Article

Court Your Consumers: A Lesson on Love

June 2008, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Jason Ezell - Also by this author

Have you lost that lovin’ feeling? Relationships are hard work, especially between car dealers and car buyers. This relationship also includes prospect and client interactions with your Web site. Here are a few tips to help you rekindle the romance and establish a lasting relationship with your customers.

Don’t Talk Too Much
Your customers are interested in your dealership only because of their own needs. The only reason they want information about you is to make sure you will treat them right. Your goal should be to make them feel comfortable and cared for. Avoid excessive information about your dealership in conversation and on your Web site. If you talk yourself up too much, you may seem insincere. There’s a time for reassurance, but never a time for bragging.

Be a Good Web Listener
Your Web site collects data. What does that data tell you? You have information about what kind of car they’re interested in, how much they’re willing to pay, their phone number and probably even their favorite color. The possibilities are endless. This data will help you effectively follow-up. Once you followed up on their lead, you should come away knowing more about that consumer. Do they have a family? How do they feel about road trips? What will they be using their next vehicle for?

Get in Good with the Family
Talk to your customer’s spouse. Learn about the family you’re selling to. Families with children want cars with excellent safety ratings and plenty of room, while parents buying a car for their teenager will have very specific concerns. If you know the family you’re selling to, you’ll know what attributes are valuable to them. Your customers will notice when you’re conscious of their family’s wants and needs. 

Make Them Feel Special
Remember all that information you’ve gathered? Keep in mind the kinds of cars that are going to fit into the consumer’s lifestyle, expectations and dreams. They will feel special if they don’t have to repeat themselves. Get it right the first time and they’ll be back time and time again. Let them know you’re in it for the long run, not just a one-buy stand.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Respect is the magic word in relationships. If you respect your customer’s wishes and boundaries, you will find yourself deep within their good graces. Don’t view your customer as an object, but as a person with ideas, desires, budgets, etc. You want your customers to introduce you to their friends. If you respectfully help them find their perfect car, they will be proud to refer their friends to you.

Don’t Rush
When a customer submits a lead online or visits your dealership, they do not want to be immediately pushed into the final step of a sale. According to Dennis Galbraith, senior director of online marketing solutions at J.D. Power and Associates, customers who submit leads online are most likely to be “dealerphobes”. This means you need to be sensitive; build trust by taking it slow.

Pushing sales will not win the heart of the consumer. If you want your customers to love you, you must woo them. Your ultimate goal is to sell more cars, but don’t forget the steps in between. Build trust by listening, learning and leading your customers (gently) to their new car. 

Vol 5, Issue 4

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