As traditional marketing methods are being replaced thanks to the rise and rise of the web, many car dealers are struggling to adapt and as a consequence when times are tougher, such as now, they don’t all seem to have a “plan b”.
Trying to convert enquiries into appointments is perhaps the biggest challenge when demand is lower and competition is hotter. Many car dealers discover at this point whether they have a skilled team of sales execs or some ‘flat track bullies’ i.e. those who are great at selling to “sure things” when they get lots of chances but not so great when customers are fewer and much more switched on.
Dealers have traditionally sent out mailers to their databases at certain parts of the year and this has been successful in the past, however in today’s world, where customers are bombarded with junk mail on a daily basis through their letterboxes and on their computer, they are beginning to become immune to what might very well be a good offer.
Therefore sales teams have to be far more creative in how they turn leads into sales. As a car buyer who may have made a recent enquiry or indeed visited a showroom but is still in the market you are much more likely to have a direct phone call from a sales exec from your local dealer inviting you in or back to try and entice you into buying from them.
The ‘phone out night’ is becoming more popular again as higher management want to see some activity around generating leads and if the sales team is motivated and the prospects ‘live’ there is a great opportunity to persuade potential buyers back for a second bite.
Some companies are even resorting to employing specialist training companies to come in and make appointments for the team, often realising that perhaps the sales execs are just a bit too close to the action or do not necessarily have the skill levels to overcome objections and confirm appointments.
Either way, the next few months are set to be challenging times for sales execs as they are on the ‘front line’ as it were and companies need to be certain that these people are skilled and professional enough to continue shifting the metal.
If not there are likely to be some casualties of war!