This week’s blog is based on a fascinating webinar presented by Laura Madison, the Vice President of Sales and Training at Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions. Laura has been featured in Automotive News, Advertising Age and Edmunds.com, and her “Laura Toyota” persona has received many accolades from sales and marketing professionals around North America. Her Management by Fire training event is in Dallas from May 15-17 — learn more and register here if you’re ready to unlock your true management potential!
Anyone who knows automotive sales knows that the internet has changed everything.
Customers aren’t coming into dealerships like they used to. 87% of them don’t like something about the process of buying a car at a traditional dealership. They want to research cars online, and interact with dealerships on the phone and social media. And they certainly don’t have time to drive around to 4 or 5 different dealerships.
So what does this mean for auto sales professionals? It means that you have to adjust to what the customer expects. Laura Madison’s webinar focuses on three strategies that any dealership can use to ensure it won’t be left in the dust.
Surprisingly, most sales professionals working in dealerships aren’t that great on the phone. Phone skills are a crucial way to make sure that you’re converting all of the potential sales opportunities that come your way.
Converting telephone calls into in-person meetings creates a pathway for buyers to actually come into the showroom. If they aren’t convinced that they’ll find something they want, buyers will not show up. Our blog about Elise Kephart’s 4 Phases of Follow-Up explores how salespeople can generate appointments out of thin air with a little bit of persistence and a healthy dose of confidence.
Salespeople can’t rely on approaching customers on the showroom floor anymore — they have to reach out and create their own opportunities.
That feeds right into the next point in the webinar: dealerships that don’t explicitly cultivate a proactive sales culture will rarely succeed in today’s auto sales world.
There is too much competition, and too many tools that your competitors can take advantage of. When the industry is changing so rapidly, no one can afford to wait for things to happen to them — they have to make things happen.
Web tools like Accu-Trade’s Instant Offer Value My Trade form can generate high-converting trade-in leads, but you have to make the commitment to using these tools in order for them to work for you. 71% of car buyers get a trade-in value online before visiting a dealership — they want a dealer who will give them what they want.
Just remember, being proactive starts as a state of mind.
Every dealership should have a social media strategy. Although some people complain that the rise of the internet has taken the human touch out of selling cars, social media allows dealers to connect with their customers like never before.
Social lets you make a human connection with online customers, and helps you consider customer behavior more easily. What do people like? What frustrates them? What are they interested in? All of these questions can be answered through the active, engaged use of social media.
For any dealers who are looking to gain an edge, Laura Madison’s webinar is a must-watch event. Mastering conversions and improving sales is partially mastering strategies and partially adjusting the mindset of your salespeople. Focusing on improving in these three areas is a great place to start for any dealership!