It’s a challenging time – and predicting what will happen next is difficult. We’re all in this together. 

Should I turn my advertising off during the coronavirus crisis?

If your business is currently operating as normal. Continue to advertise as normal, but consider some of the precautions listed below to help build trust with customers during this challenging time. 
If your business is currently operating under skeleton staff. Reduce your advertising spend to reflect this – only run the necessary adverts. We can help by making suggestions for exactly what you should spend for your company. 
If your business is closed. Reduce your advertising spend and keep a VERY small limited budget running. If no one’s buying cars, and no one’s going out, you want to be ahead of the game when things revert back to normal. 

Our teams opinion is that online enquiries will continue, but you might see some fluctuations as a lot is still very uncertain. We don’t anticipate enquiries falling off a cliff, but it’s important you don’t take our word for it, we’re in unprecedented times.

We think the biggest challenge will come in trying to convert these enquiries to sales – this is where the fear lies. We know that bums in seats sells cars, but at the moment customers are afraid of leaving the house and being around other people. 

Our team believes that one solution could be to break the traditional process you follow, and temporarily replicate the processes of ‘buy online’ websites. 

  • We really don’t think that’s a long term strategy (it’s very unknown), but it temporarily removes as much friction as possible for the car buying journey in the current crisis. 
  • We don’t know how long this will last, so it’s worth investing the time into a contingency plan that best replicates the ‘buy a car online’ websites.
  • To be clear, we’re not saying ‘sell your cars online’. We’re saying use all of the positive reassurance factors that ‘buy a car online’ websites use, that relate to: removing doubt, increasing trust, safety, and clarity to convince your customers to place a deposit.

Common sense prevails.

If all of your sales processes remain geared towards getting customers in the showroom – it wont work. Now is a really great time to adapt to helping customers purchase over the phone (you’re safe from getting poorly over the phone 👍). 

Now is a great opportunity to focus on taking deposits over the phone. A deposit will secure the car, and allow a customer to stay safely at home – or visit your showroom (if it’s still open).

Reassure your car buying prospects.

We’re not teaching you to suck eggs – you guys are the experts.

The challenges with car buying and objection handling over the phone are centred around trust.

  • Is there any damage to the car? 
  • Does it definitely come with this spec? 
  • Will you look after me if something goes wrong? 
  • Is the part exchange quote you gave me accurate?
  • Will I get my money back if something is badly described? 
    • Even better, will you give me my money back if it’s not what I thought? 

Build trust. ♥️

The top two concerns for car buyers as per multiple surveys is as follows:

  • Can I trust the dealership?
  • If it breaks down will they fix it?

We need to focus on building as much trust and credibility over the phone as possible. Answer these obvious questions quickly, reassure the customer that they can trust you and you’ll look after them.

“I understand that you really want the car but you’re nervous at the moment – let me tell you how we’re adapting. We know you don’t want to miss out on the car, what most of my other customers are doing is…..” 

How to build trust over the phone.

  • Offer to send more detailed photos.
  • Video the car.
  • Explain terms and conditions for leaving a deposit clearly. What happens if the car isn’t what the customer expected?
  • Use the fear of missing out.
  • Explain what will happen when the customer comes to collect the car. If you’re operating as skeleton staff explain this to the customer. Alleviate the customer’s concern of turning up to a busy crowded dealership.
  • You might want to consider giving your staff a script to help them answer any tricky questions. 

Be really specific with your online listings.

During the coronavirus outbreak customers may be less likely to physically walk into your showroom. Your online listings have always been your virtual forecourt.

This is now more important than ever so you might want to consider investing time in improving your vehicle listings.

  • Create vehicle descriptions that stand out, describe the car in more detail than usual. Have a condition report? Let the customer know you’re happy to send it, event better, include it in the listing.
  • Take specific close up images, let the customer see the vehicle from every angle. Highlight all of the key specs. Allow the customer to feel as if they’re physically looking at the car.
  • Have you listed the price correctly? Many classifieds have tools to help you list your vehicles at the best possible price – or use your own expertise.

Remote vehicle presentation.

Luckily, most of us have phones or cameras that allow us to take video presentations for customers. When creating a video presentation focus on showing the customer specific things they’re interested in, don’t just show a general view of the car. 

Some examples:

  • Let them hear the engine so they can hear there’s no rattle. 
  • Specifically pin point any dents if they’re concerned about damage. 
  • Zoom in on the alloys. 
  • Open the boot to clearly show boot size.
  • Show mileage clearly on the dashboard.
  • Highlight the cars spec – show them the bluetooth streaming, sat-nav, parking sensors or anything else you would usually highlight face to face. 
  • Something stopping the customer leaving a deposit? Create a detailed video or series of images answering the customers concerns.