Move cars off the lot faster than you can drive them
Here’s how car ownership statistics can help you up your sales game ( and where you can find them)
Wouldn’t it be helpful to magically know what individual customers want or need? Instead of fumbling around in the dark for clues, you could already know what you need to make a sale.
Unless you have mind-reading powers, that type of sales expertise obviously isn’t possible. Many salespeople forget, however, about the power of leveraging car ownership statistics to improve their sales. Car ownership statistics give you insight into the demographics of the individuals buying specific makes and models — insights based on fact, not your handy guesswork.
While you’re busy in the showroom trying to sell the newest model, there are other people out there who get paid to manage data, find patterns, and produce statistics. They’re the people who help us figure out why we’re doing what we’re doing, what’s working, and what isn’t working. The car ownership statistics they release to the public can be incredibly helpful when it comes to upping your sales game.
Where can you find these stats? It can take a bit of digging on your part, but the payoff is often worth it. Try:
- Car websites that provide research, like Autotrader.
- A good old-fashioned Google search. Various organizations release reports on an annual basis, so you’ll have a better chance of finding them if you’re doing a Google search.
- The manufacturer. Vehicle manufacturers sink a ton of money into research, and while they may not be automatically feeding you car ownership statistics, it’s certainly worthwhile to ask.
- Your auto dealership’s CRM. The car ownership data you find outside your dealership will likely be averages for the entire country. Your territory, however, is unique. Luckily, if your team has been making good use of the in-house automotive CRM, there’s a treasure trove of data in there. You can export spreadsheets of customer data, including the cars they purchased and traded in, and look for patterns that may help you sell in the future.
How can car ownership statistics help you sell? Here are 5 reasons
You did your research, and you’ve got a stack of statistics to look through. Now what? There’s more to the data than just numbers — they’re that magic crystal ball you’re looking for. Use it right, and these stats can:
1. Help you identify emerging trends.
You know the most popular makes and models right now, but do you know what’s going to be hot next year? Or even in two years? Car ownership statistics don’t just identify what people are buying right now; they can also show you the underdogs that are selling more and more models every single month. If you can identify these future stars ahead of time, it gives you time to prepare. It’ll also impress your customers if you can explain to them that you’ve poured over the numbers and you’ve observed real growing interest.
2. Keep your vehicle inventory on-point.
No dealership wants to see a vehicle sitting on the lot beyond 30 days, so your inventory skills need to be exceptional if you want to make a consistent profit. Car ownership statistics, especially the ones from your CRM, can give you insight into the types of vehicles you’re selling, who’s buying them, and the time of the year they tend to do the best.
3. Target your advertisements.
It’s okay if you still love doing TV commercials to advertise your dealership, but you can also use ownership stats to create more targeted advertising, especially in the digital realm. If you know the demographics most likely to buy a specific vehicle you’re trying to sell, you can gear the ad toward that group’s preferences and target them directly. This ensures you’re using your advertising dollars effectively and only paying to spread your message to consumers who might care.
4. Position you as an expert with indecisive customers.
Some customers walk on to your lot and know exactly what they want – there’s simply no changing their minds. However, there are other groups of customers that either have no clue what kind of car they want, or they like so many that they don’t know how to choose. Using your knowledge of car ownership statistics, you can point them in the direction of vehicles you feel they might be more prone to buy.
For example, if an overwhelmed mom walks into your dealership with her two small children and she only knows she has to get a bigger car because there’s another kid on the way, this is a perfect time to use your stats. You could say “I was just reading up on the latest car ownership statistics today, and this 2017 Honda Odyssey has been the biggest seller in the country for buyers with families.” Then, list two or three cool features of that vehicle and ask her if she’d like to take a look. Moms have a ton of decisions to make all day long, so if you can help with a suggestion that’s backed up by data, you could have a lifelong customer.
5. Help you write better blog posts.
Statistics can show you a lot about the preferences of certain groups of people. When you’re making your dealership blog’s editorial calendar, think about targeting different demographics at various points in the month. The statistics will help you brainstorm topics people care about, and you can explore questions these individuals are more likely to have.
Car ownership statistics have so much potential to help you become a better salesperson if you actively seek them out and leverage them correctly. If you’ve been stagnant for a while and aren’t sure how to jumpstart your sales again, this is the sign you’ve been looking for — get those statistics and make them work for you.