We’ve talked a lot in other blogs about how consumers’ spending habits are constantly changing and we’re seeing that consumers have less patience when shopping for a car. They’re doing less online research, fewer test drives and less browsing of dealerships. Today’s car customers want quick answers, and one of the best ways for them to get quick answers is via text messaging. It’s been recorded that fast responses convert a lead to a sale 164% more than slow responses. Being that pretty much every single human owns a cellphone, it would be silly to not take advantage of text messaging as a way of selling cars. We know many of you are already using texting to sell vehicles but there are many things you can do to expand and refine how you text to sell more.
Let’s say you get a lead in your inbox, you dial the phone number associated, you hit voicemail. You send an email, you end up in their spam folder and they never see your email. While these are the worst-case scenarios of both these forms of communication, they do happen often. On the other hand, you send a text message to them letting them know who you are and how they can help. Most of the time they’ll see the message almost immediately and be able to get back to you quickly. From here, you’ve started a relationship and can work at the next step of the process.
Close rates are fairly high when using text as a form of communication, although you’ll still fail to close some deals. Unlike selling face to face at your dealership, with texting, you can be in communication with multiple leads at once. Not only does this mean increased productivity for your dealership, but it also means being able to close more deals. But it’s still important to remember to think about quality before quantity. You could be texting with 10 leads at once and if you’re not having quality conversations it means nothing and won’t result in a sale.
For many customers, going into a dealership creates a lot of anxiety and nervousness. These nerves could stop the customer from asking the right questions and ultimately hinder the deal from closing. With texting, the customer will likely feel much more comfortable, helping the deal move in the right direction. You’ll still be able to effectively guide the conversation, but it will be without the guard that many customers put up in person.
Admit it, there’s been a moment in the showroom where a customer catches you off guard. Maybe they ask a question you don’t have the answer to or have an objection that you don’t have a solution for. If you’re caught stumped, it’s not a great look and could cost you the deal. The beauty of texting is it gives you time to find an answer or solution if you don’t have one immediately. You can take a few minutes to carefully curate your response to make sure you give the customer the correct answer.
Unlike a few years ago, you don’t need to rely on email to send files and photos. Today you can easily send photos of vehicles, brochures and non-sensitive customer details all over your phone, making this process quick and easy.
With the number of leads you’re trying to simultaneously manage, using templates can be a great way to save time while maintaining a personal feeling communication. Templates are designed to be applicable to the masses so it’s important you’re using language that creates trust and clearly lays out your solutions.
It’s important that you make tweaks to your template to really add that “personal” feel for your customers. Even if you’re just addressing them by their first name, they won’t feel like it’s a generic message sent to all customers. If used correctly, text templates will save you a tremendous amount of time and keep your customers engaged.
As a salesperson, you know almost every customer you interact with is going to have some objections or barriers about buying a car. What separates the good salespeople from the great salespeople is that the great ones have solutions to all the common problems. For example, maybe the customer says he/she doesn’t have a down payment or they don’t have a great credit score. If your customer has no funds for a down payment, you need to tell them you’ll try and find a lender willing to approve the loan with no money down. As you face more and more objections, you should get better at providing solutions through practice and familiarity.
With texting, you don’t have the same ability to communicate your emotions through body language and your tone of voice. So even though you’re saying “this is good” in the most enthusiastic way in your head, when read-over text without context, it sounds pretty bland. This is why it’s so important to be enthusiastic in your text messages, never leave your emotions up for interpretation! Another great way to add to this is by using emojis to further convey your message.
An easy way to lose a customer is to take a long time to get back to their text messages. While most people understand it’s impossible to get an instant reply to every text message, you should make an effort to answer within an hour or two to most messages. We know this can be tricky but it keeps your customers engaged and more likely to continue the car buying process with you.
When you’re managing multiple leads, it’s easy to get mixed up with each of your customer’s unique needs or problems. That’s why it’s important to scroll through your previous conversations to remind yourself what this customer needs. Customers may be less forgiving of you if you forget critical details about their needs.
Most automobile enthusiasts are well aware that frigid winter temperatures can adversely affect the total driving range of an electric vehicle (EV). This quirk is often cited by proponents of gasoline-powered cars as a reason why EVs may face challenges in certain regions. However, recent research from Automotive News suggests that extreme heat can have similar, if not more significant, impacts on EV range.
Car dealerships today still have a bad rap for playing games with their customers. Whether it’s dodging questions, using high-pressure techniques to book appointments, or doing bait & switch tricks with sales offers, these all hurt your dealership's reputation. Playing games and being deceitful in your business may let you walk away with a few lucky deals but it will ultimately hurt you in the long run. Today, customers are smart and aware of the stigma associated with car salespeople so you need to be ethical and provide a transparent sales process.
News has emerged that Ford Motor Company is planning to incorporate the necessary hardware for BlueCruise, a semi-autonomous driving system designed to compete with GM's SuperCruise and Tesla's Autopilot, into an extensive number of 2024-model-year vehicles. However, it appears that utilizing this feature may come at an additional cost.