Take the fear out of factory orders by being proactive.
In Part 2 of this column, we will explore other elements to consider as part of your factory-order sales process.
Your dealership currently allows your customers to begin the credit approval process online or at the end of the sale with your Financial Services Manager.
Why not also offer a Finance/Lease Pre-Approval Service early in the sale at the conclusion of the salesperson’s discovery session?
This further obligates the customer in a positive manner. More importantly, it is not just credit-challenged customers that are concerned about their chances of getting approved for a new vehicle loan.
A growing number of “established,” educated professionals, homeowners with good credit are increasingly more anxious about the credit-decisioning process. Furthermore, when we are able to share the “good news” with a customer that they are “approved” even before they buy their vehicle, our chances of closing the sale increase substantially.
VIRTUAL VEHICLE PRESENTATION
At a recent training session, we had salespeople presenting new vehicles to customers utilizing the build and price tool on their manufacturer’s website.
They were able to construct and facilitate an entire 6-Point Walk-Around vehicle presentation on a computer monitor using their cursor and the 360° viewing tool. The result was innovative, fun and effective. Just because we don’t have a vehicle “on-ground” are we going to let that stop us from delivering a creative and informative vehicle presentation?
If there is no vehicle to present and demonstrate to a customer, build value in the dealership facility.
Salespeople should take their customers on a choreographed dealership tour. This would include a walk-through and pointing out services and conveniences such as the customer lounge, coffee bar and Wifi, Service Department Drive-Thru, Accessories Department, etc.
Service Managers and Service Advisors should also be apprised and introduced to these potential customers. Make your dealership “homey”, inviting and exciting.
Advisors should also be apprised and introduced to these potential customers. Make your dealership “homey”, inviting and exciting.
Payment Options should be provided to all customers, whether they are ready to buy a new vehicle “today” or not.
There are thousands of scenarios where customers have emphatically proclaimed that they are “not ready to buy”, and then they do.
Dealerships that continue to delay, withhold or not provide detailed pricing, trade-in values and multiple payment options lose customers. As customers visit fewer and fewer dealerships, the notion of giving customers a “hunting license” is becoming an ideology and excuse of the past.
Presenting multiple payment options becomes a more natural way to close the sale; instead of old school questions such as, “What would you like to offer?” the question becomes, “Which payment option would work best for your lifestyle?
Closing the sale by providing payment options also shifts the focus away from price (since we are currently not discounting) and squarely on monthly/bi-weekly payments.
If you want salespeople to be more enthusiastic about factory-orders, then hand over the responsibility of customer communication updates to either a Sales Manager or a Sales Administrator.
Salespeople are extremely anxious when they have to call their factory-order customers to deliver bad news of vehicle delivery delays from the manufacturer.
There have been numerous situations all across Canada where salespeople have not returned customer phone calls/texts/e-mails inquiring about the delivery status of their factory-order.
The salespeople are simply fearful of customer frustration, anger or disappointment and will often avoid the confrontations (unknown to the Sales Manager). Frustrated customers have walked away from deposits and purchased elsewhere, only to start the process all over.
We have all faced and overcome so many challenges over the past year and a half. Instead of listening to what are becoming tired, repetitive comments and complaints about inventory, let’s use factory-orders as another new and positive tool to adapt and succeed.