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  • Sean Cassy

Increase Your Automotive Dealership's Profits through Customer Data

Your customer willingly gives you all of the information you need to sell them a car, a second car or visit your service department. All you have to do is read it.

Managing and Analyzing the Data

Because of fierce competition, now more than any other time, selling a car requires a highly skilled and trained professional to guide the prospect to the buying decision. Even with all of the sales tools like mobile devices that allow the customer and sales person to comparison shop and demonstrate vehicle technical videos, there are going to be prospects that walk out of your dealership.

If you do not have a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software system in place, now is the time to put it in place and insist that your sales staff and management use it consistently. Due to competition, you might only have 24-hours after a prospect walks out your door before they buy somewhere else. In fact, someone should be on the phone with that prospect within a couple of hours after they leave to find out what went wrong.

By aggressively seeking out those who did not buy from you, you may get a second chance to close them. A team dedicated to contacting your unsold prospects can get to the real reason that they did not buy. When asked by your sales staff, they may offer generalities, but when asked by a follow-up team, they are inclined to be more specific, which gives you a real objection to overcome.

Chasing down lost prospects is only one of the ways that you can analyze the data in your CRM.

Your customer data should tell you upcoming lease ends, vehicles that are more than halfway through their contracts and other important information that your sales staff can use to call previous customers. Even the service department can utilize the information by reaching out to those who may be ready for a 3-month check or 60,000-mile service.

Staff Training

When you gather information on those you did not sell, you also gather information on the performance of your sales staff and management.

Those who did not buy should be asked about their interaction at the dealership. Were they happy with how they were greeted? Did they get a chance to take a vehicle for a test drive? Were they shown vehicles that met their interest and budget? These types of questions tell you more about your staff than pricing or vehicle reliability.

These answers will tell you if you have a training problem. If one of your staff sees five customers a day and none of them are going on a test drive, then there is a presentation problem. That could be just one sales person, but if you have four or five sales people who are not offering test drives, then you have a management problem.

This is the type of information that you can glean from reports and analysis of data input into your CRM.

From there, you can determine the course of action necessary to get your staff equipped to sell to your customers.

Maybe you will discover that your prospects are not comfortable with what they perceive is a lack of transparency. This gives you the opportunity to train your staff to be more aware of how their closed doors are perceived by customers or to move to a mobile sales platform like an iPad.

Marketing Based on Insight

When you have insight into your prospects, you know how to market to them.

You may discover that your prospects are male, middle income and less likely to have kids. This helps you plan a strategy to target these individuals as you expand your marketing efforts. Maybe you should sponsor a sporting event or softball team.

In addition to using sales information to create your CRM, add a survey to your website. It does not need to be complicated; it can consist of age and income brackets and simple questions about a dealership experience.

Instead of using a number rating system, use an open rating like "less likely", "more likely" or "strongly agree" for a more accurate measure of your results.

If you do a service department survey, you may discover that people are not comfortable there or put no value in it. Your sales staff may be able to help by offering information about the service department that can overturn those objections. They could introduce the customer to the benefits of using your trained technicians and experienced service staff. Maybe your waiting room has free Wi-Fi and a snack bar or children's area. These are features that they can sell.

By implementing a plan to use your collected data, you implement a plan to increase your profits. To learn more about how to use customer data to increase the leads, sales and profits of your car dealership don't hesitate to contact the automotive marketing data experts at Turbo Marketing Solutions by calling 1-800-262-0081.

------ Sean Cassy is co-owner and digital marketing strategist at Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact him if you have any questions regarding the article or how to use videos to generate more leads and sales for your dealers.

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