Isn’t it amazing just how much choice we have available to us now?  On one hand it’s great – but lately, The car dealership, in fact most car dealerships struggles to manage the speed of this change.  

I’m talking about ‘time-served’ car dealers who know how to retail.  Now many a car dealership struggle to ‘keep the pace’ with digitally-demanding car buyers of today – but it made me worry.  I don’t want to see these guys miss out on valuable business. Our industry (and the economy) really doesn’t want to lose their really valuable experience. Trust me when I say that many of them would be a great loss to the automotive retail ecosystem.  

Our Masterclasses proved a big hit last year, and car dealers tell us they add great supportive value – but I’ve been really thinking about how we can help these guys to navigate the digital change (and others feeling the same) – but more about those plans later.

Quick wins to win more business quick.

Follow these 3 things to get ahead as a car dealership in South Africa, make more of what you’ve got and convince your potential customers that you’re the right choice.

Be Clear

The clearer you can be about your offering, the more customers you’ll convert.  These days, customers are oly one click away from the information they need – don’t give them a reason to leave your website.  No doubt. Clear as your grandmother’s finest crystal.

If you haven’t already read it, find out how to navigate customer fear and emotion in the car buying journey and remove any barriers your potential customers might find on your website.   

Be Precise

Car buyers fascinate me – just as well I lead AutoTrader – South Africa’s number 1 website for used cars for sale!   I’m fortunate that I have two things on tap:

  • Access to speak with real, in market consumers buying cars.
  • Visibility of all the (millions of) words they send through to you guys on email enquiry at your dealership every single day!  

One thing I can tell you without even hesitating, is that they don’t like not knowing the price.  Maybe the monthly price is “around RX per month”, or “Your part exchange is between RX and Rx”… familiar? OK, well, unfortunately there’s a huge likelihood that their going to ask other people to give them a precise price- and that means that you’re exposing them to your competition.

I’m not saying lay all your cards on the table

Let me be clear, it’s not always a great idea as a car dealership to give full and precise price over the phone / online – that’s not always good for customers anyway, as it can set the wrong expectation; say for example if your trade-in price is more than fair, but the customer has ‘underestimated’ the scale of ‘that small dent’.  

I’m saying help the customer to feel like a winner – car buying is risky!

But what I really liked from one dealer I met recently, was his advice that a really good way to win is to demonstrate ‘precise’ with some things.

For example: being highly precise about service history dates, or how many owners, or even the time of your pending appointment  The, once the customer has come to trust that precise nature, help them to see the reasons it’s hard to be precise in other areas, such as; not setting the wrong expectations for pricing a car without test driving it, or checking the condition.