In today’s marketplace, the whole emphasis seems to be on ‘Web, Web, Web!’
We do indeed live in a changing world. The whole retail landscape has changed. Prospects arrive in our business better informed. The internet provides all the information you need to buy a car. SEO is important. Your website needs to be dynamic and up to date.
All of these statements will have a familiarity for many readers. In today’s marketplace, the whole emphasis seems to be on ‘Web, Web, Web!’
All well and good, and when you consider that about only 2% of your website visitors will find their way to your showroom it is a strong incentive to improve the performance of your website. However, my views of corporate websites, and what they don’t seem to be learning from top internet marketeers, is for another occasion.
The Showroom experience is being neglected
I want to focus on the bottom of the Sales Funnel, the point where prospects arrive in our showroom.
This area is one that has been neglected over recent years. Manufacturers have provided product knowledge training and finance training but the subtle art of how to make the sale is missing.
Not only that, but where sales training does exist it seems to be a variation of the tried and trusted ‘Sales Process’. Trained from a business point of view in terms of how to ‘force’ a showroom visitor through ‘your’ process.
We seem to have lost the sense of theatre and character from our sales teams, we no longer focus on the needs and desires of our prospects. It is all about ‘doing the process’.
Well if all the current research shows anything it is this… ‘Customers do not just arrive at your business better prepared for the purchase decision, they also arrive more confident of what they want from you as a business and are looking for validation that you are the right people to do business with.’
Recent projects I have had the privilege of working on where we have focussed on the showroom experience have produced some outstanding results. I believe this is because we have put the emphasis on designing a ‘buying experience’ rather than a ‘sales process’ and believe me there is a difference. Both in terms of content and mindset.
A Leisure Purchase?
Remember the expectations of your showroom visitors are created by other retail experiences; the Automotive Industry does not operate in a bubble. Your customers are customers of the whole high street, so is it time to re-think your showroom experience.
Do you approach the buying experience as a ‘Leisure Purchase’ or a ‘Business Purchase’?
Is the time people spend in your showroom ‘fun and exciting’ or is it ‘dull and business like’?
Are your sales teams focused on building relationships and trust? Do they take the time to validate showroom visitors’ decisions and help and guide them to make informed choices?
Do they get stuck early in the relationship talking about monthly payments and part exchange values?
So here is a challenge for you, watch and listen to what happens in your showroom. Is it vibrant, do your showroom visitors look and sound like they are having fun?
Read your verbatim comments on your customer feedback, do they mention relationships and the ease of purchase?
Buying a car is a leisure purchase not a business purchase. Focus on the buying experience not the sales process and watch your volume and profit rise significantly.