Technology & Trends For Virtual Dealers


The Tale of Two Dealerships

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The Tale of Two Dealerships

Contemplate for a moment you are not in the car or RV business and you are looking for a new car to replace the ancient mini-van you drove your kids and all their friends to soccer practice in 5 grueling days a week. No one in the history of ever considered vacuuming the floor of surmountable debris caking the floor. Now, the struggling engine pukes 3 quarts of oil a week. It’s just done. You love ‘Lucy’ as you call her. She’s taken you from the birth of your second child through present day, where you have decided to be a grown up and get a new car.

Do you trade Lucy in, where she is sure to be destined to death by the crushing weight of an auto recycling yard? For a passing moment, you want to keep her for all the memories you’ve had together. But, let’s face it, Lucy is just a hunk of metal. The thought of a bright, shiny, sexy new car wins out.

Where does one begin? You’ve always imagined how incredible life would be if you zipped around town in a Mercedes. But, you love the gadgets on the Volvo’s. Narrowing it down to 2 brands, you decide to look online at your local dealerships. The first thing that strikes you is that both websites are devoid of color. You glance at the ceiling as you think, do Mercedes only come in white? Looking at the Volvo site, it’s black, blue, gray, over and over. You want red, but you can’t find it on either website. Clearly, there’s been a mistake.

You call both dealerships and get an auto-attendant at both. ‘Dial 2 for sales, dial 3 for service’, she says in her syrupy processed voice. You’re mildly vexed when you dial 2 for sales and a voicemail prompt comes across your cell phone speaker at one of the dealerships. When you dial 2 for sales at the second dealership, a happy man answers the phone in 1 ring. “Hello, Jon speaking, I’m happy to serve you at XYZ Dealership!”, he exclaims. “Whom can I tell our genius sales specialist, Frank, is calling?”. You are positive this is the Labrador Retriever version of a human.

Chuckling a little, you tell happy guy Jon, your name. Happy guy gets even more excited when he learns you name is Jessica, and reacts like you just threw a bright yellow tennis ball in his field of vision. You hold for a brief moment and think, there can only be one of those at a dealership. Instantly, you realize Frank must be Jon’s clone when Frank gets on the line. “Hello, Jessica! I’m so happy you called today”, Frank says.

You tell Frank your situation with Lucy and that you have your heart set on a red car. Frank’s a very smart sales person and he concludes within seconds that you have never driven their brand before. He politely asks if you would like to come to the dealership and test drive your favorites. You accept the invitation and meet Frank on the lot an hour later. He’s waiting for you with a great big smile, and instantly you feel connected to Frank. The other brand you were looking at online becomes a distant memory, and you buy your red, shiny, sexy car at Frank’s dealership.

There’s a few things to absorb here because this experience is all too common. First, what causes a consumer to choose your dealership or brand? Second, your dealership website will likely be the very first point of contact your customers will have with you.

I speak from many, many experiences when I say that the culture at your store should like a pack of 1 year old Labradors. If you staff is bouncing around, eager to serve customers, you will sell more autos and RVs. To achieve this on initial lead contact, I recommend the following:

  1. Assign your staff to calls from the moment a consumer calls in. Give the initial point of contact a script such as the one above where callers are greeted letting them know who their sales specialist will be, and capturing the consumer name immediately.
  2. Be quick about everything. I know, everyone is trying to stop the clock. Let’s go beyond the clock though and focus on the basic psychology of the sale. Consumers are most excited at the initial point of contact. If your staff is not cheery, excited, and helpful, replace them.

Let’s talk a little about dealer websites. I know this is a sore subject. Everyone’s got an opinion on how it should be set up. Ponder this question for a moment: If a consumer is most excited at the initial point of contact with your dealership, and most people will shop your website before calling or visiting your dealership, would you want to make it easy for them to buy the car or RV they love from your website?

Ok, I am going to stop beating around the bush:

  1. You need Virtual Deal.
  2. Call or email me so I can help you connect Virtual Deal to your customers at the initial and most important point of contact, your website. You won’t regret selling more cars😊

Article By: Mari Campuzano

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