The Road to the Sale in the Digital Age

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If you've started your training as an automotive salesperson, you've probably heard of the Road to the Sale. This process is often the first thing taught to salespeople and helps build the foundation of a successful career in automotive sales. How is this process changing considering the car-buying process is slowly but surely moving to the online realm? With automotive sales becoming largely digital, here's how some of the steps of the Road to the Sale might look.

The Road to the Sale (in an Online World)

1. Meet and Greet

First impressions matter. According to research shared by the Association for Psychological Science, first impressions can last for months and affect the way people perceive us even when there is evidence about us to the contrary. From physical attributes to nonverbal cues to verbal behavior, first impressions matter.In-person greetings should be warm, professional, and welcoming. Nurturing a relationship with the customer should come long before pushing for a sale.However, if you're using a lead response tool, you already know information such as what the customer is interested in, what they're currently driving, what the trade-in value is, and what kind of monthly payments they're looking for.They're a warm lead. Thus, your meet and greet might get to the point a little quicker. Keep your introduction concise and brief, and help provide the customer with whatever other information they need in that moment — which brings us to our next step in the Road to the (digital) Sale.

2. Interview

In order to provide the best experience possible, you have to know your customers' needs, goals, budget, and more valuable information. Communicating with them via your lead response tool after they've viewed their customized quote provides the opportunity to gather any missing information.This is traditionally done in-person, but as the car-buying process moves online, you'll find yourself asking more of these questions through your internet tools and follow up sales emails. Think of questions like:

  1. What do they need the vehicle for?
  2. How many miles do they typically drive in a year?
  3. What are the pros and cons of their current vehicle?

3. Vehicle Selection

This is an important part of the car-buying process because it's the first real opportunity a customer has to interact with a potential purchase. Showing them the right car on your lot is vital to eventually closing the sale.Following the Road to the Sale online might remove this experience, making it all the more important to provide a highly customized quote for your customer through your online lead response tool. We use the internet because we want our needs met quickly and on our terms. Using the information you collected in the previous step, guide your customer toward the right automobile for them.

4. Walk-Around

The walk-around is perhaps one of the most neglected steps in the Road to the Sale — and so effective when done properly. While much of the car shopping process is done online these days, nothing replaces this in-person experience. The walk-around is meant to educate the customer on the features and benefits of the vehicle. It's their opportunity to see it, touch it, and ultimately hop in and take it for a spin.Create excitement and help the customer understand why it's a wise purchase.

5. Test Drive

While some dealerships allow the customer to take the car out by themselves, going with them provides another opportunity to guide them through the process and further educate them on the car's features and benefits. Like the previous step, the test drive is an opportunity to form a human-t0-human connection with your customer and make the experience feel more real to them.

6. Trade Evaluation

Customers will often want to trade in their current vehicle and put the money toward their new purchase. The trade evaluation helps you establish trust because you're going to work with the customer (and your own manager) to ensure you're giving them the best evaluation possible, based on their vehicle's current condition and market price.

7. Present Numbers and Ask for the Sale

Most of your homework is done. You've gone through the first six steps and, if you've done them correctly, your customer is about ready to make their final decision. Now, it's time to make them an offer they can't refuse.Answering "What's the best price?" online can be a challenge. Make sure the customer is thoroughly educated on what they're getting and also tell them what their options are (and how they affect the price).

8. Close

Before you can close, expect to explain the terms of the deal, and be prepared to negotiate. In this step, remember to focus on negotiating one figure at a time, and don't let yourself — and your customer — lose focus of what matters: helping them leave with the vehicle of their dreams.Keep the conversation moving forward.

9. F&I Turn

This is where the customer will work with you and your team to complete financial information and other necessary paperwork. This part of the process can be overwhelming for the customer, and if you don't reassure them, they can sometimes start to get cold feet and have second thoughts.Assure your customer that while they're completing the paperwork, your team is preparing their car and putting on all the finishing touches so it's ready to go for them.

10. Delivery and Service Drive Introduction

You may think your job is done, but flawlessly executing the vehicle delivery is paramount to customer satisfaction.

  • Is the vehicle clean and operating smoothly?
  • Is the tank full?
  • Have arrangements been made to install any requested after-market equipment?

Details matter. Many dealerships will ever preset the radio with the customer's favorite stations. Don't forget to follow up and continue to nurture the relationship in the future.Choosing the right lead response tool can be the difference between a closed sale and lost leads.

Schedule a demo with Quotible today to see how you can automate and improve your customer quotes!

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