If you see enough commercials, it might seem like the only generation with money and spending potential are Millennials.
While Millennials offer tremendous potential for the future, there is an entire market available now that has traits all dealerships seek in a customer:
- They have expendable income.
- They are actively seeking a new automobile.
- They are finally buying the vehicle they always wanted.
They are the Baby Boomers.
Research from NADA shows that the average age of a new car buyer is 51.7 and Baby Boomers account for 62 percent of all new car sales. That number is backed up by other reports such as a recent release from Edmunds.com. According to that report, the 55-to-64-year-old bracket and 65-to-74-year-old bracket made up a staggering 39 percent of sales from January 2018 through August 2018.
So, with promising numbers, what are strategies to capitalize on this data?
Baby Boomers still crave an in-person, personalized sales experience, especially when it comes to big item purchases.
Sam Aparicio is co-founder and CEO at Ring.io and a Blockchain and Ethereum Consultant. He said, unlike some generations which may not want a personalized exchange, Boomers actually appreciate it and say it adds to the buying experience.
Here are tips from Aparicio on how to connect:
- If you have a chance to have an in-person interaction, don’t miss it.
- Don’t feel that calling that potential customer is disruptive for them. They appreciate it.
- Personalize your message on what you know about the prospect.
- With Baby Boomers, remember that relationship trumps everything.
Glenn Pasch is CEO and Partner with PCG Companies. He agrees and emphasizes that salespeople need to “slow down” on their sales pitches and not to “over talk” when selling to Baby Boomers.
“The biggest one is treating them with respect,” he said. “They want something nice and they can afford it. They want to drive around and look nice, after years of sacrificing.”
Pasch also said it is critical to remember that Boomers aren’t afraid to drive 45 minutes to go to another dealership to get the relationship they want if they are unhappy with the way they are treated.
But, what role does technology play in Boomers’ decisions?
Pasch said while Boomers are not ignorant of technology, they may not want to use it as a primary form of communication.
“[Boomers] understand technology, but we didn’t develop it,” he said. “When it comes to communication make sure to use the channel they want to use whether that be text, email or a phone call.”
Again, the bulk of developing a good relationship for a sale goes back to personalization and knowing what your customer wants.
“[Baby Boomers] want personalized attention. What has changed is how do you deliver personalized attention. That is where technology has made a big impact. It allows sales professionals to reach that personalized attention through multiple channels,” he said.
But the dividends don’t pay off just with the sale.
Financing and service can also benefit. According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2016, the average 65-year-old had 29 percent more automotive debt than a 65-year-old from 2003. That can be good news for your F&I department.
Your service department can benefit as well. Pasch said if you make sure to make regular phone calls to Boomers on service check-ups or offer premium services with a purchase, there is a strong chance they will continue to use your dealership as a point for all their service needs.
“Boomers are loyal if you take care of them,” he said.