25th October, 2016
September reveals more good news for dealerships: new car sales have hit a record high, up 1.6% on the same time last year. But with the forecourts thriving and these impressive stats in the mind, it can be easy to forget to question whether your own sales practices might actually be holding the dealership back.
As the annual September rush dies down, now is the ideal time to ask that all-important question: what steps can the dealership take to increase sales further?
1. Embrace new media
More and more dealerships are turning to different forms of media during sales, such as video, to interact and engage with their audience. Video offers the opportunity for customers to get a full sense of the vehicle, both inside and out, in a similar way they would if they were to visit in person. It also allows the sales person to highlight the best features of the car and show off all the finer details, from the sound of the engine to the texture of the leather.
This means that if the customer comes in and wants a test drive they’ll be able to get straight out on the road. This trend towards favouring new forms of media is one that we can expect to see grow over the next few years.
2. Keep the phone close to hand
Despite the drive towards digital media, it is still important that the telephone is not neglected. Stats from Car Dealer Magazine reveal that around 75% of consumers will purchase a car within 48 hours of making their initial enquiry, but 5% of calls to dealers are missed.
This may seem small but it is a percentage that can have a significant impact for big-ticket items. The rate at which you answer the phone and the quality of that answer is key to customer satisfaction and, consequently, making sales.
3. Price to sell
Many dealerships are guilty of overpricing their stock. Research by Auto Trader shows that over a 4-week period more than 50% of cars were reduced in price, the average reduction coming in at nearly £700. It’s natural for dealerships to want to get as much as possible for their stock, but equally it is not cost-effective to have stock sitting for extended periods.
By pricing to sell, dealerships can increase stock turn and therefore increase sales. Moreover, through monitoring prices daily and making adjustments where necessary, you can see what figures are generating interest and price accordingly.
4. Time and workflow management
One of the key ways that dealerships can increase sales is by managing operations and the sales process more effectively. Nowadays customers tend to be thoroughly informed about a vehicle before they even enter the dealership. In most cases they’ll have researched the car online and already be aware of its features, so they’ll be keen to get on with a test drive. By skipping any unnecessary pre-qualifying questions and getting the customer behind the wheel you can convert the sale sooner rather than later.
Another way you can ease workflow in other areas is by choosing to outsource services such as valeting. To help dealership principals with the organisation of outsourced workers, the have NCC introduced ValetData. This is a workflow management system that is easy to use and allows NCC’s clients to efficiently organise car cleaning. Through this, principals are able to focus on other important aspects of the dealership.
5. Focus on customer service
Offering a high-quality service is the key to gaining trust and keeping a customer coming back for servicing and any future purchases. Changes can be made throughout the customer journey to ensure that the consumer leaves happy. From the outset, sending out an email to introduce the dealership and enquire about their needs shows that you’re prepared to go the extra mile to find them the right vehicle.
Moreover, little things such as picking the customer up when they’re due to collect their car and giving the vehicle a complimentary professional clean beforehand is likely to leave the customer with a good lasting impression.
At the National Car Cleaning Company, we are proud to help dealerships deliver a high-quality service to their customers. If you would like to learn more about our valeting services, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message on Facebook.