Customer Driven Sales Process > Yes or No?

I believe everyone recognizes that customers have more power than ever before.  To gain any interest at all, you have to price your cars competitively.  Perhaps just that will get them into your dealership.  More than likely it will also get more engagement.  Now what do you do?  
Give the customer what s/he wants or push for an appointment?  Sure the goal is the appointment and ultimately the visit to the store.  But you tell me:  Wouldn’t it be prudent to empower the customer, give them what they want, give them a great online experience leading them to a great in-store buying experience?
We here at CarSalesSpecialist believe it’s time to do just that.  And we offer the professional tools to do it:
  • Sales TextChat – The customer prospect starts the engagement process with a live web chat or a text chat.  Sales TextChat can be used to start the conversation from any advertising or marketing campaign – on-line or off-line.  And it maintains your compliance with government rules and regulations in regards to Spam.
  • Virtual Show & Deal Maker – Allows your agent consultant to take control of the customers screen and show them his suggestion of vehicles that would meet the prospects wants and needs.  From here he can show him vehicles, take him through the trade-in process, direct him to F&I, and even help him with all the paperwork.

The professional online agent engages with the prospect to grow the relationship and build trust.  The agent listens and learns and moves the prospect through the buying process – maybe not in a lineal path but still through the process – the way the prospect wants.

What is left? … Test Drive, Ownership of the vehicle, and Delivery.  It is a beautiful process; and very fruitful – a Win, Win, Win for all.

Ken Gregson expresses this concept along with its benefits very nicely in his article below.

Please tell us what you think.


The Customer Drives the Process 
Why Change

With Digital Retailing finally coming to the automotive industry, isn’t it time for a new sales process?  One that is driven by the customer, empowering them to buy the way they want to buy.  New tools from Digital Retailing,AutoNation Express and others are making that possible.  Here’s what’s already available:

  • The discounted price exposed online, or available instantly by just entering an email.
  • Guaranteed exact trade values, sight-unseen, available online from AutoNation and others.
  • Sophisticated payment calculators, to give you an exact payment based on your credit.
  • Online pre-approval.

Read what the Digital Retail website says about their tools:  “deliver a fully-integrated Digital Retailing experience, allowing you to deliver what today’s customers expect: An accelerated buying experience that’s efficient, trustworthy and engaging. … make complete deals online through a uniquely comprehensive workflow that includes payment, trade and credit tools”

Customer do these steps in any order they want.  They can get their actual trade value before they select a vehicle,  or their exact payment before a test drive.  This used to be the fringe, a very small percentage of customers.  Go to any automotive conference, NADA, Digital Dealer, DrivingSales Executive Summit and you’ll hear from more and more visionary dealers who are transforming automotive retailing and bringing this to life in their stores.


Traditional Linear Sales Process

The Linear Sales Process

I’ve had top salespeople and managers tell me; “We just can’t follow that old liner sales process you used to teach us anymore.  It doesn’t work for today’s customer.  We have to be flexible and do the process in whatever order the customer wants.”  These are not weak salespeople or managers who can’t control their customers; this comes from some of the very best automotive professionals I’ve met.

Yet many dealers still teach their sales teams that traditional linear sales process, because either that’s what they know, what they were taught, or that’s the only training available to them. (up until now)

There’s an old saying in the car business.  “The customer will tell you how to sell them if you just listen.”  Only we had been listening to what we wanted to hear; not what they were actually saying.  They’ve been telling us for years.  If we listened, this is what they’ve been saying;

  • Faster sales process.
  • Fair, honest and straight-forward. (their way of saying TRANSPARENT)
  • Stop the games.
  • Just give me the price. When I ask, not 60 minutes later.
  • Stop the back-and-forth and the disappearing for periods of time.


Customer-Driven Sales Process

Introducing the Next Level Automotive Group’s Customer-Driven Sales Process.


The Customer Centric Sales Process

What are the Benefits?

  • Higher close rates; … much higher
  • Increased productivity from the sales team
  • Sales Associates are happier, sell more cars per person per month, make more money,
  • Sales Managers spend less time on each deal and more time coaching and training
  • Lower turnover
  • Happier customers
  • Improved online reputation
  • More referrals
  • Higher gross profit

Ken Gregson

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