How To Sell Cars Online or Offline (PART 4)
TRANSCRIPT: Let’s talk about what’s wrong with your current road to the sale. It takes three plus hours. It takes three plus hours to get through. They’re ready for step six when they arrive at your dealership while you want to slow play steps one through five. They show up at your dealership ready for the demo drive. You want to take them back to step one. There’s also too much paperwork in the current road to the sale. The old school road to the sale assumes the consumer knows nothing where they actually know everything.
Then, finally, the old school road to the sale like this one, it lacks transparency in both price and in process. You need speed and you need to reduce friction. The lack of process transparency in store creates friction. What do I mean by process transparency? I mean that the customer knows what’s going on and they agree with that step. They know what you’re doing now and what you’re going to do next. That’s process transparency. The process with the most friction right now and the least process transparency, I’ll give you a second to guess. Okay. It’s F & I. The second process with the most friction and the least transparency is desking. These are a grind to today’s consumers. We need to find a way to reduce the friction and we need to find a way to make these processes more efficient.
Eventually, customers will self-desk. “Steve, what?” Yes. In fact, they’re doing it today. They’ll self-present and select the menus. “What?” Yeah. They’re doing it today. They’ll take themselves through all the other F & I options. All of this is happening today. “But, Steve, if we get rid of F & I, oh, my god! You’re one of those guys!” No. Listen, you don’t have to get rid of F & I today but it’s not going to be around forever in the current form. It can’t be because today’s connected customer wants speed, they want efficiency and they want to reduce the friction. You’re not going to lose your F & I grosses if this happens.
It’s important to understand that. Even Carvana, it’s about 11 or $1,200 on back-end grosses. They do it 100% online without anybody interacting with the customer unless they have a question. People will by F & I products from you, they really will, if you give them a chance to learn about them by themselves.
“Okay, Steve, but how do we get there? I can’t go from my current road to the sale to doing it all on an iPad overnight.” No, you can’t. I understand that but all dealers are at different stages of their road to the sale in the customer experience. How do I get from this traditional road to the sale to a great customer experience? Some of you are still 100% old school. You’re closing you’re traditional UPs at about 20%. You’re still making no new car grosses. Your F & I gross, that depends on your F & I manager.
The problem with F & I today and we all know it. We’ve known it for years. We’ve known it almost since F & I was invented. That is you’ve got six people who are trying to get in to see one F & I manager, six people who just bought a car. Suddenly, we have to slow them down. We sped them down to get them to F & I. Now, we have to slow down those six people because our F & I manager can only see one person at a time. The experience goes in the toilet. They don’t want to buy anything when they get inside there.
Some, like Schomp BMW, they’re already 100% transparent. They already have it done. The Sonic-One Experience, everybody. There’s a whole bunch of people that got it all on an iPad. The customer’s taking themselves through it. Even if your product specialist is helping them, they feel like they’re self selecting. They feel like they’re choosing. They feel like they’re buying.
Most every dealer is somewhere in the middle, somewhere in the blue arrow. You’re not necessarily all old school and you’re not 100% online. How do we get there? We get there through planning. We plan for the future. We start using the available tools today. We start putting in the written processes today.
How does this happen? First, we all need to agree that your current road to the sale stinks. You’ve got to come to that realization. Unless you’ve changed it significantly over the last couple of years, it probably stinks for all but one of 235 of your customers.
The second thing we need to do is we need to agree that a great customer experience means higher grosses, really does, higher CSI and higher employee morale.