Although most people are keen on the idea of owning nice vehicles, few of us relish the car-buying experience. Salespeople often put a tremendous amount of pressure on prospective buyers and rush important decisions. Additionally, because of the way salespeople are portrayed in popular media, many car buyers feel like they have to constantly keep their guard up to avoid being taken advantage of. Dealership owners looking for practical ways to make the buying experience more pleasant for everyone involved can benefit from the following pointers.
As you’ll find, a little bit of effort on your end can instill trust and confidence from car buyers and help bolster your business’s professional reputation.
Offer a Robust Online Experience.
These days, virtually anything can be purchased over the web – and vehicles are no exception. To avoid being left in the dust, every dealership should provide customers with a convenient, user-friendly online experience. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full-effect, being able to purchase vehicles online has never been more important. As such, your dealership should enable customers to browse your inventory, interact with salespeople and complete transactions through your website.
To reap the full benefits of offering a virtual buying experience, you’ll need to consistently update your online inventory. Every time a vehicle is sold, take care to promptly remove it, and every time a new vehicle arrives, take care to promptly add it. If your lot has an expansive inventory, a dependable vehicle tracking app can prove instrumental in taking stock of available automobiles.
Avoid Pressuring Customers.
For many of us, one of the worst things about the car-buying experience is pressure from salespeople. More often than not, these individuals want customers to make buying decisions in the most expedient manner possible. To a point, this is understandable. Wages vary from dealership to dealership, but many salespeople receive fairly low hourly pay, and much of their take-home comes from the commission they make from individual vehicle sales.
Still, it’s important that salespeople try to see things from the consumer’s point of view. A new vehicle is far from a small investment, and making large financial decisions in a hurry is synonymous with buyer’s remorse. If customers habitually feel as if they’re pressured into purchasing vehicles they don’t truly want, negative word of mouth is likely to spread. Needless to say, if your lot develops a reputation for subjecting customers to high-pressure sales situations, prospective buyers are liable to stay away.
Don’t Speak Ill of Competitors.
As any business owner can attest, wanting to draw customers away from competitors is perfectly understandable. However, there’s a right way and wrong way to go about this. The right away entails offering competitive prices, fantastic customer service and dependable products, whereas the wrong way entails taking potshots at competitors and disparaging them in front of customers. Rather than extolling the virtues of your dealership, smack-talking comes off as desperate and serves as a turn-off for many prospective buyers.
With this in mind, make a point of not mentioning your competitors unless a customer brings them up – and even then, avoid dispensing petty insults.
Listen to the Needs of Customers.
As previously stated, salespeople have a reputation for being pushy. In addition to pressuring customers into making expedient buying decisions, this pushiness often entails not listening to consumer needs. Instead of providing vehicle recommendations that correspond to the qualities customers are looking for, some salespeople simply recommend cars for which they stand to make the most commission. While the desire to make a hefty commission is understandable, a lack of relevant recommendations makes car buyers feel as if they’re not being heard and that their needs are unimportant.
To help ensure good customer relations, you and your sales staff should practice active listening and make vehicle recommendations based on buyer needs. In many cases, this will mean making less commission, but this financial sacrifice stands to exponentially increase consumer confidence.
There’s little wonder as to why so many people find the car-buying experience stressful. Not only are new vehicles fairly pricey, being pressured into making large purchases can be annoying and unpleasant from a consumer standpoint. However, this isn’t to say that car lot owners should resign themselves to this sort of reputation. Putting the tips discussed above to good use can help increase consumer trust and set the stage for long-term success.