Not only have recent technology advancements generated vast amounts of data consumption, but most of the sales process has gone virtual in response to consumer expectations of ease, safety, and personability.
Only with the right tools and training can salespeople acclimate to this highly integrated, individualized, and data-driven consumer environment.
The dealership customer of 2022 is poised to be one of the most educated, engaged, and skeptical consumers in any marketplace. They will spend hours researching vehicles they believe suit their needs, come ready with an idea of what the vehicle should cost, and have their guard up against “typical” dealership tactics.
They’ve also been trained, thanks to Amazon, Apple, and other retailers, that transactions can be quick, seamless, and efficient—and often done entirely online.
Going against consumer expectations can destroy even years’ worth of brand loyalty, as PwC found that 32% of consumers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience.
Automation to Get Personal
To build the kind of rapport needed to retain today’s modern shoppers, your dealership should be marketing to them with targeted, individualized messages and maintain that same consistent personal approach from their first touchpoint to the moment of purchase and beyond.
By using a marketing automation solution driven by artificial intelligence you can unite all the elements a salesperson needs to lead consumers along the path to sale.
Educate Your Team
When salespeople are given the correct tools and training, the consumer, salesperson, and dealership all benefit from the process.
To provide consumers with the best experience, training should be established as one of the most important elements and as a “top-down” requirement. It’s just as important for the dealership’s leaders to take part in continuing education as it is for the sales staff.
It’s All About the Long Game
Follow-up needs to happen thoughtfully, which means much more than chasing leads. Focusing on your owner base means everything from what it’s like in the service drive to whether you’re going to drop a new customer’s car off at home because the practices started during the pandemic are here to stay.
Dealers need to be intentional about consumer relationships throughout the lifecycle, not just when someone is in equity, and tweak your messaging and processes to fit each consumers’ needs.
Make sure your game plan for 2022 includes:
- Focusing on your owner base by staying top of mind in a relevant way.
- Going back to basics and enacting internal changes where it makes the most sense.
- Implementing a process for harnessing and acting on your data.
- Concentrating on trusted vendor partners who complement the entire customer lifecycle.
- Consolidating your data to learn from it and optimize appropriately.
Learn more on those tips with Outsell’s recent article “Change in 2022: How to Play the Long Game.”
Rather than seeing the current consumer mindset as an obstacle, dealerships need to embrace it as an opportunity. By examining processes and putting in place the right tools and training, you and your staff can continue into 2022 not only meeting consumer expectations but exceeding them.