Not too long ago a car salesman could get in front of enough customers every month to sell enough cars to make a good commission. However, things are bit different today and selling cars today is more than a numbers game. Dealership showrooms are seeing less and less traffic today. The numbers are in and they are down, but the closing ratios have gone up from 20% several years ago to 60% today and some dealerships are even near 70%.
Customers today have done their research online and now they are coming to buy a car. No shopping, no thinking about it, they are ready to BUY a car. Unless they are one of the very small percentages of car buyers that don’t do online research they are buying today. In many cases, they have spent an average of 17 or more hours online researching the vehicle they came to buy. They often know more about the car than the car salesman. More than likely they have prices from several dealers and they know about the current rebates and any financing specials.
Selling Cars Today is About a Quailty Experience
Now it’s time for the car salesman or car saleswoman to do their job. Quality is the key today, in other words, the car salesperson needs to be at the top of their game. Down to the appearance of the car salesman to their product knowledge and all of their car salesman skills will be required. Start playing games and making up crap because you don’t know the answers will send them to your competitor. The customer that does their research online already knows the answers so quality is critical when selling cars today. They expect top-notch service and assistance. Start grinding them and turning up the heat and there is a good chance you will lose them.
A quality experience from a professional car salesman from start to finish is required. The days of more showroom traffic than you know what to do with are gone and still shrinking. You can’t afford to miss an opportunity today. Cherry picking is getting harder and harder to do for the car salesman. Brooming customers and lot drops won't be tolerated. Every up is critical today and wasting ups are unacceptable. They need to be sold, but usually, it’s on their terms.
The business of selling cars is changing and will continue to change just like everything else. We will adjust and innovate as needed, but the quality is critical when selling cars today. The way we treat customers today will impact the way we do business tomorrow as an industry. If we continue to leave a bad taste in the mouths of our customers they will make things difficult for the car salesman. Watch for my 3-part article on the future of the car business.
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot