AutoProtect Independent Dealer Feature: Best Practice Sales

The way people buy their car has changed and so must the sales approach

Mike Macaulay AutoProtect’s Head of Corporate Sales

Today’s customer arrives at the forecourt typically having identified the car and dealer following a rigorous online search process. They may well know more about the car they have identified than the sales executive and are likely to have a clear idea of their financing plans as well. Added to this, consumers benefit from an ever increasing level of consumer protection that covers the car and F & I services.

Today’s dealer needs to adapt their approach to this new reality. The role of the sales executive is increasingly switching from a ‘closer’ to a ‘facilitator’; an ambassador for the dealership who can reassure, guide, support and inform the customer through their car buying journey and it is by embracing this ethos that a win/win scenario for dealer and consumer can emerge. The way ahead is to make it easier for the customer to buy the car and services that will make their car utilisation or ownership easier.

Macaulay points to the hospitality industry as a model from which dealers can learn; “Restaurants focus upon the ‘total meal experience’; the ambience, sound, light, aromas, personality, greeting and then the food and how it is presented. Dealers can take the same steps. When it comes to extra services, just like that extra bottle of wine and unplanned starter, they are purchased by the customer because they are enjoying the experience and because they are appropriate. Arguably, failing to offer them would have detracted from the overall experience.

CLICK HERE to download our 15 areas where every dealer can improve the customer experience and thereby encourage them to buy not just a car but other services of value as well.