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The ones that got away…..Back

Competition is fierce and customers have more options than ever when it comes to purchasing a car, a tough combination for dealerships trying to protect margins and volume. In essence, business is like travel; the smoother the customer’s ride, the greater the chance that they will advocate the business, telling others about their positive experiences. They are also more likely to come back for servicing and repairs.

The trend towards digital browsing in order to find a car, whether on a pc, tablet or smartphone means the average customer only visits 1.3 dealerships before making their purchase so it is more critical than ever to qualify and ‘nurture’ prospects that leave the showroom empty handed.

When it comes to turning prospective customers into sales, having an effective prospect management program in place is crucial for dealerships.

So why didn’t they buy? Asking those all important questions at the right time is the first step to turning the ones that got away into customers and converting potential ‘lost sales’ as well as developing a much greater understanding of your customers experience.

It may be a simple case of personality clash – they weren’t keen on the salesperson who greeted them. Easily rectified, invite them in on Jo’s day off for a test drive. Others might be less obvious – customer’s expectations vary as much as their confidence in dealing with the motor trade.

Never underestimate the power of listening – take on board what they say and remember personal details for next time. A smart looking showroom and great coffee also help, it’s surprising how many customers notice and feel fit to comment on the quality of beverage offered.

Don’t forget the obvious; there are two basic reasons why people purchase anything: to make life easier and more pleasurable (so the freedom that comes with a car) or combat a problem (such as the need for independence). Therefore you need to focus on your product’s most attractive and relevant benefits as you communicate with your prospects and make sure you deliver on your promises. A major area of concern with car buyers is their confidence in the salesperson they are dealing with. Do everything in your power to ensure that your prospects, customers, and colleagues understand and protect the business’s name particularly online as 66% of consumers read reviews before purchasing.

Credibility and truthfulness will also win you far more customers than impossible to keep promises; with increasing digital word of mouth remember the old maxim – always under-promise and over-deliver!

As a Sales Manager or Dealer Principal it’s important that you’re able to check and have confidence that your team are delivering the service you’d expect – not just with customers but also with those who don’t buy today. A contact centre or service like JudgeService will pay for itself many times over as it helps you understand your customers, prospects and what your team are, and aren’t delivering. Converting a prospect into a customer is all about the personal touch, but it’s too important to leave that experience to chance.

Best practice with prospects should be measurable and will help you persuade them to part with their hard earned cash rather than run to your competitors. Simple!




Posted by Leana Kell on 01/09/2012