10 Actionable Tips to Sell More Cars in 2021
Auto sales is a tricky business, but it can be very rewarding. Here are some very helpful tips that have proven to help you sell more cars with little effort!
Let’s face it, 2020 was a tricky year for car dealers. Sales of new vehicles were down by around 15%! That, according to the same source, is one of the worst annual declines in 40 years.
Ready for the good news?
It doesn’t have to be the same in 2021! If your sales figures have slumped, then there’s plenty of steps you (the dealership and the salesperson) can take to turn the situation around. With the right insight and approach, it won’t be long before you start closing more sales than ever.
Aside from marketing, discounts, and traditional methods of moving inventory, there are less obvious things you can do that will help you sell more cars in 2021.
1. Be Ready if The Car Has Been Sold
I remember many years ago working for one of the country’s leading publishers of automotive magazines. The company was very good at putting buyers and sellers together. The problem was they were losing accounts back-to-back because the dealerships were not selling enough cars to justify the internet marketing dollars that were invested.
As a training tool, the company used some third-party software to record all inbound calls from the leads they produced. It wasn’t long before they discovered that the typical conversation routinely sounded something like this:
Prospect: “Hello, I am calling about the blue 2003 convertible you have for sale’.
Dealership: “I’m sorry, we sold it”
Prospect: “Okay, thanks. Bye”
This was certainly not limited to one dealership. In fact, it was a fairly common practice. The salespeople would have hot, ready to buy prospects on the telephone and let them slip through their fingers.
A lot of automotive companies spend a small fortune to bring in quality sales leads, but all too often their sales staff makes rookie mistakes and fails to close them. The above example was from the very first 10 seconds with the prospect. Below we point out a simple change in language that could have produced many more sales. It might sound like this:
Prospect: “Hello, I am calling about the blue 2003 convertible you have for sale’.
Dealership: “That car was sweet and it sold in 3 hours. But we did just get a 2004 model with only 62k miles on it. It’s already getting some attention, so if you want to check it out, I’m here until 3 pm”.
The reality is the car salesperson would go from slamming the door in the prospect’s face to rolling out the red carpet and moving the prospect closer to a purchase.
As you have just discovered, it only takes a few words to change the outcome. If you like that sales tip, here are 9 more actionable tips to increase auto dealership sales with little to no effort.
2. Personalize Your Sales Approach
An important first step to selling more cars is realizing that every prospective customer is different. Everything from their personality to their financial situation and the requirements they have for a car will vary! The result?
Your approach to sales has to vary too. In other words, never take a cookie-cutter attitude with your efforts. You have to treat everybody that walks into your dealership on an individual basis.
Ascertain their unique needs, figure out how to meet them, and you’ll see a spike in sales in no time.
On a similar note, try to learn everybody’s first name and address them by it in conversation. The encounter will feel more personal, which leads would-be customers to relax. They’ll be more receptive to your offer of support/advice as a result.
3. Don’t Oversell The Car
Consumers have to trust you before they make a purchase. That’s why overselling the cars in your lot is a recipe for disaster. Astute customers will be suspicious of any slick sales talk and may decide to look elsewhere if they hear it.
Try not to get carried away in your bid to make a sale. Avoid coming on too strong and definitely leave the snake oil at home! Telling untruths will only jeopardize the relationship you’ve cultivated and turn possible business away.
Honesty, openness, and authenticity are the name of the game. You’re onto a winner as soon as you make the process less about you and all about bringing value to the consumer. They’ll sense your intentions and be more willing to spend their hard-earned money as a result.
4. Know Your Automobiles
Good intentions will only take you so far though.
The next step to car sales success is attaining a thorough understanding of the vehicles in your dealership. After all, without this knowledge, there’s only so much help you can offer customers. They’ll come to you with questions that you’d be unable to answer!
Avoid that eventuality by arming yourself with as much information as possible on your inventory. This should enable you to meet a customer’s individual needs (by making appropriate vehicle recommendations) with newfound ease.
Furthermore, the ability to answer questions without hesitation will cultivate buyer confidence. You’ll sound like the industry professional you are! That’s a major boon in terms of earning their trust and winning the sale.
5. Learn to Listen to Customers
The gift of the gab’s overrated when it comes to sales. It’s true that strong communication skills are important. But, trust us, the most gifted salespeople are as good (if not better) at listening as they are at talking.
This makes sense when you recognize that listening’s a precursor to understanding. Just ask the therapists in your life! You have to listen to someone’s problems before you can ever hope to address them.
In the same way, finding the perfect car for a customer is impossible unless you learn to listen to their requirements. Bear that in mind the next time you interact with someone in the dealership. Making the effort to talk less and hear more should lead to better results all-around.
6. Dress to Impress
Never underestimate the importance of first impressions. You have to come across well from the outset to have the best chance of selling a vehicle. And that’s why the clothes you choose to wear to work can be so important…
Remember, as visual animals, people can’t help but make snap judgments based on the way you look. If they see someone looking scruffy, unkempt, or too casual, then they may decide (even at a subconscious level) that you’re untrustworthy. By the same token, of course, dressing in a smart and professional manner can earn someone’s confidence before you even open your mouth.
Dressing the part isn’t just for the customers’ sake though. As the old saying goes, when you look good, you feel good! You’ll walk into the dealership with newfound confidence, which is bound to have a big impact on your sales performance.
7. Leverage Open-Ended Questions
The secret to selling cars comes down to conversation. You have to get would-be buyers to talk to you! Don’t, and you’ll never figure out what they need or develop that all-important relationship.
Alas, the majority of people who walk through the door will say they’re “just-looking”. And, as we both know, that’s almost always a code for “please don’t try to sell me anything”. In fact, the best way around this predicament is to assume they’re just browsing and ask outright if you can help with their search.
From there, another useful step is to ask open-ended questions. These kinds of queries can’t be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, making them ideal conversation starters!
Here are a few examples:
- What kind of vehicle are you looking for?
- What sort of budget do you have in mind? And
- What do you dislike about the vehicle you drive at the moment?
Having a few open-ended questions in your repertoire should make it far easier to engage with customers. Your sales figures should get a boost soon after.
8. Never Forget the Incentives
Does your dealership have any deals, special offers, or promotions running at the moment? Be sure to inform your customers about them if so! After all, everybody loves a bargain- especially when you’re buying something as expensive as a new vehicle.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re offering unparalleled financing or specific discounts on certain cars. The opportunity to save some money could be the deciding factor in winning a sale.
Don’t stop there though.
Mention anything and everything that would be advantageous to the customer- whether it’s related to money or not. For example, a vehicle might come with protection programs or an extended warranty. Whatever the case may be, remembering to highlight the incentives will always help you sell more cars.
9. Follow up With Prospects
Following up with your automotive leads is another key piece of the puzzle. Make it your mission to send a thoughtful, detailed response to anyone who gets in touch about a particular vehicle! Reply ASAP with everything they wanted to know and ask if there’s a time they’d like to come in.
Don’t hear back? Send a second follow-up a few days later as a reminder.
The same goes for people who come into the dealership. Where it feels appropriate, strive to collect their contact details so you can get in touch in due course. You could let them know about the latest deals, send links to your dealership’s car-related video content, and become their go-to car salesperson in the process.
Following up with past customers can work wonders as well! Imagine selling a car to someone and sending them a message six months later to see how they’re getting on. This simple, thoughtful act could earn their loyalty and compel them to return whenever they next need a new car.
10. Get Involved In the Community
A fundamental part of boosting car sales is getting more people through the dealership door. And one of the best ways to do it is by being active in the local community!
For example, you could organize an event (such as a BBQ, a fun-run, or a car wash) and invite everybody in the area to attend. The free food, music, and entertainment on offer should encourage people to turn out in their droves.
Not only is this a nice thing to do, but it doubles as a great marketing strategy. Anybody who attends will have fun and become more familiar with your brand. They’ll get to know your dealership, see it in a positive light, and be more likely to swing by to buy a car in the future.
Remember These 10 Tips to Sell More Cars
2020 has been a challenging year for car dealerships across the country. However, the downturn in sales that’s characterized the last 12 months doesn’t have to continue. By changing your approach and embracing the challenge, your sales statistics can and will get better.
With any luck, the actionable tips to sell more cars in this post will enable you to do exactly that! Keep them in mind and your fortunes in 2021 should improve in no time.
Would you like to enhance the customer experience at your dealership by offering premium exterior and interior protection? We can help. Contact us today to find out more.