HARDISON’S TIPS – DECEMBER 30, 2020 – HAVING A GREAT AUTOMOTIVE SALES YEAR IN 2021
Establish a strong online presence
Search engines and social media platforms now play a significant role in consumers’ buying experiences. Research from Cox Automotive found that car buyers spend an average of 14 hours researching and shopping online before ever visiting a dealership in person. Without a strong and active online presence, you could be missing out on easy sales and opportunities to build lasting customer relationships.
The study also found that close to 80% of shoppers visit at least two websites during their independent research – 65% start their search on a third-party website, while 32% end up on a dealership’s page. These findings demonstrate the importance of your website as an active sales tool. Offering consumers a simple means of collecting information on vehicle features, prices and financing options can help build trust early in the buying process.
That said, your website must be informative, engaging and effective at driving sales leads to have an impact on your bottom line. Your content should be consistently updated to reflect the most accurate information about your dealership and vehicle inventory. It’s also important to optimize your web pages for mobile users to ensure all visitors have a positive experience browsing your site. Alongside user-friendly design and informative content, your website should also offer:
- Comprehensive vehicle pages with photos
- Real-time pricing information
- Educational shopping guides
- Breakdowns of F&I products
The goal of website optimization is to make it easy for online shoppers to locate your dealership, browse your inventory and start the purchase process. While it’s true that younger consumers are more open to online car buying, the majority of shoppers (81%) still prefer to purchase or lease in person. Ultimately, your website should function as a stepping stone in the buyer’s journey and encourage customers to visit your dealership in person.
Prioritize sales training
Consumer preferences are constantly changing, which can make it difficult to keep your car sales tactics relevant and impactful. In addition to new hire training, dealerships should offer upskilling and professional development opportunities that encourage employees to grow. Business training, in particular, can provide an inside look at a wide range of selling fundamentals, including:
- Digital retail and sales techniques
- The psychology behind high-end purchases
- How to conduct retail presentations
- The basics of sales conversions
Alongside sales training, you should also provide your staff with regular refresher courses on F&I products, loan and lease offerings, and standard maintenance contracts. This can help encourage your sales team to introduce F&I and Fixed Ops packages earlier in the sales conversation. It can also give your sales team a leg up when negotiating with high-intent shoppers who are ready to make a purchase.
END OF PART THREE
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