We'd be lying if we said we didn't enjoy the stint when cars drove off the lot faster than we could purchase more inventory. But as that winds down, we must ask ourselves, "are we prepared to sell cars again?" Let's be honest; in the last three years, we could easily overcome objections, and more so, we could even hold record levels of gross. But did we actually follow a sales process in this frenzy? Most will admit they didn’t.
Given that customer response times have slid in the last three years, chances are that the sales process did the same thing. And while we've always struggled with consistency in our sales process, it will become even more critical in the weeks and months ahead. As inventory shortages ease, customers will soon have more options. So, if we're not equipped to answer their inquiries or effectively assist them, we're setting ourselves up for failure.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be complicated. It's time we get back to the basics - or as they say – block and tackle the core aspects of a sales process. Keeping in mind that the customers' buying behavior has changed in the last three years. But the fact remains that customers expect their inquiries to be answered. And more importantly, customers expect to know the next steps when they enter the dealership. It's safe to say that the customer is not coming into the dealership for the fun of it. They're at the dealership to purchase a car.
Make no mistake, though, as the customer has more options, their patience to deal with a lack of a sales process might not last. And do we really want to lose out on sales opportunities simply because we don't follow a sales process? Instead, we should first focus on ensuring our Sales Consultants and BD Agents are aware of the process and when it begins, online and/or on the phone. That is understanding the various options the customer has when inquiring prior to coming in. So that when your Sales Consultant or BD Agent is working with the customer online, on the phone, or in the dealership, there is continuity.
A fluid process both outside and inside the store will make a difference in the customer's overall experience. And having a good experience - because you follow a solid sales process - means more vehicles sold with better CSI. It sounds simple, right? But the hard reality is that, more often than not, each of your Sales Consultants and Sales Managers tends to follow their own processes. That only makes it that much harder to effectively manage the breakpoints in their processes. None of us are perfect, and all of us have room to improve. So why make it that much harder on ourselves by having to manage several different sales processes at once? Instead, focus on one sales process so that no matter who's working with a customer, as a Sales Manager, you can easily step in or assist your Sales Consultants without causing unnecessary breakpoints for your customers.
To get started, take a minute and check out our FREE stealth test. We could all use a tune-up as we work towards a new normal. That is following a consistent sales process!