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I don’t want to start this on a negative note, but I want to recognize everything that is currently going on. It is November. Election day was last week and is the biggest topic on everyone’s minds (come on, Nevada, you slowpoke). We were all (impatiently) waiting for the final count and basically on hold till we knew who the next President would be. Even me, I found myself refreshing my browser every few minutes the other day before I gave up. And let’s not forget (even if we wanted to), the coronavirus pandemic is still upon us. Eight months later, and it is still a hot topic. I live in NJ, and the cases here have been getting higher and higher each day. Some reports are saying we are on our second wave. Do you think there will be another shutdown? What will happen in the next few days with the election/coronavirus, and as a result, the next few weeks? Months? There are so many uncertainties right now that people are going a little crazy. You can see it. And we are all tired…just tired. 2020 has been a year. It hasn’t been great, and some people are having a more difficult time than others.

This isn’t related to what I want to talk about today, but it’s on everyone’s minds, and I had to bring it up. This may be reaching, but what I did want to discuss today is something that we do as dealers that seems mundane. It may not be interesting, and just like 2020, this story shakes up the every day just a bit. Like I said, this is a reach, but I’m trying to connect the dots from what is going on today in relation to this article. 

I found the story fascinating because it is different, and you know me; I like different. I like when dealers do something to make themselves stand out among their competitors. From a dealership perspective, the end goal is to have the customer remember you and come back to you in the future. We all know there are many steps to the sales process; then, there are things one should do while waiting for finance. One of these steps is having the salesperson walk the customer through the showroom and introduce them to various dealership areas like service and parts. It not only helps kill time, but it also makes the customer feel a bit more comfortable by getting to know other faces they will encounter during their vehicle ownership. 

So, instead of making it seem like a chore, why don’t we take that up a notch and make it a little more interesting, or at least memorable for our customers? This dealer in Connecticut does exactly that. After purchasing a car, the customer receives a small goody bag with the dealership logo – and we all know how much our customers love free stuff – and as they are being introduced to other members of the team, they are also collecting little gifts from each department, along with a business card from each employee or manager they meet. Some examples of these gifts are key chains, ice scrapers, and coffee mugs. Now the customer has some free stuff – which makes them happier – and now have familiar faces next time they come in. And of course, you have made waiting for finance a lot more fun. 

What do you think? I thought that this was such a fun idea. It’s something you are going to do anyway, why not make it more exciting? It isn’t the biggest gesture out there, but it is something different that will make you stand out. It’s a different spin on something so easy and breaks down another barrier with the customer. The apprehension that customer has will not be there next time they go in. Also, the happier and more relaxed the customer is before going into the finance office, the more likely they will want to spend more money. Just saying.  

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Author: Christine P.
Date: Nov 11, 2020