How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 5)
TRANSCRIPT: When we talk about information exchanges, you will lose all pre-visit information exchanges. Again, I’m not talking about don’t give information. I’m not saying be coy. In fact, transparency, pricing transparency, process transparency, that’s good for business today, it really is. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to get in a tennis match. Right? Question, answer, question, answer, question, answer. By the way, whoever’s asking the questions, they’re in charge of the call, aren’t they? You will lose all pre-visit information exchanges because they will ask you just enough questions to eliminate you, and then they’ll move on to somebody else’s vehicle.
Now when we talk about transparency, we either always give pricing or we don’t. That’s not the issue. Okay? The issue is pre-visit TMI, too much information. They called you because they found value, and they found relevancy all on their own. Now they’re looking for authenticity. “Is your dealership a fit for me?” Okay? Their questions are mostly a smokescreen. We’re going to go through five calls that you can be involved in today, the five most common types of calls and which ones you’re going to win, which ones you’re going to lose.
The questions that they ask, they’re really a smokescreen. Okay? They really just want to buy the car. Right? I told you earlier they’ve done their needs analysis. They’ve done their product selection. They’ve done their feature presentation. They’re ready to buy a car. Now they just need someone to take charge, be direct and provide guidance.
When they ask a question, you answer it, and then you immediately go for your goal.
Which, by the way, when you have someone on the phone, you only have one goal. Right? It’s an appointment that shows. That’s it. It’s not a tennis match. “Is that vehicle in stock?” “I saw that vehicle this morning. 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 vehicle this afternoon. I’ve got a 12:15 and a 12:45. Which one of those works better for you?” Notice how I answered the question and then I took charge, provided guidance. Right?
All right, there are basically only five types of calls that we can get roped into today. The first one is negotiating. If you’re priced to market already and somebody calls and they want to do the whole deal online. They want to know their interest rate. They want to know their payments. They want to know what you’re going to give them for their trade. This guy isn’t going to buy from you anyway. Okay? If you’re already priced to market, this guy is going to drop everything and come down and buy a car. He’s going to be in that 61% we’ll talk about in a minute that will show up without ever contacting you because they’ve proved value relevancy. They’re going to come down, make sure it’s in stock and buy the car.
Now if you’re showing MSRP and you’re trying to give him all the info now, I want you to understand you’re going to close him about 7% of the time if he truly wants to negotiate the entire deal. Here’s what the call usually is. Guy is about 100 miles away from your dealership and he calls you about a mid-level new car, let’s say a ’17 Honda Accord, a mid-level Accord. He tells you. He tells you the town. You realize it’s 100 miles away.
He says, “But you know what, if you got the best overall offer on that vehicle, I’m going to drop everything and drive all the way down to buy the car from you. I just need to know what you’re going to give me for my trade. I need to get the whole deal done online, right over the phone. I need payment, I need interest rate, I need all these things.”
Fact is, is we know he’s not going to buy from us. Okay? We’ve got study after study that shows when we’ve got clients who give all of that information, they close about 7% of the people who get that information. About 7%, that’s it. Clients who follow process can close 25% of their Internet leads that they get, so bury the dead. Okay? If you want to know how to bury the dead, go to SteveStauning.com, search in the box “bury the dead,” there’s lots of talk tracks on how to bury the dead.
All right, the second type of call you’re going to get into is a selling call. This one is your fault. If you start selling on the phone it’s your fault. This is a losing proposition with today’s customer, because you cannot sell the car over the phone and no one wants you to. The customer is looking for some more information. They were inquiring. Right? They were really looking at an answer type call, and you went into full salesman mode on them. You lost this one as soon as you started speaking.
This is why I like BDCs, because BDCs, business development centers, call centers, who only set appointments, they never try to sell the car, so they win way more often than your season sales reps because they don’t get involved in selling the vehicle. They sell the appointment.
All right, the third type of call that you get into is a validating call. You get this call when you’re priced to market. They just want to make sure that that’s the price or that it’s still available. There’s no need to be a salesperson here. Right? We just answer the question. We set the appointment. “Is it still in stock?” “I saw that vehicle this morning. At the price we have it listed at, it won’t make it through to the weekend. I’ve got two test drives open on that vehicle this afternoon. I’ve got 12:15 and 12:45. Which one works better for you?” Right?
“Is that really the price?” “Yes. If you’ve been shopping online, you know that we price all of our vehicles to market. Now of course at the price that we have that one listed at, it’s not going to make it through to the weekend. Now I have two test drives open on that vehicle this afternoon. I’ve got a 12:15, 12:45. Which one works better for you?” See, they just wanted me to validate. That’s all they wanted to do. They saw the information online, they proved value, relevancy to themselves, and then they were looking for authenticity. I provided that and I set up the appointment.
The fourth type of call, this is we call a true lay down. This is the scheduling call. Okay? They have all the information, and they just want a test drive that’s convenient for them, not for the salesperson. This is why we created BDCs in the first place, by the way. Scheduling calls are what you get in the service department. Of course they usually don’t just say, “Hey, I want to schedule a test drive on that vehicle.” They usually mask this with an availability question. Right?
When someone calls you and they say, “Is that vehicle in stock?” They’re really saying, “I want to buy that vehicle. I’d like to schedule a test drive on it.” They don’t want to tell you that because if they say, “I really like that vehicle and I want to schedule a test drive,” they think you’re going to take advantage of them, so they’ll ask a question like, “Is it available?” That’s a smokescreen question. We already know how to answer that.
Now the fifth type of call that you can get into is the inquiry call. This is where they’re truly asking a question. Okay? This is an answering call, an answer call, whatever you want to call it. It’s because they cannot tell by your description online or by your photos, for example, does it have third row seats or is it an automatic. Okay? They are ready to buy, and all we need to do is answer the question and ask for the appointment in the same breath. There’s no rocket science here.
Old school, they taught us this. Right? When someone says, “Does that vehicle come with third row seats?” We were taught to say, say it with me, “Are third row seats important to you?” Listen, with today’s connected customer, that does not resonate. Okay? You are now being inauthentic. They’re looking for authenticity. No one calls and says, “Does it have third row seats” because they want to avoid third row seats. They just want to know or they’re looking for third row seats. Right?
“Does that vehicle come with third row seats?”
“Absolutely that vehicle is equipped with third row seats. Now at the price we have that vehicle listed at, it’s not going to make it through to the weekend. Now I do have two test drives open on that vehicle this afternoon. I’ve got a 12:15 and a 12:45. Which one works better for you?” Are you noticing a trend here? Are you noticing that I go for the appointment every time I answer a question? That is the way that you need to be talking to today’s connected customer. That is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about having these conversations, being direct, taking charge, and guiding them through the process.