With almost a third of first registrations in the UK being to dealers or manufacturers, it is clear that the recent monthly year on year growth in sales volumes is not all that it would appear at first sight. Manufacturers are incentivising dealers to register cars and using this route to maintain market share, in many cases, because the retail sales volume is insufficient to deliver the volume they require.
Coachworks’ extensive research and authentic mystery shops reveal that many sales enquiries made to retailers are handled in such a way that the enquiry often goes no further than the initial call and there is in many cases no way of re-contacting the customer. In an environment where sales targets are becoming ever harder to achieve naturally, individual retailers owe it to themselves to ensure that their sales teams are behaving in such a manner that ensures they can take a bigger slice of the available market.
Sales executives can achieve better results by adopting the following three behaviours:-
Knowing the value of each call. Each time a customer makes a call to a business, it has a value. Retailers need to establish the value of each enquiry by type and share this with the team.
Unless a sales executive understands this fully, there is a danger that a call may not be treated with the attention it deserves.
Building a rapport with the customer. So many sales processes focus on just that: – the process. However, once a customer’s interest leads them to make contact via email or telephone, retailers must interact on a ‘human’ level with the customer right from the start.
The best way to do this is get to know the customer and establish the type of person the sales executive is are dealing with. The team need to take charge of the call, slow it down and use open questions to get the caller talking: then listen and respond to what they hear intelligently
Once a good rapport is established with the customer, only then can the sales executive talk about the car and follow the sales process. The difference is that the sales executive is now engaging with a customer who feels the retailer is interested in them and not just in a process.
Failure to capitalise on every enquiry through proper handling of the customer will only compound an already huge industry problem: many customers will continue to shop around until they find a sales executive with whom they can engage. This potentially is costing dealers both new and used car sales and fuelling both self registrations and declining used stock turns.
Take the Challenge! Observe the way your sales executives handle enquiries and assess to what degree they build rapport with your customers.