In this competitive market, we hear from many dealerships that they are struggling to engage their customers in two-way conversations. In particular with Internet leads, increasing the contact rate and getting the customers to respond can be a challenge since many customers receive emails and calls from several dealers in a short period of time. So what can you do to stand out and encourage a response?
Besides the best practices we all know about (respond quickly, give alternatives, etc.), one of the most effective ways to engage is to build value in your dealership. Put yourselves in your customers’ shoes and answer the question for them: Why should I buy from your dealership instead of another dealership?
Here are several ways to build value and give customers a reason to come in:
1) Align with the customer’s hot buttons. When a customer on the lot tells you that fuel economy is the most important feature in a vehicle to them, you probably tailor your vehicle presentation to the features and benefits that stress how economical and efficient the vehicle is. While you can’t always identify it from an Internet lead, you can usually gather enough information to make an educated guess at what might be important to that customer. Are they nearby? Try stressing convenience attributes of your dealership like your location, an easy in-and-out process, and your willingness to prepare a vehicle in advance to save them time.
2) Share what separates you from the competition. What is your unique differentiator? Is your dealership known for the best prices, price guarantees, the biggest selection, or your no-pressure sales environment? Maybe the President’s Award for exceptional customer service? Whatever your store can offer that your competitor can’t or won’t, make sure your customers are aware of it.
3) Show your connection to your community. People still buy from companies they like – and that they know will be around for the long term. Showing your involvement in your local community without bragging about it enhances your reputation, engenders trust and shows an intent to “stay around.” Whether it’s supporting the local Little League (“Proud Sponsors of Little Timmy’s T-Ballers”), local charities, or if you are having a blood drive or a holiday barbecue, don’t be afraid to share tastefully.
Every salesperson should know what differentiates your dealership from any other; and they should be able to use that information to build value and rapport with the customers. Do you know what your dealership’s unique differentiator is? Can you give your customers a good reason to buy from you instead of your competition? What do you do that builds value and encourages the customer to come in?