In-person sales may have taken a backseat during the COVID-19 pandemic, but with stores reopening to full capacity, you need to polish your people skills and prepare to excel at work full time. Here are seven smart ways to go above and beyond at your car dealership.
1. Up Your Online Marketing Game
Online marketing is crucial to the success of car salespeople, especially with COVID-19 limiting in-person interactions. Consistently stay in touch with your customers by sending them messages online, primarily in video format. These videos can talk about your dealership’s team members, future giveaways and maintenance tips.
As you go further into the sales process, give them virtual walkarounds of the vehicles they’ve expressed interest in. If one of you tests positive for COVID and can’t attend the next in-person appointment, you can continue to move forward with the sale without missing a beat.
2. Learn and Remember Customers’ Names
Personalisation is becoming a forgotten art in this digital age, which means it’s more important than ever in a face-to-face setting. You can make a solid first impression on your customers by learning their names and treating them as individuals rather than another potential sale.
Learning someone’s name is the first step in building a friendship and gaining trust. Talking to your customers as friends makes it more likely to get a positive response and move further along in the sales process. These efforts have to be genuine. Customers can tell the difference between authenticity and shady sales tactics.
3. Discuss Ideas With Your Superiors
You should always communicate with your manager and other superiors about improving the dealership. You might suggest updating the vehicle displays or changing the parking lot’s layout. If you live in an area that experiences dangerous weather conditions, pitch the idea of installing canopies to protect your inventory from the elements.
Anything that might harm your vehicle selection must be addressed. As a salesperson who walks the lots every day, you know the challenges your dealership faces better than anyone. Bring that knowledge to the higher-ups and discuss potential changes with them.
4. Show off Your Expertise
Another great way to impress the customer is by showing off your expertise. Most people already have a specific make and model in mind, so start there. Show them the various features of the car they’re interested in and introduce them to similar alternatives. You help put them at ease and indirectly encourage them to keep an open mind by giving them options.
Still, there’s a fine line between being knowledgeable and being a know-it-all. Only give your customers the information they need to make an informed decision. Don’t overwhelm them with irrelevant facts or attempt to entice them with features they don’t want. Keep things straightforward and present the necessary information about engines and more to them in a pleasant manner.
5. Practise Patience
Many salespeople appear friendly and knowledgeable enough during the first handful of interactions. However, once the time comes for the customer to make a decision, they suddenly flip a switch and become overly assertive, pushing them to commit. Is one attempt to finalise the sale worth compromising your relationship? Of course not.
Give the customer ample time to think about their next course of action. In the meantime, you can send them a thoughtful email thanking them for considering your dealership. They will notice and appreciate your patience, making them more likely to move forward with the sale.
6. Mention Price at the Right Time
The topic of price should not come up in the first handful of interactions with the customer. You have to make sure they’re ready to buy first. Keep the cost in your back pocket while discussing features and other details. If all goes well, the customer will bring up the price first. At that point, you can discuss the down payment and monthly fees and bring your sales manager into the loop.
7. Follow up After the Sale
A finalised sale doesn’t have to mark the end of your relationship with the customer. It’s your job to make sure they are satisfied with their vehicle and answer any last-minute questions they might have. A lasting connection opens the door for referrals and good online reviews.
You should also thank the customer for their time and patience with a personalised message. A strong final impression can set your dealership apart from the competition and pave the way for more sales down the road.
Authenticity Is Key
Authentic service is the key to excelling at work. You have to befriend the customer before pitching to them. Learn their names and interests. Be open with information and exercise patience throughout the buying process. Show them you care, both in-person and online. These strategies will help you become a better car salesperson and set the foundation for more business in the future.
Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates from the Modded team.