Would you rather be grilling dogs and enjoying the sunshine? Sure. Maybe sipping a cold beverage pool side instead of wearing out your dress shoes and wrangling test drives? Absolutely!
But look at the bright side: The stars and stripes are fluttering on cars up and down the lot, streamers are streaming, and the floaty Uncle Sam balloon guy is (also) working overtime. It’s time to get down to business and sell some cars. In fact, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), a holiday weekend can lift car sales up to 25 percent — when compared to a typical mid-month weekend. Many people simply have more time to shop, to check out cars, do their research online, and go for a test drive. And as such it pays to lock down your showroom workflow, make customers happy, and sell a few more cars. With that in mind, we’ve gathered three simple tips to help with Memorial Day Weekend sales events:
#1: Pick up Where the Shopper Left Off
A typical shopper has already done their research online, and has started the purchase process by filling out a credit application and trade-in evaluation tool. Many will have also penciled a deal by using a digital retailing solution. Point is, today’s car shoppers become buyers online – then continue the relationship in the store, where they finalize the deal. So be sure to get your pre-work done, and pick up where they left off online. It makes the sale faster, friendlier and more productive. This small step makes a significant difference to the customer’s experience: In a recent Cox Automotive Study, 65 percent of buyers were fed up by the amount of time it took to do paperwork and negotiate at the dealership.*
#2: Don’t Forget Your Compliance Steps
Who needs F&I compliance when you’ve got a busy dealership on a holiday weekend? What may be a tempting way to cut corners (especially if your state allows for spot deliveries) is also a great way to introduce your team to the perils of identity theft, not to mention other non-compliance monsters. So take the extra few minutes and run your Red Flags, handle those Privacy Notices and check the box on your aftermarket disclosures. Remember as well that the key to good compliance is to make it an integrated part of your unique workflow, so that adopting best practice rules doesn’t frustrate your sales team or annoy your customer.
Tip #3: Optimize Aftermarket Menu Selling
Hopefully you’ve moved on from the days of plastic-covered brochures, and have embraced technology-driven presentations that create a personalized and interactive experience. If so, make sure you’re leveraging survey, reporting and data analysis to present the right products to the right customer. The bottom line is that the first step to increasing GAP insurance penetration or appearance package sales is to make the customer feel comfortable and empowered to say yes to the right products for the vehicle they just purchased. In fact, a recent Dealertrack case study showed just how effective this can be: Straub Automotive increased GAP insurance penetration up to 60 percent.
When it comes to holiday sales weekends, the key is to be consistent and have a process that easily transitions the work shoppers have done online into the showroom experience. Remember, they would also rather be grilling hot dogs and enjoying a day at the pool. But they’re at your dealership, buying a car — so make the experience easy, fast and friendly.
*2017 Cox Automotive Car Buyer’s Journey