If you ask most customers today if they enjoy buying a car, the vast consensus is: NO! In fact, most Americans hate car shopping so much, they’d rather do their taxes or give up sex, according to one study. Yikes! For dealerships to survive and beat the competition, not to mention companies like Tesla, Vroom and Carvana, they need to change how they do business. Now, some of you might disagree with this, but I ask you to hear me out. There is a better way to sell cars than putting customers through the wringer.
The Problem with the Auto Industry Today
There are a lot of issues facing today’s car dealerships, from the global chip shortage and a reduction in truck drivers for delivering cargo to a lack of inventory and figuring out how to sell cars in a post-pandemic world. Let’s be real: Aggressive sales tactics are the norm in the auto industry. The car business is addicted to aggressive and pushy sales tactics. CRMs have fed into this mentality. There is an extraordinary amount of pressure put on salespeople to sell cars to leads right away. However, many car buyers aren’t ready to purchase a vehicle within just a few days of contacting a dealership. Many leads need more time to develop.
Here’s where the issue lies: Most dealerships don’t have the bandwidth to follow up with leads for more than a week or a month. So, those leads end up going elsewhere when they’re ready to sign the paperwork. And where are they going? To car sellers that don’t use these tactics, like Vroom and Tesla.
The car-selling industry needs to change. It’s time to abandon the traditional selling tactics — like cold calling — and switch to a system that actually works. Are dealerships treating people the way they want to be treated?
What’s the Alternative to Pushy Sales Tactics?
You’re probably wondering: If I don’t use pushy and aggressive sales tactics, how am I going to sell any cars? How am I going to meet my quotas and keep my volume where it needs to be?
The key is lead follow-up. We’ve been doing this for a while, and we’ve done a lot of research. One thing we’ve found is that the average time from lead to sale, across all lead providers, is 43 days. Forty-three days! Is your dealership taking the time to follow up with leads for that long? I’m guessing not.
Here’s the bottom line: When your funnel is big, you don’t have to be aggressive and pushy, because you have a long line of customers waiting to talk to you.
It’s time to shift gears from the past ways of aggressive sales tactics and, instead, try a new way of getting the job done. I really believe that changing sales tactics is the key to saving franchise dealerships from large conglomerates.