In our digital-first world, you can’t rely on the old sales strategies that have been around for a century or more. You need some creative ways to sell more cars.
If you’re relying on in-person sales to keep your auto dealership afloat, you may already be losing ground to the competition. Take a quick guess as to how many people are making deals entirely online these days. We’ll share the answer shortly. In the meantime, however, if you want to keep your business doors open, you need new and creative ways to sell more cars.
Auto dealership competition has always been tough. And the overall economy can have a serious impact on your sales. Auto sales can also be very lucrative and rewarding. It feels good to help someone build credit, buy their first car, or get just what they need for a growing family.
Right now, at this very moment in time, you have a chance to put yourself way ahead of the pack. You can help more customers and help yourself at the same time. The key is a shift in your mindset. The way you sell vehicles needs to change dramatically. It begins by merging into the same lanes your customers are already in.
5 creative ways to sell more cars right away
Back to the quiz. Do you have a guess as to how many car buyers are making deals online? To be clear, we aren’t talking about customers who start their shopping on your website then come in to look around, take a test drive, and go through the paperwork. There is a new model of car shopper that is doing everything digitally, from browsing your lot to signing loan papers. They may never set foot on dealership property.
According to ABC News, “nearly 30% of U.S. new car sales” in 2020 were entirely online experiences. Some auto companies, such as Tesla and Volvo, either already offer or are moving toward a direct-to-consumer business model.
It’s unlikely that you’re competing with Tesla for customers, but you do have online auto sellers nipping at your heels. Plus, with the popularity of the digital sales model, it’s fair to say that your customers might appreciate a more tech-friendly environment. That’s not to say you should close your doors. There are and probably always will be people who want to get a feel for a car before they buy it. Even so, the more you can give people the option, the better off you’ll be.
So let’s step out of the past and think about creative ways to sell more cars to a digital audience, whether or not they set foot on the lot.
- Update your website. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and doesn’t showcase your available autos, you need to do this right away.
- Make the process easy. One online used car retailer has an inspection report and a link directly to each vehicle’s CARFAX history making the shopping process simple and transparent. The prices are not negotiable, and everything is clearly listed, including the tax and title fee and the delivery fee. Is this something you could offer?
- Make financing easy. Your customers will be looking for easy financing options, and they will want to go through the process right there on your website. They don’t want to have to come to the dealership to find out what they do or do not qualify for. In addition to offering financing approvals on your site, keep the process as streamlined as possible. Ask only for the minimum information you need to craft an offer.
- Make test-drive videos. Grab another salesperson and take the cars for short test drives that you can record. You don’t need anything fancy; your smartphone is fine for this. Just talk like you would on a normal test drive, pointing out the auto’s features, the handling, the smooth shifting, the great pick up, or anything else that might be important.
- Offer a guarantee. One of the biggest barriers to buying a vehicle online is that there’s always a chance the customer will get in the car and won’t like it. The seat won’t fit them the right way or they don’t like the stereo. Maybe they just decided that it’s too big or too small for them. In any case, one of the creative ways to sell more cars and to help buyers over this speed bump is to sell every car with a love it or leave it guarantee. That could be as simple as a three-day, no questions, money-back promise or you could extend that to a full week or so. This one step could go a long way in helping move more cars off your lot and into the driveways of happy customers.
Of course, some of these will take a little bit of tech work that you may need to hire someone for. But making test-drive videos and giving customers a guarantee is a simple as deciding to make it happen.
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