How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 4)
TRANSCRIPT: When we talk about communicating with today’s connected customer, there really are 4 tips I want to take you through. We’re going to go through all 4 in detail, so no need to write all this down now. Today’s connected customer, believe it or not, even though they have all the information, they still need you to take charge. They really do. If you want to sell them, you have to take charge. Now that hasn’t changed.
In 1985, when I sold my first car, if you took charge from the beginning and if you were direct and if you provided guidance, you sold cars. If you didn’t, you didn’t sell cars. Right? They also need you to be direct. They need guidance. They need you to pull them through the process and we’ll talk about that.
Here’s what’s important to understand, and this is where we got to get out of some of the old school thinking that we do. You will lose all pre-visit information exchanges, and we’ll do a deep dive on that in just a minute. I’m not saying don’t give information over the phone. I’m saying it cannot be just an information exchange. Again, we’ll talk to that.
When we talk about taking charge, if your goal with your BDC or your Internet team is to share information, then by all means keep giving the prospect the control. If your goal is to sell a car or to set a service agreement that actually shows, then you have to take charge.
See, when you say something silly like, “When would you like to come in?” That’s not being polite. That’s being weak. That’s ceding control of the call to the caller. When you say, “When you like to come in,” you’re saying, “No rush.” Right? You’re saying, “We’re never busy.” You’re saying, “We don’t care when you buy.” You’re saying the car’s going to be here forever.
You never want to ask them when they would like to come in. You need to take charge. You always take charge. Right? This is important to understand. It’s not just on the phone. When communicating with today’s connected customer, whether it via phone, email, text or in person, you must take charge and keep control or they will take you down some rabbit hole.
See, most connected customers are trying to eliminate you. Yeah, they’re trying to buy a vehicle, but they still have a couple of thoughts in their mind on what they may want. Right? It’s not just your dealership they’re coming to. Their plan today is to visit three, and they’re going to look at all three and they get to you first. Remember, if you do it right, you can close 42% of them, and if you do a great job, you might be able to close close to 80% of them. Understand it doesn’t matter the communication that you’re doing, in person, email, text, chat, over the phone, you need to take charge.
Number 2 is you need to be direct. Okay? Today’s consumer needs you to take the lead and to be direct, because they’re looking for 3 things. They’re looking for value, they’re looking for relevancy, and they’re looking for authenticity. When they’re looking to buy a car, those are the 3 things that today’s connected customer is looking for, so let’s talk through those.
See, value, is the vehicle a good value? Right? You’ve already provided value & relevancy, by the way. This is why they’ve contacted you. This is why they chose you. This is why they walked in your dealership. It’s time to provide authenticity. Value is, is the vehicle a good value.
Relevancy is “does the vehicle fit my needs?” I’ve got a family of five, it’s a two-seat Miata, it’s not relevant to me. Right? It’s a minivan? Great, okay. Good, it’s an automatic and a sliding door. This is perfect. Right? I will have already proven value and relevancy before I ever contacted you. When I call you, when I walk in, whatever it is, you need to be authentic when you’re dealing with today’s connected customer. They are looking for authenticity. If something doesn’t resonate with them or if it gets oversold, today’s connected customer is going to find an alternative.
When you ask stupid questions like, “Are there any colors they wouldn’t consider. Right? Customer comes on the lot or they’re talking on the phone, and you want to use an old school road to the sale question like, “Are there any colors you wouldn’t consider,” that proves you’re inauthentic. Right? “Hey, I’m calling about that minivan. Is it still in stock?” “Is it just minivans you’re looking at or are you also looking at midsize SUVs?” You’re an old school salesman. See, that’s what they hear. They don’t hear the authenticity. That’s not how you would talk to a friend.
Friend calls and asks if it’s in stock, you’d say, “Absolutely it’s in stock, and I’ve got two test drives open on that vehicle this afternoon. I’ve got a 12:15, 12:45. Which works better for you?” That’s about being direct. That’s that authenticity that they’re looking for.
The third thing, and I just said it in that little speech and I’ll do it again, is guidance. The connected customers need help navigating the process, whether it’s sales or service. See, they don’t know how any of this works, they really don’t. It means you can change the game. You need to take charge, you need to be direct, and you need to guide them. See, they’re not in the car business, you are.
Now when I say this means you can change the game because they don’t know how this works, you can change it for the better. Be clear to them on what the next step is. Tell them what you need them to do. Right? She calls me. She says, “I’m looking at this minivan that you’ve got on AutoTrader. Is it still in stock?” I’m going to take charge. I’m going to be direct. I’m going to guide her.
I’m going to say, “I saw that minivan this morning, but at the price we have it listed at it’s not going to make it through to the weekend. Now I do have two test drives open on that minivan this afternoon. I’ve got a 12:15, 12:45. Which one works better for you?” See, I was just very clear on the next step, wasn’t I? I told her what I need her to do.
I also need to manage the expectations throughout. There should be no surprises with today’s connected customer. They’re already on their heels waiting to run away from car dealers. Okay? If you miss these expectations, if you set expectations here and you come in here, you’re a liar, and you often only get one chance with a connected customer. If you think you’re going to come in here, let’s set expectations here. You need to guide them through the steps.