Vehicle buyers’ primary complaints regarding their purchases continue to be about time. They are frustrated with the time it takes to complete a sales transaction on the dealership lot. Heck, they’re upset at how long it still takes us to respond back to an email inquiry, answer a phone, and pick up a live chat, so you know that four hours in a showroom to a guest feels like an eternity. As we attempt to rectify this and take our customers through the sale quicker, we must ensure we are speeding things up and not just cutting corners.
The archaic “road to the sale” has the ability to be streamlined. (At DealerKnows, we call it “Process Perfected”). With shoppers performing months of research in advance of stepping onto a dealer lot, we have the ability to create very personalized experiences for them (both online and on the lot). From the website tools available to tailoring presentations based on the consumers’ needs rather than ours, there are several ways we can walk a shopper through the inevitable purchase much faster.
[blockquote name=”Joe Webb” organization=”@zonewebb”]When have you last visited any store and said “Wow, I’d love to make this purchase take LONGER.”? You don’t. So stop finding ways to slow customers down.[/blockquote]
However, this doesn’t mean we should cut corners. Steps such as the needs assessment, test drive, and price agreement are still necessary elements to a customer purchasing happy. We cannot yet eliminate entire steps from the road to the sale just so we can get the customer out of the building quicker. Instead, we need to better understand the customer’s goals and only work to meet their needs, not ours. If a customer asks whether a truck has leather on it, that doesn’t mean they want to hear about the wheelbase. Zip the lip and focus your conversation based on the questions they’re asking. Don’t bypass steps all together. Here are a few sales tips to speed up the in-store process for the customer (Come to think of it, who says everything has to be completed “in-store” anyway?)
- Rather than completing one activity after the other, have multiple steps completed at the same time by using a team of people rather than one or two people.
- Negotiate less by asking them which websites they garnered information from. Ask them what figures those sites stated. (Time is constantly wasted during the trade appraisal and financing simply because these elements were addressed/researched/solved in advance of arrival.) There is less negotiating if you know where to begin.
- Service walks are great – if there is one iota of insight that their future service experience is driving their immediate purchase decision. (By the way, who ever said the customer should have to walk back to the service drive? Can’t the Service Director come out and greet them in the showroom?)
- Make sure that you’ve deployed transactional technology that will allow you to save time during the paperwork process (i.e. instead of loading a deal twice – once into the CRM and again into the DMS manually – aaack! Or log the customer’s personal information into an iPad during a test drive rather than at a desk.)
Gaining insight into the research performed and the expectations will allow you to more quickly streamline their in-store experience. Ask the right questions. Complete transactional “steps” with multiple people at the same time. Use the right technology to speed the paperwork along rather than slowing it down. All of this allows you to make the purchase happen for the customer quicker without cutting corners. Think like a customer. When have you last gone into any store and said “Wow, I’d love to make this purchase take LONGER.”? You don’t. So stop finding ways to slow customers down.