3 Ways Car Dealerships LOSE Sales
Posted On Nov 17, 2014 in Blog by
While every car dealership has the same goal (to sell cars), not every dealership knows how to turn prospects into buyers.

The result is a massive variance in marketing spend, customer satisfaction, and sales performance among dealerships spanning the country.

Some dealerships do REALLY well, and grow revenue each month.

Others break even, or even lose money, on every car that they sell.

Here are 3 Ways Car Dealerships LOSE Sales

#1 - Communication Issues car dealership form

I challenge you, right now, to complete a contact form on any dealership's website. Unless you get lucky, you will receive some form of automated response that adds absolutely no value to the process. If anything, it will annoy prospective buyers and reflect negatively on the dealership.

Instead, the dealership should do one of three things:

1. CALL the prospective buyer within 10 minutes. The longer you wait to contact the prospect, the more likely it is that your dealership will lose the sale. You would have to be crazy not to immediately assist a potential buyer who has taken the time and effort to contact you. Poor lead management is another name for "burning cash".

2. Carefully READ each customer-submitted form (and all comments) to obtain information related to the sales process. Critically-important information includes vehicle preferences, model years, options, price ranges, etc. Then, carefully craft a customized email response with relevent information that adds value. For example:

"Hi Tom, great news! We have (11) Ford F-150s in stock that appear to fit your needs. I will call you momentarily to learn more about your preferences, and help you get started. From there, we can setup a test drive at your convenience to find you the right vehicle. To make things easy, we are a no-pressure dealership and I've included all of my direct contact information below. I look forward to speaking with you and I'll do everything possible to help you."

3. BE HONEST and articulate information and offers clearly with every prospect. If a customer is interested in a vehicle that is not currently available on your lot, do not bait-and-switch or offer alternatives just to get them in the door. Do not waste your time, or frustrate the prospect, through low information communications. Ultimately, these tactics will tarnish your dealership's reputation and spread locally through word of mouth.

#2 - Sales Reps from Hell dealership sales rep

As I mentioned in a previous article titled, "Car Dealerships and Sales Reps From Hell," nothing is worse than an overbearing or high-pressure sales rep. The old saying is true. "People ONLY buy cars when they like the people they are buying from."

Train your sales reps to act and communicate in a professional manner at all times. Never allow your sales reps to run across your lot, like a lunatic, towards potential buyers. The same goes for sales reps who chase down visitors in golf carts (yes, this happens).

Instead, hire sales reps who are consultative and understand the psychology of the sales process. It is information and relationship-building that trumps high-pressure sales tactics.

3. Too Much Digital, Not Enough Physicaldealership direct mail

Many dealerships now rely soley on digital marketing efforts. While the web is an excellent platform for lead generation, it has serious drawbacks. For one, the web requires prospective buyers to search and find you.

In other words, you have to wait (and hope) that prospects search for vehicles locally, and then choose to click on your website listed amongst dozens of competitors. It's often a race to the bottom.

To solve for this, it is recommended that you proactively find local buyers using direct mail communications. To this day, no other form of marketing puts your offer directly into a prospect's hands, without ads from your competitors. Even better, new services like Every Door Direct Mail® from the USPS® make direct mail a 10-minute process. It also makes direct mail advertising more affordable than ever before.

Don't get me wrong -- digital marketing is very important, and again, a great lead generation source. But, you can't actually sell a car online, and furhter, you can't avoid the influence of competitors on both your paid and organic search marketing efforts.

Avoid these three common deal-killers, and use a healthy marketing mix, to increase lead generation, enhance your sales conversion rates, and provide prospective customers with a dynamic and positive experience.

Your dealership will benefit in both the short and long-term, and the improvements will spread locally through word of mouth (and via your dealership's online reviews).

Now, go sell more cars.