I'm attempting to understand why dealers are unaware of the power and weight that their online presence plays when it comes to how successful they could be in the pursuit of selling to their customers... Then it hit me.
Most general managers and dealers are of the era when closing the transaction depended entirely upon the salesperson and many were salespeople themselves before moving on up. I now can completely understand why it's hard for some to fathom the thought of a computer taking a larger role when it comes to closing the deal.
Advertising on the internet is complicated and at times just plain overwhelming. Even for a Goliath like Google that constantly changes the way that we discover information and shop are consistently measuring the data for how consumers demand information.
This revelation came when I was using an analogy that compared a dealers website and online presence to an artery leading to their heart. No one has to tell me about being a digital vendor and the cynicism that comes with the territory. Dealers look at their website and how people get there as a necessity - the way they need that huge sign over the front of their building. The web to most is a destination locator rather than the valuable tool it could be.
Coming from auto sales training and recruiting firms, I can confidently say that dealers are still relying on their sales team to do the majority of the selling when in reality the majority of the transaction these days is done on the internet throughout a consumers buying journey before they walk in your rooftop.
Some of you have had a high turnover of employees and attempted a myriad of sales training programs and techniques while spending an exorbitant amount on digital advertising only to come to the conclusion that it doesn't work as you were initially promised the way it would. In essence, you've put someone in charge of your marketing and then you hop from one company to the next only to be right back in the place that you've started and in the end you've struggled with how to measure the value of digital.
That's when the complacency steps in.." The brand I'm selling is down - so that's why my numbers are down." "Everyone's websites are slow to load...so what?!"
You've provided your team with sales strategies, but unfortunately, this does not bring in more ups or move more metal because customers are making their decision before they've even stepped foot in your dealership. To prove this point, the average consumer now only visits 1.6 rooftops before making a purchase.
Identifying your most valuable buyers, meaningfully connecting with them, through all steps of the process and delivering a better car buyer starts online.
At the 2018 Google Think Auto conference, Ashley Hahn spoke about the importance of influencing buyers with Video Content for Every Mindset.
Consideration mindsets – “not in the mindset”, “in the consideration mindset,” and “in the buying mindset.”
At 2018 NADA, Google's Kelly McNerney announced that dealers report a decline in store traffic by 42% yet a 60% rise in conversion rate.
If you're still not convinced I will end with this: The average number of touchpoints a consumer will make while researching buying a vehicle is Twenty four. Nineteen of those touch points are happening online.
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