How To Sell More Cars at a Dealership? 12 (Mostly) Easy Tips
Looking to rev up your car sales? Our latest article unveils 12 mostly easy, yet highly effective tips on how to sell more cars at a dealership. Dive in to discover how simple changes and innovative strategies, including CallPage's digital tools, can drive your success!
- #1: Know Your Products
- #2: Personalize Your Offer & Interactions
- #3: Be Responsive to Your Customers
- #4: Try Being an Advisor Instead of a Seller
- #5: Find Your UVP — Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors
- #6: Use the Latest Sales Tools & Systems
- #7: Go Digital — Be Present on the Web & Social Media
- #8: Position Yourself as an Industry Expert (And Become One)
- #9: Work on Your Upselling and Cross-selling Strategy (or Create One)
- #10: Diversify Your Offer
- #11: Diversify Your Sales Strategies: Combine a Healthy Mix of B2B and B2C
- #12: Be Bold — Try Out Innovative Ideas
In 2023, the car sales industry began to shift gears, showing a promising 6.6% rise in new vehicle sales from the previous year. Although this growth is a step forward, the industry hasn't yet returned to its pre-pandemic performance levels.
So, despite a past slump in car sales, we're now witnessing a slow recovery. A key player in this upturn is the growing interest in electric vehicles (EVs). With the demand for EVs accelerating alongside the market's overall rebound, dealerships have a unique chance to revamp their strategies and captivate customers with a variety of innovative and adaptable offerings.
This article is aimed at sales teams at dealerships, whether you're selling the latest models or pre-loved vehicles. Here, you'll find 12 actionable tips and ideas that'll help you sell more cars.
Some of them are simple and easy to implement, and you may have already implemented them. Others are a little more resource-heavy, so to help you navigate these options, we've divided our tips into four categories:
- Quick wins: Easy-to-implement strategies with minimal resource demands and low risk, offering quick benefits.
- Instant impact strategies: Tactics that require more resources but promise immediate results, with a moderate risk level.
- High-impact initiatives: Strategies that are resource-heavy and high-risk but offer significant rewards.
- Strategic investments: Approaches that need moderate resources and time investment but pose moderate risk, with substantial potential benefits in the long run.
If your sales are barely hitting the break-even point, it might not be the right time to sink resources into expensive, time-intensive strategies. Start with the "Quick Wins", especially if you haven't explored these options yet!
#1: Know Your Products
Understanding the cars on your lot is key to making sales. You don't need to be a tech whiz or a mechanic, but knowing the basics is crucial.
What should you know? It depends on your customers. For those looking at used family cars, basic knowledge about engine power and fuel consumption is usually enough. These buyers often focus on practicality and everyday use.
However, for car enthusiasts, in-depth knowledge is important. They tend to ask detailed questions about performance, special features, and handling. They really value a deep dive into the car's specifics.
In either scenario, being well-informed makes a big difference. It builds trust with your customers and helps you match them with the right car for their needs.
Resources Needed: Minimal. You’ll need a computer and a few hours to get to know the basics.
How to Implement:
- Regular training sessions on new models and features.
- Encourage staff to stay updated with industry trends and innovations.
- Utilize manufacturer resources and materials for in-depth understanding.
- Improved customer trust and credibility.
- Enhanced ability to address specific customer needs and questions.
- Increased likelihood of closing sales through informed recommendations.
#2: Personalize Your Offer & Interactions
Personalization in sales is more than a passing trend; it's a fundamental shift in how businesses interact with customers. Buyers expect to be treated like individuals, not statistics, and those expectations extend to car buying.
This emphasis on personalization is backed by compelling statistics. A survey by Epsilon found that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
In the context of car sales, this means going beyond the standard sales pitch. Sales teams should strive to understand the specific requirements and financial constraints of each customer, offering vehicle options and deals that are closely aligned with their individual preferences.
Communication should also be personalized. Instead of generic messages, emails and conversations should reference vehicles the customer has shown interest in or speak directly to their unique needs and preferences.
Resources Needed: Minimal to moderate. The resource investment depends on your approach.
Handwriting each email ensures maximum personalization but is time-consuming. Automation tools can streamline the process, but it's vital to ensure that the personal touch isn't lost in the process.
- Utilize customer data to understand preferences and past interactions.
- Reach out with a more personal touch, such as through phone conversations.
- Segment your email list to target different groups with relevant offers.
- Invest in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools to automate personalized communication while maintaining a personal touch.
- Increased customer satisfaction through tailored interactions.
- Higher conversion rates from personalized offers and communications.
- Long-term customer relationships built on understanding and trust.
#3: Be Responsive to Your Customers
The ability to quickly and effectively address customer inquiries, concerns, and feedback can significantly impact the reputation and sales success of your car dealership.
At CallPage, we found that promising a callback within 28 seconds boosted the conversion rate on a landing page to 2.28%. That's nearly double compared to identical pages with less specific or slower callback times!
You should be reachable through various ways like phone calls, emails, live chat, and social media. Make sure you're always checking these so you can reply quickly. It's also important to really listen to what your customers need and want. Respond to them as fast as you can and try to solve their problems. This shows them you care about their business and want to make them happy.
And here's a tip: why not try CallPage for your car dealership? It lets you get in touch with people visiting your website in less than 28 seconds, grabbing their attention right when they're most interested.
CallPage takes care of everything automatically, so your car salespeople don't need to wait around for someone to contact you. Our system will call their phone and link them with potential customers as soon as someone shows interest. This way, you can make sure you're always the first to respond.
Resources Needed: Moderate. This requires a dedicated team or tools to manage customer communications efficiently.
- Set clear response time goals for your team, such as replying to emails within a certain time frame.
- Train staff in effective communication and customer service skills.
- Invest in technology like callback pop-ups or CRM tools to manage and track interactions.
- Use message templates to respond quickly.
- Increased customer loyalty and repeat business due to positive service experiences.
- Improved online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Greater customer satisfaction leading to more referrals and sales.
#4: Try Being an Advisor Instead of a Seller
Imagine you're the customer in the car buying process. You go to a local dealership looking for a secondary car for daily commutes.
A salesperson might approach you and immediately start showing you the latest, most expensive models. They talk up the advanced features, the powerful engine, and the luxury feel. But they don't ask much about what you really need or want. How would that make you feel?
Now, imagine a different car salesperson comes up to you. Instead of immediately guiding you to the priciest cars, they start a conversation. They ask about your daily commute, whether you have a family, your favorite weekend activities, and your budget. They listen to your concerns about fuel efficiency, safety features, and maintenance costs.
Then, they suggest a few models that fit your lifestyle and budget, explaining why each might be a good fit. They're not pushing for an immediate sale; instead, they offer to schedule a test drive or provide more information.
In this scenario, you, as the customer, feel heard and understood. You're more confident in making a decision because it's based on your specific needs. And even if you don't buy a car that day, you're likely to return to the same salesperson when you're ready because they've earned your trust. They're not just a car salesman anymore; they're an advisor who's helped you make an informed decision.
So, with that in mind, don't just sell cars. Transition from a traditional sales role to an advisor role. Try consultative selling, a strategy that focuses on understanding customer needs and providing solutions rather than just pushing products.
Resources Needed: Minimal to moderate. Requires empathy and training in consultative selling techniques.
How to Implement:
- Train sales staff in consultative selling skills to understand and solve customer problems.
- Encourage active listening to identify customer needs accurately.
- Focus on building long-term customer relationships rather than immediate sales.
- Greater customer trust and loyalty by prioritizing their needs.
- Increased sales through tailored solutions that match customer requirements.
- Improved customer satisfaction and retention by acting as a trusted advisor.
READ ALSO: Top 7 Cold Calling Scripts for Car Sales
Instant Impact Strategies
#5: Find Your UVP — Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors
Your UVP answers the critical customer question: "Why should I buy from you?"
Understanding and effectively communicating your dealership's Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is essential in differentiating yourself from competitors.
A well-defined UVP guides your marketing efforts and provides your sales team with a powerful tool to attract and retain customers, setting you apart in the competitive car sales industry.
Resources Needed: Minimal to moderate. It involves market research and creative brainstorming.
How to Implement:
- Conduct market research to understand what sets your dealership apart.
- Brainstorm with your team to identify unique aspects of your service, inventory, or customer experience.
- Craft a clear, concise UVP statement and integrate it into all marketing and sales communications.
- Clear differentiation in a crowded market.
- Increased customer attraction by highlighting unique aspects of your dealership.
- Enhanced brand identity and recall among potential buyers.
#6: Use the Latest Sales Tools & Systems
In a digital era, car dealerships can't afford to lag behind in adopting the latest sales tools and systems. Embracing technology not only streamlines the sales process but also enhances the customer experience.
From digital showrooms to CRM software, these tools help manage leads, customer relationships, and sales processes more efficiently. For instance, a CRM system can track a customer's journey from the first website visit to the final sale, providing valuable insights for personalized follow-ups.
Moreover, tools like CallPage can significantly boost your online engagement (and help you sell more cars). Check out how CallPage streamlined lead generation at a Ford dealership.
Resources Needed: Minimal to high.
It all depends on the tool you want to use. For example, CallPage can be set up in 15 minutes and costs just 39 USD per month for the Essentials plan. Investment in technology and training staff to use these tools effectively is crucial.
How to Implement:
- Research and invest in sales and CRM tools that fit your dealership's needs.
- Provide training for your sales team to effectively utilize these technologies.
- Integrate these tools into your existing sales process for seamless customer interactions.
- Streamlined sales processes and efficient lead management.
- Enhanced customer experience with quick and convenient communication options.
- Higher conversion rates due to effective use of technology in engaging potential buyers.
#7: Go Digital — Be Present on the Web & Social Media
In the current digital era, having a strong online and social media presence is vital for car dealerships. It's not just a marketing strategy; it directly influences sales performance. Sales teams can play a crucial role in this digital transition.
Resources Needed: Minimal to high.
The resource investment depends on the scale and depth of digital engagement. Basic social media presence requires minimal resources, while a more comprehensive digital strategy, including SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising, will require a higher investment.
How to Implement:
- Establish a strong website: Make your dealership's website user-friendly, informative, and SEO-optimized.
- Use lead capture software on your website. CallPage, for example, lets you add a pop-up that prompts visitors to request an instant callback, schedule a sales meeting, or book a test drive.
- Active social media engagement: Post regularly on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Share news about new models, promotions, and dealership events.
- Content marketing: Create blog posts and videos with valuable information for car buyers, including buying guides, vehicle reviews, and maintenance tips.
- Online advertising: Use online ads to reach potential customers based on their interests and search history.
- Customer interaction: Respond to comments and messages to add a personal touch to your online interactions.
- Being active online increases your dealership’s visibility, reaching a broader audience.
- A strong online presence helps in building a reputable brand image.
- Digital platforms provide an opportunity to engage with customers directly, creating relationships and trust.
- Online interactions and data provide valuable insights into customer preferences and market trends.
- An effective online presence can lead to increased inquiries and more cars sold, as more customers research and shop online.
#8: Position Yourself as an Industry Expert (And Become One)
As someone who's probably sold more cars than the average Joe has driven, you know a bit about them. And even if you're just stepping into the world of car sales, there's always something unique that you bring to the table.
Each piece of car wisdom you share acts like a beacon, beckoning potential buyers with the message, "Got car questions? I have the answers." If you're the go-to for solid car advice, it's more likely they'll seek you out when it's time to buy.
Remember, it's not just about attracting website visitors; it's about establishing yourself as the top car expert.
Elevating your status in car sales is about more than just enhancing your image. It's about becoming a trusted, sought-after destination for customers who value your insight and flock to your dealership for their next purchase.
Resources Needed: Minimal to moderate.
Becoming an industry expert requires time and effort in research, learning, and engaging with industry news and trends. Minimal financial investment is needed, but dedicating time to continuous education and content creation is essential.
How to Implement:
- Keep up with the latest in cars, from tech advancements to market trends. Participate in industry events and online learning opportunities.
- Share your car knowledge through blogs, videos, or podcasts. Cover topics like maintenance tips, new model reviews, and industry updates.
- Inject creativity into your content. Consider crafting a video exploring the mysteries of car engines or penning a blog post titled "Top 5 Must-Haves in Your Next Family Car."
- Post regularly on social platforms to connect with your audience and grow your follower base.
- Build relationships with other industry professionals and participate in online forums and discussions.
- Enhanced credibility: Being seen as an expert increases trust among customers and peers.
- Customer loyalty: Customers are more likely to return to a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert for their automotive needs.
- Increased visibility: Regular content creation and media engagement boost your visibility in the industry.
#9: Work on Your Upselling and Cross-selling Strategy (or Create One)
Any good sales professional knows that the key to increasing revenue is not just in making the initial sale but in maximizing the value of each transaction (and customer).
Just like offering a phone case with a phone, in car sales, this means presenting additional options and services that complement the primary purchase.
In car sales, upselling involves encouraging customers to purchase a more expensive model or trim, while cross-selling refers to selling additional products or services like extended warranties or maintenance packages.
Resources Needed: Low to moderate.
These strategies require training and a deep understanding of the product line. Systems that track customer preferences and purchase history also come in useful.
How to Implement:
- Train your sales team to identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling and to understand the features and benefits of different models and additional services.
- Use customer interactions to gain insights into their needs and preferences, which can guide recommendations for upgrades or additional products.
- Create bundle offers that combine additional services or products at a discounted price.
- Post-purchase follow-ups can provide opportunities to offer additional products or services based on customer feedback or needs.
- Clearly communicate the value and benefits of the higher model or additional services to the customer.
- Upselling and cross-selling can significantly increase the average transaction value.
- By following up with your customers after the purchase, you can increase the CLTV (customer lifetime value).
- If your bundle offers are well-timed and relevant, they won't only help you make an extra profit. They'll also make customers happier.
- Offering a broader range of products and services can set your dealership apart from competitors.
#10: Diversify Your Offer
Expanding your inventory to include a variety of models, from eco-friendly EVs to luxury vehicles, caters to a broader customer base. Diversification also means exploring different services like trade-ins, leasing options, and flexible financing plans.
Resources Needed: High.
Diversifying requires significant investment in inventory and the development of new services.
How to Implement:
- Conduct thorough market research to identify current trends and popular vehicle models and services. Understand what your local market demands.
- Broaden your inventory to include a diverse range of vehicles, such as eco-friendly EVs, high-end luxury cars, and practical family vehicles, catering to various customer preferences.
- Develop and introduce flexible financing plans. These should cater to customers with different financial backgrounds, making car ownership more accessible.
- Ensure your sales team is well-versed in the features and benefits of the expanded inventory. They should be able to present and sell various types of cars and services effectively.
- More car sales leads. You'll attract different types of buyers with a varied inventory.
- Increase car sales. A diverse range of cars and services leads to more sales opportunities.
- Meet varied customer needs, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
#11: Diversify Your Sales Strategies: Combine a Healthy Mix of B2B and B2C
Are you selling cars mainly to consumers or businesses? Most car dealers focus on one of the groups but ultimately sell to both. Balancing your sales approach between individual buyers and business clients is key to selling more cars.
Business clients, like companies looking for fleet vehicles, often focus on practical aspects such as bulk purchase discounts, ongoing maintenance costs, and vehicle reliability. They're usually harder to sell to but tend to buy a few cars at once.
Individual buyers, on the other hand, usually pay more attention to the car's price, features, design, and available financing options.
Don't overlook the groups you usually don't focus on or sell much to. Maybe the reason you're not selling to them as much is just because they're not on your radar. For example, if you're mainly dealing in budget-friendly used cars, there's a good chance that small local businesses nearby might be in the market for an affordable truck for their day-to-day work.
Resources Needed: Moderate.
It's more about effort than expense: diving into market research, customizing marketing materials, and training your sales team to engage with all types of customers.
How to Implement:
- Identify potential business clients in your area, such as local companies, government agencies, or rental car services, and understand their specific needs. Or see how you can appeal to local consumers if you want to sell more cars the B2C way.
- Create tailored packages for business clients, including bulk deals, customized financing plans, and after-sales service agreements.
- Train your sales team to understand the unique requirements and decision-making processes of B2B clients compared to individual consumers.
- Develop marketing strategies aimed at both consumer and business audiences, highlighting the benefits relevant to each group.
- Broadening the customer base by tapping into both individual and business markets.
- Balancing B2B and B2C sales can provide stability; if one market segment faces a downturn, the other may offset it.
- Increased sales volume through bulk purchases from business clients.
#12: Be Bold — Try Out Innovative Ideas
Sometimes, the key to selling more cars isn't in following the tried and true but in breaking new ground. Innovation in sales strategies can range from adopting the latest tech solutions to creating unique customer experiences.
For instance, virtual reality (VR) test drives could be a game-changer, especially when promoting models that aren't yet available at the dealership. Or consider hosting community events at your dealership, like family fun days or car care workshops. These events not only draw people to your location but also help build a community around your brand, fostering loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion.
Another innovative idea could be partnership marketing. Collaborate with local businesses or influencers to extend your reach. For example, partnering with a popular local café to offer a "Test Drive and Coffee" event could attract a new segment of potential buyers.
Resources Needed: High to very high.
Innovative strategies often require a significant investment in technology, partnerships, and marketing. However, they can also offer substantial returns by setting your dealership apart like nothing else and creating memorable customer experiences.
How to Implement:
- Stay informed about technological advancements and emerging trends in the automotive industry.
- Brainstorm with your team to come up with unique marketing ideas and sales strategies.
- Form partnerships with local businesses or influencers to broaden your reach.
- Organize events and experiences that align with your brand and appeal to your target audience.
- Embrace social media and digital marketing to promote your innovative strategies and events.
- Standing out in a competitive market by offering unique experiences and services.
- Attracting new customer segments through innovative marketing strategies.
- Creating buzz and excitement around your dealership and its offerings.
- Building a strong, engaged community around your brand.
Start Selling More Cars Today!
Summing up, each strategy we've talked about could boost your car sales. From leveraging digital tools to personalizing customer interactions, there's a lot to gain. The key is to start somewhere and keep evolving.
But you know what won't help you sell more cars? Not trying at all. Sure, stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new strategies involves some level of risk. However, it's these calculated risks that often separate successful car salespeople from the rest. The automotive industry is dynamic, and staying ahead means being bold and adaptable.
And hey, if you're still on the fence about trying new things, here's a risk-free option for you: CallPage. We're offering a 14-day free trial, so you can see for yourself how our platform can transform your lead generation process!
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