In the past, automotive sales teams were able to create success by being re-active, rather than pro-active. Sales Professionals typically came to work to wait for customers. But today, customers no longer need to go to a dealership to get information on vehicles, or in some cases even to purchase a vehicle.
Now we must be pro-active to succeed. What does this mean? It starts by coming to work, to work, not to wait.
Here are a few things that I learned from these dealers who chose to keep talking to their customers during the pandemic. Many of these dealers sold cars, in some cases quite a few. But that wasn’t their goal. They simply wanted to build goodwill with their customers.
The “margin struggle” for car dealers today is really the battle to de-commoditize the car buying process by delivering a high-value customer experience. Dealers need to construct their sales process around their customer’s three buying decisions.
In times of change, a higher level of sales leadership at all sales management levels is needed to navigate the changes, to equip the sales team to thrive and to deliver an acceptable return to the dealer. Effective sales leadership means developing three key leadership characteristics – vision, courage and clarity.
This article, the first of three, outlines the evolution of the retail car business and the various techniques adopted to manage floor traffic. Twenty-five years ago, consumers had to visit a dealer to get virtually any information. Now online enquiries have become the primary source of dealer opportunities.