How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 19)
TRANSCRIPT: Okay, part eight. Let’s just into sales in the dealership. This is the last section we’re going to talk about in this series, Attract and Sell the Millennial Buyer. Do you remember these quick stats from the earlier parts according to AutoTrader? In 2015 71% of used car buyers purchased the vehicle they intended, 71%. 77% of new car buyers purchased the vehicle that they intended when they walked on the lot. This is important, right? We have to give a better experience. Everybody knows what they want. They really do. We’ll talk about that.
That’s because, by the way, the reason they knew what they wanted is Google says they’ve looked at 24 or more sources of information and spent over 19 hours doing research before they ever set foot on your lot. We need to start treating every buyer, every up, as a connected buyer. Oh by the way, connected customers know what they want.
Remember this slide? A study by McKinsey & Company found that today’s buyers visit just an average of 1.6 lots before they buy. That’s down from more than 5 lots per buyer in 2004. DME automotive says that 42% of new car buyers visited just one lot before buying. We got to make sure that we’re treating that up as a buyer and not just as a tire kicker because we’re not going to get a second chance with a lot of these folks.
Guess what? It’s all about the experience. Just like service, this is all about the experience. It’s about providing a shortened road to the sale that we’ll talk about. It’s about providing in-store transparency. In-store transparency means the customer knows what the next step is before we take that next step. They know what’s going on, right? You’re not going back and forth to the desk eight times. You’re not leaving them alone. You’re giving them in-store transparency.
It’s about being human. Speaking to them like a human using active language telling them what to do. It’s about having a one goal strategy which is to wow them at every step. Whatever step we’re on we want to make it the best experience that they’ve ever had at a dealership.
We’ve talked about the four quick tips on communicating with today’s connected customers in part one, but three of the four, okay, apply in-store as well in both service and sales. Today’s connected customer, they need you to take charge. They really do. Today’s connected customer, they need you to be direct and they need guidance. We must control the entire experience from beginning to end. If we do, we’re going to win way more often than we lose.
When we talk about controlling the experience this requires process, okay. Again, process is not a bad word. This is where the new start ups are starting to take share with the process. For processes to succeed they must be standardized. This means in writing and reinforced by management, okay. They’ve got to be simple. They should be intuitive and easy to train. If you’ve got processes that don’t make sense that means they’re not intuitive no one’s going to follow them. If they’re not easy to train, no one’s going to follow them. Your processes should be simple.
They should be repeatable meaning you will not allow freelancing. It’s our process or you can go work somewhere else. Your processes should be continually improved.
Standardized, simple, repeatable, continually improved. Does that describe your processes? Probably not, but to make this a wow experience customers must see our processes as simple. They need to easily understand. It needs to make sense to the customer. They also need to see our process. That what we’re doing is seamless. It’s smooth. It’s continuous. It’s in order. There’s never this clunky stop. There’s never this time that the salesperson will leave me alone for 25 minutes and I don’t know where he is.
Our processes also have to have lots of transparency. I’m not talking about pricing transparency right now. I’m just talking about transparency, no mystery in what we’re doing. Tell them what you’re doing throughout. We’re going to take charge. We’re going to be direct. We’re going to provide guidance. We’re going to pull them through our whole process. Your processes should be even fun.
Think about this for the consumer. This is a huge purchase for them. It should be fun. Does simple, seamless, transparent, and fun is that how customers would describe your current process? See today’s connected customer, they found the value and they found relevancy. That’s why they showed up on your lot. They’re only looking for authenticity now. Today’s connected customer is ready to buy. They are not just gathering information. They’re going to start their visit, “Oh, we’re just gathering information. You’re our first stop.” They’re lying. They’re absolutely lying. They’ve looked at 24 sources of information. They’ve spent more than 19 hours online. They are ready to buy today.
They found value. The vehicle’s a good value. They found relevancy. That vehicle fits with what we need. Now they show up on your lot they’re looking for authenticity. They’re looking for someone to sell them that vehicle. They really are.
Again, CARite has figured this out. Do you know what CARite calls their salespeople? As of today they call their salespeople “guides”. Why would they call them guides out loud to the customer? They’re telling the customer what they’re going to do. They’re going to guide them through. See connected customers need you to take charge. They need you to be direct. They need you to provide guidance. Just like we talked about in the earlier parts.
Now, these new guys and I know CarMax isn’t new, but I’m going to put them up there because we’re going to talk about them. These new guys are all about a better experience. Make no mistake, that’s how they’re selling against you. Vroom says that ordering a car from Vroom is as easy as ordering food.
Carvana has that silly vending machine that customers seem to like, but it’s a cost isn’t it? It’s a better experience. Shift will bring the car to the customer for the test drive. CARite claims we didn’t like the car buying experience so we started a dealership group. Are these new guys taking share? They’re still dealers, okay. No matter what they’re business model, they still buy and they still sell or they get in the middle of the transaction. They have to make money.
They have costs don’t they? Some of you may now beepi’s on the list. They shouldn’t be. beepi ran through $149 million before recently just basically folding. They were grabbed up by another company. It’s like pets.com they had their sock puppet bought by someone else.
These people are just presenting themselves as anti-dealer. They are dealers. CARite’s a dealer, right. Carvana’s a dealer. CarMax is a dealer. A lot like CarMax that’s how these people are presenting themselves. Here’s the deal. Are these guys taking share on your market today? Maybe, right. CARite is in some of the markets they’re in. CarMax though has taken plenty of share though haven’t they. Of course it’s taken over 20 years for them to get it right and for them to take the share that they’re taking today.
Existing dealers folks, we have the clear advantage. You already have the facilities. You’ve got the service business and you have the name recognition. The flattening market that’s coming is not a sky’s falling moment. It’s not. It is time to create a better buying experience and more importantly, believe it or not, is to be known for creating that better buying experience.