This blog was inspired to me when I got here in the late morning (I'm usually the closer!), and both of my two Internet Coordinators were running around; one looking for pictures of a particular vehicle, and the other was finding out from our Sales Managers if we can do "better than the internet price" because the customer wants to know before she gets here...
All I could do is shake my head, and try to explain some facts in the automotive world:
- More than 3 out of 4 customers will NOT buy the vehicle they originally inquire on via the internet
- Most customers will ask about price as an inquiry, but most of the time it is NOT an objection
- About 9 out of 10 customers go to the internet before coming into a dealership
- Most customers visit 2 OR LESS dealerships before making a purchase
I'm sure this is happening more often than it should in dealerships everywhere, and it is very ineffective. To put it blunt...a waste of time!
Don't lose mind of the fact that we do this every day, and know the quickest and easiest way to get it done. Most often we help people purchase vehicles more times in a week, than most people experience in a lifetime! So why are we as professionals running around on wild goose chases looking for information that will end up being irrelevant in the sale?
Spending more than 80% of your time on less than 20% of your customers is a recipe for disaster! You will not be happy with your end-of-month results if you tend to try to give the customer too much "TLC" before they get to the dealer. Imagine all of the customers you can be calling, scheduling for appointments and getting to show up, rather than having a few valuable employees seeking information on one tough prospect. This is the opportunity cost that you have to sacrifice to do this for one customer, in hopes of that one customer you are spending all that time on is going to convert to a sale. Does this make sense? ...I hope you said NO
The customer controlling you, the professional appointment setter, is indeed getting what they want, but not helping you get what you want in return. We want to create a reason for the customer to come to the dealership, and without avoiding the question, give the best answer to make us both happy. For example, we tend to get scared when a customer asks the price and treat it as an objection before we have to. Even worse yet, bring up price before the customer because we THINK that is the most important thing to them. Having a list of fact finding questions and good answers that make sense to the customer will help you avoid running around, and get the customer to do what we want...and that's to come into the store. We can find out information about what they want, to better guide them to the best deal possible.
Asking question a question like: "what was it in particular you liked about that vehicle?" is a very simple but powerful statement. You will find out if your customer likes the budget, brand, style, etc...of that car, and then be able to make suggestions of similar vehicles. A customer may have been looking at 3-5 vehicles on your site, but only asked about one. You may make suggestions, and find the vehicle is one of the same ones that they were also looking at! By making numerous suggestions you are creating an "information overload" situation, while also understanding what the customer’s wants and needs are. I have even found that sometimes they come to the conclusion themselves that it would be easier for them to come in and take a look, simply because of how informative I am on the phone.
Constantly mixing in phrases like "when you get here..." and "I'm glad we had this chance to talk before we meet..." paired along with being helpful on the phone will help you convert more "lookers" into "buyers" when they do get to your lot as well as get more prospects interested in coming to see you soon!