For car dealerships, the last few years have been tricky, to say the least. Thanks to supply chain disruptions, COVID-suppressed demand, and other factors, auto sales have been in a bit of a decline. Needless to say, independent dealerships across the country are prepared to get back to the business of selling cars.
So how can your dealership sell more cars? There are a number of practical, actionable steps for any dealership to consider. Here are a few suggestions to emerge from your sales slump.
10 Ways to Sell More Cars at Your Independent Dealership
1) Don’t let leads slip through your fingers.
A lot of auto sales reps have had an experience like this one: A customer calls because they’re interested in test driving a 2014 Honda Civic. The problem is you just sold the last 2014 Honda Civic you had on your lot. So, the customer hangs up and tries their luck elsewhere.
Given the time and expense required to get qualified leads on the phone, it’s simply not acceptable to let them slip away so easily. Always ensure sales reps are ready with backup options, e.g., “That car sold earlier this morning, but I have a 2015 Honda Civic I’d love to show you, or a 2012 model with low mileage.”
A good dealer management system, including inventory tracking and CRM features, can help you provide these options, and to keep leads interested.
2) Take a personalized approach to each sale.
It’s crucial for sales reps to remember that no two customers are the same. The way you sell a car to a college-aged male is going to be very different from the way you sell to a family of five that’s looking for something safe, spacious, and economical.
Ensure that your sales reps are trained to get to know each customer, to ascertain their specific needs, and to tailor their sales approach accordingly.
3) Avoid overselling.
These days, most consumers are on high alert for dishonest sales pitches, half-truths, exaggerated claims, and snake oil.
You can and should be proud of the inventory you’re selling, but there’s no need to lay the sales pitches on too thick. Aim for authenticity and honesty as you talk with potential customers.
4) Know your inventory.
Customers need to trust the person they’re buying their car from. And one of the best ways to earn that trust is by exhibiting actual knowledge of the automotive world.
Ensure that your sales reps are armed with as much knowledge as possible about your inventory. They should be ready to answer basic questions about vehicle performance, or at least know how to quickly get a clear answer to any consumer inquiry.
5) Make a good first impression.
When it comes to sales, appearances really do matter. You want your sales reps to immediately convey their professionalism, and that often comes down to personal presentation. Set a basic standard for your sales reps to be well-dressed and appropriately groomed.
6) Focus on open-ended questions.
In general, you want to avoid asking your customers any questions that they could easily shut down with a no.
Instead, engage your customers with real conversation starters; questions that will make it easier to assess your customer’s needs and wants.
Some examples include:
- What kind of vehicle are you looking for?
- What are some of your must-haves?
- What do you like or dislike about your current vehicle?
Ensure that all of your sales reps have a few of these open-ended questions in their repertoire.
7) Always emphasize incentives.
As you look for ways to sell more cars, it’s hard to overstate the impact of deals, promos, and special offers. After all, customers always want to feel like they’re getting a bargain. Incentives may be just what you need to earn the upper hand over your competitors.
But of course, incentives don’t help much if your customers don’t know about them! Make sure your sales reps are trained to always mention current sales specials to each customer who ventures on to your lot.
8) Don’t forget the follow up.
Follow up is a crucial aspect of how to sell more cars. If you have a customer who reaches out for information about a particular vehicle, make sure you send a detailed response as promptly as you can. Here again, CRM and inventory management software can go a long way toward boosting your efficiency.
9) Have a solid tech stack.
We’ve mentioned the importance of dealer software solutions several times now. Indeed, to sell cars as efficiently as possible, there’s no substitute for a good tech stack, including both dealer management software as well as CRM. Get My Auto’s flagship product, DMS+, combines all of these tools into a single, seamless platform.
10) Implement an effective marketing plan.
A good dealership marketing plan is essential for building brand awareness and ultimately for drawing in qualified leads.
Marketing measures may vary from dealership to dealership, but in general you’ll want to make sure your plan includes the following:
- A reliable, responsive, and fast-loading auto dealer website
- A reasonable investment in local SEO
- Facebook marketing and Craigslist listings
- Other digital marketing and outreach tools, including email marketing
Get My Auto’s dealership software solutions include a number of integrated marketing features, including easy ways to maintain your presence on Facebook and on Craigslist.
Wondering How to Sell More Cars? Choose Get My Auto as Your Strategic Partner
Ultimately, to sell more cars, you’ll need the right software provider to back you up, and to ensure you have the right tech stack to keep your dealership running smoothly and harnessing every possible opportunity.
Get My Auto is proud to be a strategic partner for dealerships across the country. To find out more about our solutions, contact us today and request a demo.