In today’s market selling vehicles online is very competitive. Your inventory should be available online the day you receive the car. Below are some tips to help you sell more cars online.
Get Your Inventory Online ASAP
It's simple; the quicker you get the latest additions to your inventory online, the faster you will sell it. Today’s shoppers are spending much of their time researching their next vehicle online. This means a potential buyer may not see one of your latest vehicles if you haven’t taken the time to take the right pictures and post it online.
The day your car dealership receives the vehicle is when you should really take pictures and add it to your website along with any other systems you are utilizing to market your cars. Sometimes the cars aren’t in picture worthy condition. It’s should be your decision to spend the extra time and money to give the vehicle a quick cleaning. This is not a waste of money. Sometimes though, it's out of your hands and the time to market can be delayed by days or even weeks due to mechanical and body repairs. Don't fret, just work on getting it front line ready and marketed as soon as you can.
When you hire a photographer, make sure you get a good 30-40 pictures per vehicle. The more you can show your customers up front, the easier it will be to convert them while also saving you time and money on the lot when they do decide to come in. Let your pictures tell the story of your car. Take clean, uniform pictures of your cars so your internet customers will have a clear view of their new car. Also be sure you take pictures that represent every part of the vehicle – inside and out. Click here for our article on how to take good pictures of your inventory.
Be Aware of Your Competition
One way to gain information from your competition is to mystery shop on their website. You can use your personal email or create a temporary email on Gmail or Yahoo easily enough. Usually, you will receive an auto response from any email inquiry you submit. Pay close attention to the format of the auto responder and any replies so that you can use it for ideas and improvements for your own system. As a customer, you may also receive a phone call from the dealership. Make sure to note down when you receive that phone call and its timeliness related to your inquiry. Below are a few points to keep an eye out for.
Does the dealership you reached out to try and follow up after a week or so? The internet department should be following up with clients and updating the CRM on the progress and attempts regularly.
Are you able to send a text message to the sales rep? We have seen a much better response in conversions/sales when using text messages in conjunction with emails and phone calls.
What type of information is the dealership requesting of you? The less you ask the better obviously. No one likes answering a million questions no matter how useful it may be to you. Try and keep it to the minimum required for you to do your job. The conversation you have with the customer will trigger different sets of questions depending on if they're wanting to trade-in their vehicle or purchase a new one.
One thing you need to try and track is if your internet department attempted to negotiate with the customer before they arrived at the dealership? If the customer is only using the price of the vehicle they found on the internet then the negotiating process should be business as usual. If the internet department initiated the negotiation process then it will be useful to know before starting negotiations at the internet listed price. Using a CRM may help your internet department and sales staff keep their sales tactics consistent and convert more sales. Communication is the key!
Use Social Media
Social media definitely has an effect on a customer's decision-making process to buy a car and has been steadily increasing over the years. Facebook, for instance, allows you to advertise your dealership and reach user demographics along with geographic selections also. Twitter is also following suit with advertising. You can use Twitter to promote your dealership to get website clicks, conversions, followers and engage as you never could before. Keeping up with social media is time-consuming and costly. It’s difficult to keep up with all of them. Whichever one you choose, keep current and develop new ways to get customers interested. Here is an article with more on social media from V12 Data if you want to further your social media knowledge.