The Great Shutdown, also known as the COVID-19 recession, caused severe economic consequences worldwide.
Manufacturers are hesitant to build new automobiles and the combination of consumer fear can create unreasonable expectations for your sales staff. It can position your representatives to say or do anything to make a sale, but selling someone that is not capable of making payments is just wrong.
Chris Isidore of CNN Business states that "Major automakers reported a more than 30% drop in US sales in the second quarter, the biggest plunge in sales since the Great Recession and the auto bankruptcies of 2009."
With no signs of early recovery, the risk of outbreaks can negatively affect social morale and overall consumer buying power.
Automotive sales veterans are no strangers to declining sales. Dealerships can expect to utilize similar strategies and similar objections that they had to overcome during past recessions.
Although recovery from the pandemic is uncertain, employment recovery is starting to show signs of capable buyers.
Jeff Cox of CNCB Economics states, "The unemployment rate fell to a crisis low of 11.1%, also better than the 12.4% estimate."
Even with a better unemployment rate, we still need to consider the uncertain times with all our customers, not just the in-market shoppers. Sales strategy and communication delivery need adjustment when it comes to longterm sales.
We have to remember that when it comes to an epidemic, there are valid reasons customers need to wait before purchasing. Selling someone that can't make payments is unethical and overall make you and your team look bad. There are many other ways to respond and build relationships with your prospects.
Financial obligations are valid when it comes to purchasing in 2020.
"Our finances have been negatively affected by Coronavirus. Can we connect again when we're in a position?" is a commonly heard response.
This response is the truth for most people.
Now I understand, most salespeople hate callbacks. Callbacks are often just a polite way of saying "no," but you can expect a little bit of truth when it comes to a global pandemic.
Empathy is the proper way to handle this response! The time to be more than a salesperson is now. Connect with this prospect and position yourself as an understanding person.
In addition to building trust, using empathy will help brand your dealership with positive connotations, ultimately increasing the chance of buying from your dealership when their finances are in a better place.
Do you know what it feels to be incapable and the treatment you wish you received during that time?
At Paramount, we believe that all people are buyers, but we consider every individual and their needs. We make sure that they have an unforgettable buying experience from the very start. We do this by qualifying your leads as capable buyers to make sure that a purchase with your dealership is a financially responsible decision. We aim to create a lasting impression for your dealership to create a lifetime customer.
Fortunately, we still have many people that are still in the market. We'll take care of their other objections once we understand that they are financially capable of buying a vehicle.
Here are some common objections and how to overcome them.
"It's too much."
Price is one of the most common objections and tools for the haggler. Using price as a selling point is a massive mistake that many novice salespeople make. The value of your product starts to disappear once you use price as a selling point. When this occurs, you need to remind the customer why they are buying the vehicle and how it can increase their quality of life.
"You don't have the specific vehicle I want."
Because of falling inventory, this objection is a little complicated to handle. Before giving up, understand why the customer wants this specific vehicle. The features that they want might be in a car that you already have in stock. During this time, your customer might have to wait a long time to get the specific options they want. Time is money, get them in a vehicle they need now!
"I can get it for less at dealership x."
When your customer mentions your competition, it means you failed to make a connection. You need to show value beyond car sales. Do you have staff skilled in customer service? What interests do you have that can relate to your prospect? What are the key differences that make your store better than the competition?
"I'm just looking."
Your prospect might be in the early stages of purchasing. This is your opportunity to put your customer in a position to consider. An intelligent salesperson would take this time to discover what the prospect wants and needs, in addition, the ability to nurture the lead correctly.
"I want to think it over."
Buying a vehicle is a big investment for most people, and there is a possibility that they want to reconsider their options. If you're a savvy salesperson, you'd know that letting them go will give another dealership a chance to take your sale. Help them think it over by discussing the specifics of what they have to reconsider.
Increase your sales by changing your sales process. Those who haven't adopted a customer service approach during the pandemic is going to have a hard time connecting with their prospects.
Paramount puts a focus on customer relationships when it comes to our engagement. We make people feel great about buying from your dealership because we take the time to understand their needs and justify their purchase with reason. Connect with us now for instant showroom traffic.