals remotely across end-to-end digital retail platforms is more comfortable, more convenient and a safer alternative to the traditional in-person meet-and-greet process.
It’s also certain that however leads come into your dealership, they won’t respond well to poor information handling. These prospects expect a smooth, timely sales process, which is why speed to sale is now critical to lead conversion and profitability.
A Forbes.com report, “11 Sales Skills Essential for Better Lead Conversion,” offered this:
“A key sales skill to improve lead conversion is responsiveness. This is a lead, not a cold call. They, in some form, have reached out to you — be quick to respond. I immediately have an advantage over my competitors. It sounds simple, yet a timely response is often overlooked.”
Such responsiveness, driven by speed to sale, flows out of faster reconditioning, streamlined cross-department cooperation and a tighter inventory turn policy. When sales and BDC departments use selling advantages that empower them to engage leads promptly and knowledgeably, they close more deals.
Our data shows that dealers who are practicing speed to sale close two of three used car leads. Conversion drops to one of three, where these sales advantages are not available.
By using this sales advantage, every member of your sales team will handle leads like top performers. Top producers don’t sell — they build relationships. Their in-depth product knowledge, understanding of your inventory and quick location of test-drive vehicles (and their keys) build trust in consumers, which motivates them to buy.
Speed-to-sale tools give them access into your store’s vehicle acquisition and reconditioning pipelines. Whatever the source of the lead, the salesperson’s glance into this pipeline serves up all the vital information they need to answer prospect questions fast. This process means they no longer risk the loss of a lead or up’s interest while they put them on hold or have to call them back while they source out information to answer basic questions, such as:
• Can you tell me about the car — make, model and trim levels?
• Can you tell me about its condition or issues — what was done in recon and do you have paperwork and photos that show that?
• Is it still available — will it be ready to show and for a test drive when I come in today?
• I’m interested in the car — but is the price negotiable?
Speed-to-sale advantages are best explained by a “know it, find it and sell it” sales strategy. Now, with a glance into a vehicle acquisition and reconditioning pipeline on their CRM tool or mobile device, your salespeople will engage every lead as top performers do.
They’ll have at hand the deep intelligence on a vehicle necessary to answer a lead’s questions on the spot. They’ll also have the precise vehicle and essential location tools, so there’s no fumbling at test-drive time and compelling visual presentation tools and data to build confidence and value in the cars you sell.
Tough times call for new approaches. A “know it, find it and sell it” strategy gives your entire sales and BDC staff unique new tools for improving lead conversion, which is always a top goal but now more than ever. Call me to chat about this for your dealership. Stay alert — and stay well!