To say the least, these times are challenging for professionals in the automotive industry. In several states like New Jersey and Michigan, physical showrooms are closed due to a shelter-in-place order. However, that doesn’t mean someone in car sales isn’t able to conduct business and even sell cars and deliver them.
Let’s be honest – people still want and need new cars. The order doesn’t permit customers to visit the dealership or staff to work from the office. But sales staff can still work from home. It’s highly unusual for car sales, but it’s a typical way of life for many other industries. Strategies for sales are different and there will be obstacles to overcome. The ambitious and driven salesperson can continue to earn an income during the coronavirus pandemic.
It will take a change in habits and strategies that may not be comfortable. These five tips can aid a salesperson in keeping productive while working from home.
Adapt Work Hours to the New Normal
Since a huge portion of the population is now working from home temporarily, routines are altered. What might’ve been a typical 7am start for a businessman might now mean they’re rolling out of bed at 8am and ready for their day by 10am.
Contact customers when they’re most active and available. Expect that the average person will need to take care of children for the first few hours and get them settled for home schooling. Adjust your work hours to this new normal. If you’re putting in an eight-hour day, that may mean working from noon to 8pm or later.
Certainly, expect that you’ll need to be flexible.
Few customers will be coming to you, especially with a shelter-in-place order. The ones that must be considered hot leads and you’ll be expected to convert them to sales. But the bulk of your time should be spent keeping in contact with previous customers, demonstrating you continue to care for their wellbeing, and unabashedly asking for referrals.
If you find yourself idle, get on the phone.
For as long as you’ve been selling cars, you’ve been expected to clean yourself up and be presentable. It’s as much for you as it is for customers. It’s psychological, according to Reader’s Digest. Men should maintain facial hair to be professional and both men and women should ‘dress for success’.
Put on the power tie. It will boost your performance, believe it or not.
Get Comfortable on Video
When you get a lead, you’re on with a previous client, or you’re able to ‘show’ a car, do it by video whenever possible. A customer that sees your face develops a deeper trust for you, a point that’s essential when selling from home.
Today’s smartphones have decent-quality cameras built right in. That makes you mobile with video too. Practice video conversations with friends and family ahead of time to learn how to be comfortable on camera and position the lens for the most flattering angles.
Make Deals Happen
There will be fewer cars sold while America is on high alert for coronavirus, no doubt. For many salespeople, they’ll sit tight and wait until it’s back to business as usual. But in the meantime, the customers who do want to buy cars need someone to make it happen. Make that be you.
Be available. Spread the message on social media. Talk to friends and family. Hustle.
There’s no illusion that it’s going to be easy. It won’t be all the time. Even if your sales suffer in the interim, you’ll have a full book of prospects when the dealership re-opens for business. Make the time count today.
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