Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
TRAINING_SUCCESS.jpg Personal Accountability is one of the most lacking standards in under performing dealerships today. In order to be more successful in an ever changing market, we have to be constantly ensuring that our staff consistently interacts with their customers in a different, more engaging way than ever.
Are customers primarily price driven or do they respond to an elevated customer experience. In order to answer that question, we have to agree on a couple of points.
1. Can we agree that for the most part, the product available to customers today is on a level playing field?
2. Can we agree, that for the most part, the competitive pricing game has put most of us on a fairly level pricing playing field?
In my interactions with Salespeople and Managers around the country, far and away, almost all of them say that the answer to those questions is Yes! And if the answer is yes, then the question that remains is "If the product and price playing fields are level, then what is one of the only things left for a customer to consider when deciding where to spend their dollars?"
If we consider it in this fashion, the Customer Experience is extremely important. So what are you doing different?
If your sales team does not put somebody on paper at the time of their first visit, then provided you had them on the right car, they nearly every time go straight to your main competitor and look for a better deal.
Here are some things that you can do to help ensure that your team delivers a superior customer experience:
1. Perform a double T.O.. Most managers tell me that they try to T.O. every customer if they are leaving without buying a car. T.O. them Twice, once on the way in and once on the way out. Lets face it, when a customer is leaving, it is because you have said no, they have said no, the salesperson has given up, and the whole world is in the NO ZONE. T.O. Them as soon as they come in the showroom and don't make it about a car deal. Simply greet them, welcome them, introduce yourself with your title, thank them for shopping at your store, encourage them that they are in good hands with their sales rep and try to make some small talk around common ground. Later, if you and your rep are unable to write a deal, then when you do go in for a second T.O., you are greeting an old friend instead of a new adversary.
2. Have your salespeople ask their customers 4 easy questions when they come in.
A. "What brings you in?"- This is customer friendly and better than can I help you. It is also probative without being invasive.
B. "What do you hope to accomplish while you are here?" We know we want to spot deliver an automobile. But lets begin to gently win our customer over and hopefully move things in the right direction. Asking them is they want to buy a car today in the first five minutes simply does not work anymore. Asked in this manner, your customer will help your rep sell them a car.
C. "How much time do you have to spend with me today?" We can accomplish a couple of things here. On one hand, you are showing respect for your customers time, and on the other you are ensuring that your customer doesn't get numbers and run.
D. "Can I suggest how we might make the best use of your time?" Buying a car is daunting, and we often flail through the process with the customer hanging on for dear life. If we actually lay out a game plan prior to following it we might get more buy-in from our customer. Make sure your game plan follows their needs and not yours. We can always move in our direction. Just make sure we start in theirs.
3. Have an exit plan. One of the hardest things to do after a customer leaves without buying is get them back on the phone. They don't want to talk to us. It isn't anything personal, they just don't think we have anything to offer. If we did, we would have given it to them when they were in. One of the last things your salesperson should say to a customer as he walks them out is "I am really sorry we couldn't get together today. But this isn't over for me. I have a few things brewing in my mind and I really believe we are going to make you very happy before this is over. Can I have your permission to give you a call tomorrow, say ten o'clock am?" Most customers buy within three to five days of their visit. We owe it to them to follow them up next day, every time, every situation.
Simply put, every interaction needs to be handled with the biggest smiles, the closest attention and the sincerest desire to help the customer.