Whether we talk about Internet leads, phone calls or advertising it all boils down to one thing, which is getting them into the showroom. We can’t sell them a car if we can’t get them into the showroom, but that can be quite a task today.
The Internet has created another step in the car sales process and it’s a step that we don’t control. Therefore we are at somewhat of a loss about how to get them in the showroom. Some of these customers will call the dealer; some will submit a lead and others will simply stop in to for a test drive.
We love the ones will drop by to do their car shopping because know how to work those customers. What about the others that call in with questions and submit leads? We try to answer their questions and provide them with information either by phone or email, but we don’t need to bare our soul and drop our pants. We need to use our car salesman training and experience to convince them to visit our dealership.
We need to avoid answering specific questions that will disqualify our dealership and us. If they persist you need to answer them, but not all customers will persist the same way they do on the showroom floor. You need to read people on the phone and in email the same way you do when you are face to face. Granted it’s not easy to read people when they’re not in front of you, but it must be done.
Showroom First and Then Sell the Car
People are just people whether you are talking with them face to face, on the telephone or through email. If someone is calling, emailing or submitted a lead it’s very likely that they have already been shopping online. They have an idea what they want and they have pretty good idea of the approximate cost. Now they need to get into the dealership for a test drive. Very often they are trying to decide if they want to visit your dealership.
They are calling and emailing with questions, but you should be asking questions too. If you give them some information you should get some information in return. Remember when you are working them on the sales floor the person asking the questions is in control. Get their contract information, their time frame for buying, whether they have test driven their vehicle of choice. Build rapport and learn about them the same way you would if you had them in the showroom.
Connect and bond with these potential car buyers act as if they are standing in front of you. Make them feel comfortable talking and/or emailing you. You are selling yourself and the dealership so they will choose you and your dealership. Make them believe that you are the best one to help them purchase a car because of your knowledge, professionalism and enthusiasm.
Remember, you need to get them into the dealership or you will never sell them a car. Did you forget that 80% of all customers would buy a car that is different than the one they came to buy? That 80% was an accurate number because they often bought a different color exterior, different interior color, different trim level, different option package or accessories.
If you give every customer every detail over the phone and through email you wouldn’t sell very many cars each month and if you sell any they will probably be a “mini”. Unless your dealership stocks every model in every trim level in every color with every possible option and that’s not very likely you need to get a little creative.
The Car Salesman Knows How
I am not saying that you should deceive or lie to potential customers in order to get them into the showroom. However you do need to make every effort to get them there by systemically providing limited information, getting information and being “grey”. By gray I mean not black and not white, but gray. As car salesmen we do it on the showroom floor all the time so do it all the time regardless of communication.
Work the odds because some customers will come in with a simple invite, some will come in with limited information and some will come in only after you provide a written quote including all extra details including tax and tags. Not to mention all of those that want a written price quote that they can take to their local dealership.
Try to think of working a phone call, an email or a lead like a customer in the showroom. Build rapport, sell yourself and the dealership and sell the car when they are in the showroom.
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot,
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