How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 22)
TRANSCRIPT: We’ve got to keep the customer busy at all times. They’ve got to be engaged at all times with some of our team. One of the big reasons for that is it makes the time seem to fly by and so it does become a fun process. What we don’t want them getting is buyer’s remorse before they’ve ever had a chance to buy the vehicle.
By the way, according to Google 82% of consumers are using their mobile devices as an in-store purchase assistant. What does that mean? That means they’re looking at your neighbor’s vehicles online while your sales rep is going back and forth to the desk. Your sales rep needs to stay with them the entire time. Keep them engaged. Keep them busy.
You lead and they set the speed. The old road to the sale is a drag. One size fits none. Car and Driver says consumers want one hour or less in your dealership. Infosys says 86% want personalization. You want to personalize it. You want to personalize the experience and be authentic. Take charge, be direct, and guide them throughout.
Once you have enough information from someone we want to get them into a vehicle right away. The person who says when I say, “Hey, what vehicles did you come to see?” They say, “I came to see this 2010 Odyssey that you’ve got on AutoTrader. Is it still in stock?” I’m going to say, “Yeah, absolutely. Let’s scan your license. Let’s go take it for a test drive.” I’m not going to present them with a bunch of other vehicles. I’m going to assume they bought that vehicle.
We’ve done this before. We’ll show this again. This is a classic experiment that Sheena Iyengar, who’s now a professor at Columbia, did years ago. It’s been in the Harvard Business Review. She set out jars of jam in supermarket tables in groups of either 6 or 24. What she found is when people were presented with 24 choices of jam in the supermarket only 3% of consumers bought any jam at all. Those who were presented with six choices, 30% of those people bought jam. Once we have enough information we’ve got to stop trying to give them choices. We got to get them in a vehicle and treat them like a buyer.
Here’s what the perfect up looks like today. Within minutes of the test drive, within minutes of coming back from the test drive, the deal is presented to them. The numbers that are presented support everything we’ve discussed. These are defensible because we’ve seed planted and we’ve showed them MMR, or wholesale black book, on their trade.
Here’s what’s happening today. Customer says to your sales rep in a situation like this he says, “Hey, you think your manager will take 25,000 for this?” Today your sales rep says something during the vehicle presentation, “I’ll do my best.” What’s the customer think now? 25,000 is now the idiot price. That’s where I’m going to start my negotiations. Your sales rep just gave up the gross. We need to make sure our pricing is defensible, so we’re going to defend it on the lot as well.
Customer says, “Do you think that your manager will take 25,000 for this?” We need to respond with, “Hey, you know what? We always put our best price upfront whether online or on the lot. We wouldn’t even dream of offending our customers by showing you some second best price and making you negotiate to find some hidden best price. At 26,759 this vehicle’s priced to sell and at that price it certainly won’t make it through the weekend.” Okay, or we go over the features or whatever because if we’ll do that now it’s all about terms.
When we talk about the experience, “Steve, we’re in.” We’re going to make it a great experience in our dealership. Now what? Okay. Well, let’s all agree with this. Can we agree that change is accelerating, all right? In 1997 a writer for the New York Times said that within five years, based on a study or some think tank said, in five years almost every dealership’s going to be closed in the country. Wrote that in 1997. Why? They said that people are going to buy their cars online. That would have been 2002. We’re all still here, aren’t we? Okay.
They were wrong about the time frame, but change is accelerating. The percent of people saying they will buy online without you, that’s increasing, even though slightly, that’s increasing every year. We know that fewer than 1% of consumers prefer the current car buying process, don’t we? AutoTrader told us that. Just like in service. Imagining what the market’s going to look like in three to five years will help you develop strategies that allow you to own that future. Things that you can put in place today that aren’t going to hurt your grosses today, but rather are going to improve them and improve your sales today now into the future. It’s called continuous process improvement.
Where are you going to be in five years? Are you going to have sales people? Are you going to have guides? What about in your service? How are you going to check people in? Are you going to have kiosks? Is it going to be do-it-yourself? Where are you going to be with that?
Are you going to have service advisors who are salespeople like they are today or are they going to be more like concierge where maybe they’re only job is to really make a warm fuzzy throughout? Are you going to start offering test drives at home? Do you already do that? Are you going to service at home? We need to start putting these things together when we talk about the experience and the future.
We talk about attracting and selling today’s connected customer. It’s important to understand that whatever we put in place today needs to be continually improved.