Dealership

How to Overcome a Slump in Car Sales

Post by
Andrew Lemoine
How to Overcome a Slump in Car Sales

Regardless of the industry, if you’re a salesperson, you’re going to have both hot and cold streaks. When you’re on a hot streak, everything just seems to fall perfectly into place as you continue to rack up sales for the month. When you’re on a cold streak, everything that could go wrong goes wrong and it’s easy to get into your own head. It’s not uncommon for an entire dealership to have a cold streak and struggle to meet monthly sales goals. What separates good salespeople and dealerships from bad ones is how they react to sales slumps. The strategy to fix a cold streak depends on whether your whole dealership is struggling or just an individual salesperson. In this article, we’re going to go over both what you should do if you’re in a slump as well as if your entire dealership is in a slump. 

How to Deal With Individual Slumps

1. Have Positive Routines

It’s very easy to get in your own head when things aren’t going your way. The beliefs you have about your ability to sell cars may be diminishing. Oftentimes, the way you’re feeling inside reflects how you act day to day. If you’re low on confidence, you may not speak with as much certainty or dress as nicely as you usually would. This is why it’s so important to get into and maintain positive routines, regardless of if you’re on a hot or cold streak. 

Here are 3 daily habits you should get into:

  • Exercise daily. Taking time to exercise can improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and negative moods. 
  • Dress well. The old saying of “look good, feel good” is a real thing. Take the time in the morning to dress well so you can go into work looking and feeling sharp.
  • Wake up at the same time daily. Develop a morning routine where you have enough time to do everything you need to do to be fully prepared for the day ahead. 

2. Focus on the Customer, Not The Sale.

You’ve been taught the car selling process and all the necessary steps you need to take. Oftentimes when salespeople become more experienced they try to expedite the process by skipping certain steps. This can become detrimental to your sales as even small steps of the process can be critical to closing the sale. 

For example, if you skip the car walkaround, you fail to show the customer value. If you skip over the needs assessment, you risk showing your customer’s vehicles that don’t necessarily fit within their lifestyle. Lastly, if you try and rush into negotiations, you risk losing your customer’s trust. 

Now that you’re reminded how critical each step of the process is, perhaps you’ll put more effort into getting to know and understand the needs of your customers. When you’re more focused on meeting the customer’s needs, you’ll be less stressed about getting the sales agreement signed and therefore the sale will happen more organically. 

3. Invest in New Sales Training Programs

There are so many different sales training courses available to people in all industries. Assuming the person who created the course is credible, it’s always a great idea to learn more about how to become better at your job. Perhaps a sales course will help you look at your challenges from a different perspective, and therefore let you find solutions to those challenges. When you’re in a slump, anything you can do to shake things up could be a spark to get yourself back to crushing your sales goals. 

How to Overcome Dealership Wide Sales Slumps

1. Offer New Promotions

So many dealerships use the same rinse and repeat advertising style and even though it may work for a period of time, it won’t necessarily work forever. If you’re finding that your typical advertising campaigns aren’t working to bring customers into your dealership, it’s probably time to try something new. It could be something as simple as a giveaway to a professional sporting event or a free year of oil changes with a car purchase. As we’ve said earlier, when you’re in a slump, do anything you can to mix things up. 

2. Make a Social Media Push

Social media is essentially free advertising if you use it correctly. While many dealers take advantage of being on multiple platforms, there are still plenty of dealerships that are completely inactive. If your dealership is consistently crushing sales targets without using social media, kudos to you. Otherwise, you need to work on becoming more active on social media. 

You could make posts congratulating your customers on the purchase of their new car, showing a walkaround video of a cool vehicle or just introducing members of your dealership. Anything you can do to make the public more familiar with your brand can help. 

3. Know and Understand Your Customer Base

It’s possible that the strategy in which you’re trying to sell doesn’t work with the demographic of people you’re trying to sell to. Let’s say for example your dealership is located in a college town where many of your customers are young adults. Chances are, they’ve done the research and want the car buying process to happen quickly. If your strategy is to operate at a slow pace until getting to negotiations, this could lose you customers. While the slow pace strategy may be great for older folks who don’t want to feel pressure from the salespeople, it will be trickier to close younger adults. This is why it’s so important that you have a good understanding of who your customers are so you can tailor the process to them. 

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