Secrets of Successful Automotive Internet Salespeople
How to Sell More Cars Using the Internet
If you're an automotive sales professional who has found themselves charged with handling internet leads, then this article is for you. If you're the Internet Manager or Internet Director, you need to differentiate yourself and your store from the competition. Here's how. Also, if you're not in the car business but work online with customers via the internet and email, then some of the tips you're about to see will work for you, too.
My Sales Career
In my current position, I am a Sales and Marketing Manager for Cardone Training Technologies. Prior to this, I was in the car business. Very early in my career, I would be handed internet-generated sales leads—not because I was any good at selling, mind you, but because management at the time just really didn't know what to do with them. When you got an internet lead back then, you were pretty much 50/50 on a deal. If you were nice, had the car in stock, and were able to give a decent price, you were pretty much going to sell a car. It was easy.
That was early 2003. Now, years later, the internet has advanced and so has the consumer, and therefore the internet lead is no longer the same lead we used to get back in '03.
Or is it?
Understanding the Internet Buyer
Consumers will always be "more educated than ever before," and the reason for the heavy price shopping is because we (the auto industry) created it. Maybe not on purpose, but we created it nonetheless. The sooner we take responsibility for it and stop looking at the internet buyer like a total mooch, the sooner we can overcome that mindset and get back to earning a decent living.
As you look at these tips, there is one thing you must believe in and agree with me on; otherwise, you're not going to get it:
A customer will pay more for a great attitude than a great product.
If this sounds foreign to you, if you disagree with me on this, I understand and feel your frustration; I have been there, too. That being said, often the truth hurts and pain is a necessary part of growth. So consider your own attitude while moving forward, and then consider implementing these tips to adjust your own attitude.
Below the video, you'll find some success tips that you can use to create more appointments, loyal clients, referrals, and subsequently more deals.
Sales Training Tips for a Great Attitude
Use YouTube to Introduce Yourself
Here's you're first idea and tip. What's the first step in any sales cycle? The greeting, right? A customer walks in to the show room and what do you do?
"Hello, welcome to ABC Motors, my name's Dave. What can I get you information on?"
Just because you're on-line now doesn't mean you get to skip a step. You still need to greet your customer. Human contact still needs to take place so go and get yourself an inexpensive, easy to use digital video camera and shoot a video of yourself. Put that video on YouTube and send the link to your customer in your opening email.
What makes a good intro video? A good introduction video should be:
- 60 seconds or less
- Include your name and number
- Welcome and thank them for considering you
- Offer service, information and assistance
- Mention your hobbies
All of a sudden you will go from "just a car salesman" to "human being" in under 60 seconds.
Silly Is Permitted
YouTube for Virtual Walkarounds and Presentations
Using YouTube to market yourself, your dealership and your product is one of the best ways you can compete and separate yourself from the competition.
It is also an amazing way to maximize SEO for cheap. Meaning, linking your dealer's website to each and every video you do and including some quality tags and keywords will help your SEO campaign.
More importantly, it's fun. Let's face it folks if you're not having fun and making money, what's the point really. You know? Life is way too short to be sitting at a computer all day pounding away at the keyboard and wishing one of these people would just call. Forget coming in. You're so far gone you're just praying for a phone call.
Well, you've got to give them a reason to call. You Tube allows you to sell yourself, your name, your mug, and then you also get to sell the product and the location. I've got some nice examples here of the possibilities you have available to you.
Let's take a look at some tips though for effective video:
- Feature the product
- Personalize it when appropriate (To the camera, "John, just got your inquiry on this 08 Hyundai Sonata, let's go take a look!" Now do your presentation as if John was there.
- Keep in under 3 minutes
- Sell your name and number
- Ask for a phone call or appointment
- Be silly when the urge strikes you (keep it clean though)
There are tons of great examples peppered across the internet if you only just look around. Ironically, it's still a really safe bet that NONE of your competition has even thought of this, more or less is doing it so it will really separate you and your store apart in the mind of your consumer.
It is always better to give than to receive they say. We might be able to successfully argue that point but what is for sure is that you need to give before you get. Back in the day, they told you that if you got a $15,000 car, you need to do a $30,000 demonstration. This is a fundamental rule and principle that gets violated in internet sales daily. Just because the customer is on-line doesn't mean you get to skip the steps.
Think about it, if the guy was in the showroom, would you start talking numbers before presenting your product? Sure, the Internet has changed the order of things a bit, but there are a few constants that you as a sales person owe to yourself and your client and one of those is present your product.
The customer is still in the showroom, VIRTUALLY. The internet, your dealer's website, and all things associated with your company on-line is your VIRTUAL SHOWROOM. The basic steps of selling are still in effect.
Read the Inquiry
Sorry if this seems like a no-brainer, but this seems like a vary common oversight. Case in point, my wife and I have a small SUV and the lease is up this month. We are looking to either going to lease a new one or buy out the one we have because we like this one and it has everything we need and the residual is in line with the Blue Book. So we're in a good spot. I reached out to several dealers to see what kind of response I would get. Here's what I found:
- Sales people more concerned with me shopping them then actually concerned with helping me decide to re-lease or buy out.
- No one really knows what's new for the 2011 model verses the 2008.
- I got pricing, but not right away. Nothing specific or based on actual inventory
- A lot requests to "just come on in"
- Questions like "What payment do you need to be at?" and "How much are you putting down." NOTE: If these questions don't work well on the lot, what makes you think they will be effective on line?
Bottom line, only 1 dealership gave me a straight answer. Originally, I was going to go with the first person to reach out to me, but they blew it when they wouldn't answer my questions without me first coming in.
The guy who got the deal, first and foremost responded to my initial inquiry, offered to help me decide what to do, gave me all the information I asked for and was happy to do it. At this point, I'll pay a little extra because he made it easy and was cool about it.
That goes a long way people.
Don't Just Send One Price
When a quote request comes in, show the buyer multiple options. If you're selling Hondas and the guy's looking for a Civic EX, send that price and then send an LX, an Accord, and a used one. All in one email. Choices support decision making and reduce the need to shop. In addition it show's you're easy, transparent and flexible.
How many times has a customer come in looking for a black four door sedan and driven home in a white convertible coupe? Everyday this happens. Just because your buyer's on-line doesn't mean he's landed (settled) on a car. Especially now. 7 years ago, an internet lead usually meant the buyer was ready to go. Now-a-days your internet shopper is just that, a shopper. Just because they say they want a price on one thing doesn't mean they're not open to something else. Savvy?
By showing then multiple options, you're showing them you're looking out for them and you're here to be of service.
If you'd like a great template for an internet price quote, email me at email@example.com and I'll send you one that you can use regularly.
Remember the Golden Rule
Keep in mind that the person on the other end of the computer is a living, breathing human being. Email, Texting, Facebook, Twitter, is all new forms of human communication and interaction. Not as high quality and interactive as a phone call or in person face-to-face communication but interaction and communication none the less.
How do you want to buy a car? How do want to be treated when you go to the dealership? The way you look at others and the way you treat other people will be in direct proportion to how you are seen and treated by other people.
So, first remember you're a human being, just like your client who needs you to help him or her purchase a vehicle.
If you need to, "what if" yourself. What if this was my mom? What if this was my daughter or son-in-law? The best what if, it what if this was the owner's daugher-in-law.
Grant Cardone'll tell you, "Treat em like a millionaire." Every customer, every time, every situation.
Observe The Golden Rule at all times and watch the magic happen. Everybody wins.
Send a Credit App
In you're quote, make sure you have a link to your dealer's website for a Credit Application. Make it easy for them to do business with you and give them the opportunity to move the process along themselves.
Convenience, speed and high levels of service is what make customers happy now. Trust me, if you're in a decent size area, there is always someone willing to sell it cheaper. If you're a Toyota store, how many White Camry's are in a 30 mile radius? Seriously. This is why you need to grasp that a customer will pay more for a good attitude all day long when they won't drop a penny for the other dealership.
Be of service, be speedy, be convenient.
Know this, a happy person will tell one or two people and then recommend you when the subject comes up, but a pissed off customer tells EVERYONE!
So you've got some happy customers out there or you should at least. How are you sharing that with the world?
Now we all know you can't please everyone and dealing with that might pop up in another article really soon. That being said, the best way to make sure the bad reviews don't sting so bad is to make sure that you have more good ones than bad ones.
The first thing you got to do is ask for it! Then once you got it? Then what?
Low Tech Ideas
- Happy Customer Binder where you have actual letters on paper.
- Polaroid pictures at time of delivery for a Happy Customer wall.
Mid Tech Ideas
- Digital Camera photos on Website
- Testimonials pasted in from emails on website (see example in links over there)
- Copy and Paste reviews from Dealer Rater, Yahoo Autos, Edmund's and Yelp.
High Tech Best Practice
- Get a 30 second video clip of your happy customer (whether they buy from you or not) answering the following question: What's it like dealing with ABC Motors?
- Get that video on You Tube straight away. Upload it to Facebook and then tag the client. while you're at it.
- When you got enough video testimonials, put together a 2:30 reel of happy customers for your website.
- Take digital photos as well and put them on the dealers Facebook page and tag that too.
- Tweet and Facebook "Congratulations to John and Jane Doe on their new Nissan Maxima" Make sure they see it. Copy any positive response to testimonial page.
Now that you actually have some quality testimonials of other happy clients, make sure all your new and potential clients are fully aware that you are a Rockstar in your field.
Conclusion for Now
OK! So there you have a few tips of what Successful Internet Sales people and Sales Managers do to stay on top and ahead of the game.
- What did you think?
- What did you learn?
- What will you try?
- Want more?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.