Online shopping and the growth of the accessibility of information have fundamentally transformed the way consumers want to buy goods. With all these changes, many auto dealerships are struggling to keep up and meet the changing expectations of customers.
To help dealerships keep up with modern sales trend, MAXDigital is pleased to introduce MAX Path to Purchase, a first-of-its-kind sales solution to help you align the way you sell with the way customers want to buy.
Introducing MAX Path to Purchase
What Modern Consumers Want When Purchasing Products
Today’s shoppers have become accustomed to a streamlined buying experience. When shopping for nearly any product, they’re looking for:
- Simplicity – With most online purchases, customers want a clear, predictable process.
- Transparency – Modern consumers are used to having easy access to detailed and accurate product and pricing information.
- Speed – People don’t want to spend hours buying one product.
By the time most consumers drive off the lot in their car, they’ve spent up to five hours browsing lots, negotiating, and waiting. This current car-buying process is incompatible with the way customers expect to buy goods. If traditional dealerships want to stay relevant, something needs to change.
Dealerships are taking note of this. According to a January 2018 Dealership Process and Turnover Survey conducted by MAXDigital, 41 percent of dealerships are considering changes to the way they sell in the next 12 months.
How MAX Path to Purchase Helps You Simplify the Buying Process
MAX Path to Purchase lets dealerships rebuild your sales strategy to meet the needs of modern consumers and shave hours off the car-buying process. It offers customers a technology-aided way to find and buy the vehicle they want.
Using modern sales enhancement tools reduces haggling, making the sale easier for your customers and helping your sales team maintain your profit margin.
With this simple and transparent new process, you can also expect a higher CSI score.
Other Benefits of MAX Path to Purchase
Another issue facing dealerships is the number of salespeople leaving the industry. With 74% annual salesperson turnover rate, investing in a new salesperson seems like a riskier prospect every year. One of the most prevalent reasons people leave their sales roles is a lack of training.
MAX Path to Purchase helps you keep your sales team on board and successful by providing a simple and easy-to-follow process in which to train and retrain your sales staff.
Where Can You Learn More About MAX’s Latest Product?
Your BDC team is often the first point of contact the customer has with your dealership. And as the saying goes, you never get a second chance at a first impression. So ask yourself, what impressions are your BDC teams giving off?
The mission of the BDC team is to set appointments for each inquiry that comes in, whether by phone or email. The key to being successful is equipping your team with all the information they need in order to build quality, value—and most of all, excitement—about the car (and your dealership).
Thanks to the internet, buyers are more informed than ever. Ninety percent of consumers research cars online before visiting a dealership, and they conduct an average of 14 hours researching vehicles before they buy. On the flip side, it is very rare that your BDC team will be experts on all of the cars and their respective features, especially off-brand vehicles. They may also be working at an offsite location and be managing 10, 20 or 30 dealership locations at once.
By pairing up a well-informed consumer with a BDC rep who isn’t knowledgeable on the vehicle, the results can be disastrous. To level the playing field, dealerships need to give BDC teams the tools and technology to turn them into “instant experts” on every car in their inventory, both in-brand and off-brand.
To win more appointments, make sure your BDC teams can answer the following 5 questions, proactively and with ease:
1. Is this car right for me?
2. Am I buying a lemon?
3. Why is this car better than others I’ve seen?
4. Is this a fair price?
5. Why should I buy from this dealership?
Remember: customers want facts. They don’t want to be sold to; rather, they want to be educated. They want product experts, not salespeople.
With technology like the MAX Digital Showroom, BDC teams can quickly and easily pull up each vehicle and educate the customer on what they might not already know about the car, such as:
- The vehicle’s OEM packages and the value of those packages
- J.D. Power Crash Test Ratings
- Carfax Vehicle History Report
- Kelly Blue Book Pricing and market average
- Warranty information
“MAXDigital has been a game changer for our BDC team which is offsite and manages 30 stores,” said one General Manager. “It gives the phone reps a ton of confidence to have the car product information readily available to them.”
If the customer wants to think about it or talk it over with family and friends, MAX Digital Showroom allows BDC reps to send the information directly to the customer via e-mail or text, creating transparency, while also capturing their contact information.
A technology-enabled, repeatable process allows BDC teams to answer the customer’s questions intelligently, and overall build that excitement to get them in the door. It creates BDC teams who are instant experts on every car on your lot, and customers who see the value of their next vehicle.
By Anne Fleming, President & CEO, Women-Drivers.com
Female buyers made up an estimated $445 billion of new car sales in 2017 alone. With women now buying 4.5 out of every 10 vehicles, the average dealership is selling 819 total new and used vehicles annually to this audience. The data doesn’t lie: women are making extraordinary differences in terms of gross margin dollars and sales achieved at car dealerships.
How can your dealership increase business with female buyers and referrals? One way is by leveraging new ideas in advertising and messaging.
Even in 2018, most dealer’s advertisements’ fail to speak directly to the female audience. There is an overemphasis on both gender neutrality and price point. This is because advertisements are focusing less on what she wants and more on what a dealership thinks she wants. Like price cuts. Does price matter? Yes, but only to the extent that it buys her more of what she wants: a positive pre- and post-sale experience.
One Size No Longer Fits All
Diversification isn’t just good for investment portfolios. It’s good for the car business. Consider this: University of California at Davis researchers found that women influence 85 percent of all car buying purchases. Advertising directly to women makes good financial sense.
Cast a Wider Net
Lawyers. Doctors. Financial Managers. Per the U.S. Dept. of Labor, women fill a wide range of professional roles. In addition, 38 percent—or more than one-third of them—are earning more than their male partners. It follows, then, that their overall purchase experience would reflect upon those achievements. Dealer ad campaigns can be more effective when they account for the diverse professional choices and delivers messages to this audience.
Use Your ‘Aha’ to Connect with Women
What’s your dealer’s DNA message and ‘aha message‘ that women will remember? Is it really through ads and campaigns such as:
- Get the Best Price Here at Our Dealership
- We Match Any Competitor’s Price
- Drive Here for the Best Results
For the most part, these gender-neutral, bland, catch-all statements don’t share what your compelling aha is, nor are they appealing to women.
Connect Dealership’s Message to Your OEMs
From Facebook to Pandora, zero in on your female audience and age group. Dedicate dollars to advance your market space by running monthly campaigns to reach a captive audience with sponsoring ads on mobile apps to women and family-oriented interests.
Be a Destination Dealer: Time to Progress
Understanding that female buyers are looking for a connection will help you and your creative team. Expand your message to be relationship-based with tangible value-adds. Think “What’s in it for her?” It’s not enough to have a female spokesperson or pitch woman.
1. Women use dealer reviews 50% more than men, and reviews influence women three times more than price, according to ReviewTracker. In addition to your current ads and promotions, include statistics about your reputation and reviews and show any Dealer of the Year awards.
2. Connect visually by including images of women and families’ car shopping at your dealership throughout your print and online marketing campaigns and website.
3. Communicate long-term service and maintenance care with a WiFi-enabled waiting lounge equipped with refreshments and desk stations for computer work. Loaner cars are the top concierge item requested by women, so if your dealership provides loaner cars, be sure to include this in your advertising. Other services that often appeal to women buyers include:
- Free car washes
- Free oil changes
- Free state inspections
- No-hassle return policy
- Non-commissioned sales advisors
4. Develop relationships with guests and shoppers before they walk through the door through social media and informative articles designed to to engage and build trust.
5. Host educational seminars and advertise them via social media/newsletters.
Applying any one of these strategies can instantly position a savvy dealership as an authority and a trusted advisor. Dealerships that don’t begin targeting advertisements to the female decision maker are losing out on her lifetime value, which is estimated at $517,000. That’s a big miss!
Anne Fleming is the President of Women-Drivers.com, the leading review company amplifying women’s cutting edge experiences at Certified Trusted Dealers. The company helps dealers by providing solutions that foster trust, engagement and sales. For more information visit www.women-drivers.com or Twitter @Womendrivers.
Every month, MAXDigital recognizes and celebrates a dealership that demonstrates exceptional performance through our “Dealership-of-the-Month” program. Through the team’s hard work and effort, MAXDigital is honoring Ted Stevens Group with our March Dealership-of-the-Month! MAXDigital is celebrating Ted Stevens Group for always being willing to test new product innovations and for remaining true to their family-owned values. Ted Stevens Group also uses the MAXDigital Platform on almost every transaction to build trust and confidence with their customers. We are excited about Ted Stevens Group’s amazing growth, dedication to their customer’s needs, and reduction in vehicle discounts.
Ted Stevens Group is a highly rated, family run dealership group with 5 locations within the central California area. The group has opened multiple franchises over the years to better serve their customers and give their customers the inventory they desire. Ted Stevens Group is also very active within their community, working with and supporting many local organizations like the First Tee Program, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Hinds Hospice just to name a few. Congratulations to Ted Stevens Group from the entire MAXDigital Team!