They say 1.5 dealerships vetting processes start on the phone. The industry has seen an influx in volume regarding in-market buyers. On today’s CBT Now, we’re joined by Jennifer Suzuki, President of eDealer Solutions, acclaimed sales trainer, and NADA Dealer Academy guest instructor, to discuss today’s buying behavior.
“I want these processes to be relevant and attractive to today’s buyer.”
Suzuki says several dealers have admitted that they had developed routines over the past few years. Habits include putting customers on a list, ordering vehicles, and ordering parts. That was much easier than today. Today dealers have cars, which means they have to move them, and now it’s more important than ever to implement processes. Suzuki also expresses, “Vets too need to be reminded of some of the main techniques we know that work from the past. Back when competition was prevalent.” She adds, “Right now is crucial to get your processes on track and ensure they’re relevant to today’s buyers.”
According to Suzuki, chances are people do the research prior to ever calling or coming to the dealership. With modern buying behavior, they know the inventory shortage for different brands and the competition around luxury brands obtaining more inventory. Today’s buyers know that if someone has a vehicle similar to the one they want, they are working the deals rather than negotiating. However, Suzuki claims, “Before the buyer would call or come in and ask questions around how much above MSRP the vehicle is, now there is none of that.” There are now questions regarding how much the below is MSRP or what are the dealership’s current discounts.
“I don’t think people understand how much the industry is changing,” asserts Suzuki. She encourages dealers to change their sales processes because they don’t want to tell buyers NO. Again, telling customers they don’t have a car and never speaking to them again is a thing of the past. Therefore, dealers’ sales teams must ask questions based on the individual’s needs or redesign their questions to buyers to achieve more appointments. You dont want to stay from the beginning, especially since they are doing the research. Suzuki says, “Find out what leads them into the dealer, give each customer a reason to continue working with you, and nurture your database.” Your database will serve as a way to understand your customers’ history, acknowledge it, and learn to appreciate them more. She adds, “Retention is everything.”
For example, Suzuki always asks, “Are you using ChatGPT?” She claims that’s an important question for two reasons:
- You need it as part of your sales process. This way, you can build more relatable connections with your customers by showing that you are invested in their process.
- Build value-based messages. A part of the buying behavior is the chase. Therefore, it’s imperative that you eliminate the need to sell all the time. Instead, utilize ChatGPT to help generate more meaningful and value-based responses to enhance your connections.