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How a virtual sales manager can improve dealership operations – John Connelly, Acura Columbus

As remote work and virtual meetings become the norm, dealers must be able and willing to meet the expectations set by consumers. John Connelly, President and Owner of Acura Columbus (Ohio), is meeting those expectations with a virtual sales manager. Connelly joins the show to talk about the virtual experience and how digital retailing has helped his business operations through the pandemic.

Connelly opens the conversation to talk about the implementation of the virtual sales manager. Connelly said they knew from day one that the experience was a “home run”. The idea started with a longtime sales manager with the dealership deciding to take on a remote role with the company. The manager began offering a virtual sales experience from his house.

Connelly says this experience allowed the dealership to make itself available to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t matter what time of day the customer is looking at buying a car, they can always get in touch with the dealership’s virtual sales manager. 

Access to a virtual sales manager allows customers to conduct 100% of the transaction online. Connelly says the dealership now caters to every need of the customer without them ever setting foot in the dealership. Test drives and deliveries can take place from the comfort of the customer’s home and all negotiations and paperwork can be handled by the virtual sales manager. 

Connelly says that sales associates have really enjoyed the new experience. The virtual sales manager has helped the sales team stay on top of leads that might come in at odd hours. The manager is able to distribute leads among his team quickly and efficiently. 

I’m always looking to make things easier and to make car buying fun,” said Connelly. “This really incorporated both of those things.”


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