car buying habits

Studies show that car buying habits for the average consumer are drastically influenced by the Internet and availability of information 

The rate at which the average consumer is utilizing technology and available information online to buy cars is almost alarming. Every year, it seems the percentages for time spent shopping online is rising at an angle that cause a neck injury if observed for too long.

But what do these figures mean for your local dealership? Can these ever-changing car buying habits affect your business in the short term? You bet they can.

The rate at which the average consumer uses technology and online information to buy cars is almost alarming. Every year the time spent shopping online is rising at an angle that causes a neck injury if you watch it for too long.

But what do these figures mean for your local dealership? Can these ever-changing car buying habits affect your business in the short term? You bet they can.
car buying habits

4 Car buying habits your sales team needs to know about

1. Modern clients do their research

Car buying habits have changed so much, and one of the most noticeable changes is the difference in dealership traffic patterns. Most people don’t even want to set foot on your lot unless they already know what they want to purchase. They are usually armed with specific makes and models, and sometimes even stock numbers to help the process along. They don’t want to spend their day (or days) searching for their vehicle. They know what they want, and they don’t want to spend their precious time getting it. There are benefits to this: you just have to sell them what they want.

One way to streamline your sales process is to use your CRM program. You can easily manage your inventory and customer correspondence from the office or your phone. You want to know the car buying habits of your customers so you can approach the sale the right way, and stay one step ahead of them. Your client is well prepared, and you need to be too.

2. Modern clients prefer texting

Out of all the car buying habits out there, this one might be tough for the veterans, but texting has a huge part in car sales today. People have grown more comfortable with texting as a primary form of communication. Whether they hate talking on the phone or they’re busy with work, most people will reply to a text message. Today’s buyer loves technology, and as ever-changing as it is, texting is here to stay.

Now is the time to embrace what smartphones can do for your sales team. Use your mobile CRM tool to manage text correspondence and send inventory photos, streamlining your entire process. When you stay organized, you can focus on what is important: selling that car!

3. Modern clients love reviews

Don’t dismiss them. They have an enormous impact on sales. One of the biggest habits of today’s buyer is to scour the web for reviews before they purchase anything. The opinions of existing clients can be the sole reason as to whether or not they set foot in your dealership. Your potential customers have resources everywhere. Companies such as Google and Yelp, as well as all the car buyer sites out there, is where the majority of people are getting this information. A lot of dealers, especially veterans, are intimidated by the impact of the internet on their sales. The harsh truth is that they need to embrace this tool and make it work for them.

Successful dealerships are pros at managing their online presence, and they have the numbers to prove it. They don’t let reviews go unanswered, especially negative feedback. It’s imperative to make sure you handle negative comments in a way that shows potential clients that you are not a nightmare to work with. Manage your web presence the right way, and it can have an enormous impact on your success.

4. Modern clients love social media

You may be wondering what social media has to do with car buying habits. For one, social media could be the very thing leading your customers to your dealership. From Instagram to Twitter to Facebook, a lot of dealers have found success in engaging customers online.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should spam them with a daily sales promotion. The best way is to engage customers by starting fun discussions, sharing useful information, or by posting photos of happy customers. Most people will scroll by a traditional ad but might stop to check out an interesting post or great photograph. If they like your content, they will follow your page and maybe even share your post, growing your audience without spending more to boost your posts.
car buying habits

Embrace technology’s role in your customer’s car buying habits

At your next sales meeting, make sure everyone in your sales team is on the same page. They should all be using their CRM tools throughout their sales and follow-ups to stay organized. Encourage them to have fun with customer and dealership photos. Team members can submit post ideas to the person who handles your accounts so they can filter what makes it online. Most importantly, keep an active online presence. Modern car buyers are a lot more likely to notice you.

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