Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
If contactless auto sales are in your future, these essential tools will help you get there.
A few years ago, people would have laughed at the idea of contactless auto sales. There are test drives to be driven, sales prices to be negotiated, customers to build relationships with, and vehicles for showing off. The test drive alone makes the idea almost impossible.
As you know, that’s not how it is today. Contactless auto sales are a real thing. Customers can “test drive” a number of cars thanks to car-sharing services like Zipcar and Turo. One major auto retailer offers a seven-day money-back guarantee. And all those negotiations and financing discussions are easy to manage with text, email, or video conferencing tools.
There will always be buyers who want to come into the dealership in person. There is also a growing contingent of buyers who are happy to go through the entire process without leaving their homes. Here’s how you can keep up.
8 Essential contactless auto sales tools you need right away
1. A robust, mobile-friendly website. This isn’t anything you haven’t heard, but if you want to succeed with contactless auto sales, you have to invest in your website. And every car on your lot needs a full set of pictures so your audience can see exactly what each vehicle has to offer.
2. A powerful CRM. An automotive CRM is helpful for in-person and virtual auto sales. You can set up automatic emails, keep track of your to-do list, text customers, create a database for leads, set up your workflow, and manage leads and sales. And it just so happens that we have a recommendation for this.
3. Skype, Facetime, Zoom, or some other live video chat. These tools can connect you with the customer to show them the car in real time without the need for them to come to the dealership.
4. Edmunds.com. Regardless of your thoughts about Edmunds, you can bet that your customers are looking at the site to determine what they can expect to pay for a particular vehicle. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to price a vehicle with that information, but it’s a good idea, especially in contactless auto sales, to understand what your customer is thinking.
5. vAuto. vAuto offers inventory management tools and “real-time supply and demand data.” This contactless auto sales tool aims to help you price and appraise vehicles more accurately and locate nearby inventory.
6. 700Credit. 700Credit gives dealers the ability to pull credit scores, verify identification, offer pre-qualifications, and let customers apply for credit right on your website.
7. CARFAX. You’re likely familiar with CARFAX and its vehicle history reports. Did you also know you can integrate CARFAX right into your website, so customers can click the link and view a vehicle’s history right from your site.
8. DocuSign. Complete your deals with an electronic signature and agreement, thanks to DocuSign. And in case you’re wondering if an electronic signature is legally valid, here’s what DocuSign has on their website: “DocuSign eSignature complies with the U.S. ESIGN Act and UETA, as well as the EU eIDAS Regulation. We automatically generate and store a robust audit trail for every agreement.”
While these tools can all help you improve your digital sales, there are still a few details to attend to if you plan to create a genuinely contactless auto sales system. You will need some form of guarantee that assures customers that they can return the vehicle within a specified time frame if they are unhappy with the vehicle. It’s a giant leap to make such a huge purchase, and a satisfaction guarantee can help minimize the hesitation.
Lastly, you’ll need to deliver the vehicle. Whether you drive it to the buyer or have it delivered on a truck, one of the benefits of contactless auto sales for the buyer is the convenience of never needing to go to the dealership.
Remember, too, that you don’t have to jump into digital sales all at once. You could test out the option to see how it works. And you will invariably hit a few potholes; that’s just part of the learning curve. Keep trying and find what works for you.
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