Dealerships are under pressure like never before, due to the shortage of quality stock and declining margins as a result of battling in the price war to compete for the customer’s signature. Many wise dealers on the other hand are recognising that offering value-added products can actually help to offset such drastic reductions (read our article on this here) which will ultimately protect and increase their profit margins.

Chris Ford, business development director at loyalty services company Grass Roots has today published an article on the importance of providing a fantastic service and adding value to sales proposals, and below are his tips for creating a more successful business. 

He comments: “The dealers that succeed in the used car sector are those that replicate the new car experience as closely as possible. For instance, a good customer relationship management (CRM) system will manage the lifecycle of stock and enable dealers to identify where they should be focusing their sales efforts, with the ability to update stock and upload new content/data professionally and consistently. Customers should feel they are buying into the (dealer’s) brand, and not just getting a cheap deal.

He continues: “Dealers should be aware there is more to the sale than the multi-point check and warranty. It’s about level of service too, and buying a car is a high involvement, often-emotional purchase even at used car prices. The process of buying a car isn’t limited to engagement with the dealer; it has various lifecycle stages.”

Chris adds that a good sales process should enable the customer to make an informed decision. “There are ‘Knowers’ and ‘Non-Knowers’ i.e. those who know what model and make they want (and have researched the vehicle in detail), right through to those who have a budget but no preference (and thus have considered a range of vehicles in their price range). Having a professionally optimised website and good search facility will cater for both, to ultimately drive the right traffic to your stock. Consider providing either an alerting service or a relevant close match service i.e. ‘we will look on your behalf and tell you when a car matching your criteria has been found.’ Customers will usually go the extra mile (literally) for the car that is closest to their dreams and if you do the leg work for them they will travel even further,” he continues.

Dealers are also advised to think carefully about how their sales people are trained, and incentivise them both long term and short term. “Remember that the 22 year old with £7,000 to spend on a premium marque isn’t necessarily on the bottom rung. Infact this is the guy who may offer the most lifetime value to your brand, because once he’s through the door you have the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ him every couple of years through his life stages,” he comments.

Finally, Chris adds that an exceptional training programme and incentive scheme will enable dealerships to buy into longer term brand and sales strategy. “In this age of boundless information, consumers have access to so much product information that it becomes essential that the dealer does too, and that they can add value through knowledge in their given area. It is not unusual to have ‘specialists’ to serve the customer – knowledge is power so why shouldn’t the dealer be empowered to serve?”

To find out how the WMS Group can help you to add tremendous value to your sales proposals which will boost your retention and profit margins, request your FREE dealer pack here or contact our business development director Eric Stone on 0800 021 3030.