Successful salespeople know that their busiest time is never when they are selling a lot of cars. They are way busier when they are not selling! The act of prospecting, following up, and consultatively selling is a time consuming and challenging process. Nevertheless, for salespeople, this pattern can lead to long term success in automotive sales.
Until the inventory and chip shortage issues are resolved, you may find that you are busier than ever. You can no longer wait to greet shoppers as they walk into the show room and spend time chatting and test driving in hopes they will purchase a vehicle the same day. Floor traffic has been on a steady decline for a decade and with today’s vastly reduced inventory there is vastly reduced foot traffic. This does not mean that you should not or cannot sell cars. It means that your time should be filled with prospecting, following up on marketing leads and focusing on the dealership’s loyal customers.
Focus on strategies that drive pre-orders
In addition to prospecting activities, you will need to be extra resourceful during the sales process. For example, when the dealership does not have a specifically requested car on the lot, you should shift focus from the standard sign-and-drive approach to a focus on pre-ordering vehicles. Pre-orders can be attractive to customers because they give them the ability to create a new vehicle according to their color, options, and other preferences rather than settling for whatever the dealer has in stock (which right now is minimal at best). Experian’s Automotive Intelligence Engine™ (AIE), a fully customizable suite of marketing solutions can provide you and your dealership with the data insights necessary to find consumers who would be interested in your brand and models and who are in an equity position to facilitate a pre-order. Here are a few examples of how AIE helps dealers find likely pre-order consumers:
Scenario: A Mercedes dealership would like to secure pre-orders and generate interest in vehicles for when inventory becomes available in 2022.
- Utilize AIE’s Market Insights to find lifestyle and demographic information to find consumers with a high buying propensity to purchase a luxury vehicle.
- Use AIE’s Audience Targeting to learn who of those consumers are in a positive equity position. Identify consumers who are likely to buy your models based on their prior purchasing history.
Using marketing solutions to help find the right consumer now to create interest in the future could be the key to success in 2022.
Focus on short term leases opportunities
In today’s market, we also recommend dealers focus on targeting consumers who are nearing the term of their lease—because the end of a lease forces consumers to either turn in the vehicle or purchase it. In many cases, the customer can upgrade to a model with more features or a model in a different class—both of which may be compelling, even if the newer vehicle is an older model year than the trade in. This way, the dealer obtains the later model, lower mileage vehicle and the customer gets a model with the extra features they want or an entirely new class of vehicle. The Automotive Intelligence Engine can provide dealers with near term lease consumers in their area for all brands.
For an in depth look at this topic, read our November blog “Using Data Insights to Focus on Near-Term Lease Sales Opportunities.”
Learn more about Experian’s Automotive Intelligence Engine.