I was in Philadelphia recently when I drove by a quick lube that made me reflect on a time when quick lubes weren't so prolific and commonplace. It got me thinking about how they came to be and the parallels in the front end of the business right now. So I pulled off the road with my video crew, hopped onto the median of a busy road in rush hour traffic in downtown Philly and shot a quick video.
This video should serve as both a cautionary tale on what could happen if we don't take action to fix the time it takes to sell a car on the front end of the business. It also addresses what dealers can do right now to speed the velocity of the deal while maintaining the integrity of the sales process.
Deliver an exceptional customer experience, speed up the process
Do you know what customers hate about the car buying process more than anything? How long it takes.
At most dealerships, it takes a ridiculous amount of time to buy a car and it drives customers nuts. If we’re not careful and don’t take steps to change, we’re going to look up in a few years. And the same thing that happened to our service departments with quick lubes will happen to the front end of our business. We’ll lose customers and our jobs to a better process, to automation, to Amazon, to Walmart, Carvana or any other upstart just dying to have a piece of the retail automotive market.
It’s up to us who are on the front line to make car buying fun, fast and easy.
As an industry, there are a lot of things we need to do, but let’s focus on the things we can control here. One big area that we can impact right now is speeding up the sales process — making it easier and more pleasant for the customer. For some of us, this will require abandoning old-school sales practices that used to work well. But these out-dated practices now negatively affect the process and are killing the customer experience. After all, nobody wants to be on the lot for hours on end. They don’t want to become professional car buyers.
So, what are we going to do to speed up the velocity of the deal and make car buying more enjoyable for everyone?
One of the biggest things we can do to speed up the car buying process is to do a pre-demo trade walk. By spending 15 minutes up front in the pre-demo trade walk, we can quickly connect with the customer’s dominant wants, needs, and desires — and figure out what really motivates them. When we start the process off by making the experience about them and their car rather than us and ours, we gain a trust that allows open communication, better service, and connected experience.
To learn how to effectively deliver a pre-demo trade walk login to your KintzNOW on-demand training membership and view the video lesson found in the Jumpstart section.
Keep in mind, how we set up a deal from the moment the customer arrives will determine how easy or hard each step of the process will be that follows.
Make the experience about the customer.
Give quality attention to every step starting at hello.
Don’t shortcut the customer, but know they don’t want to take up residence at the store either.
Aim to get to the negotiation within 45 minutes on each opportunity
We have to speed up the car buying process without jeopardizing the integrity of the sales process.
If you plan to be there, drop by our NADA booth in the Central Hall and I’ll walk you through step-by-step on how Dealersand Managers are working to speed up the car buying process. Also, the transaction times up while holding salespeople accountable using our new Sales Professionals Playbook.
It’s time to evolve our process, and the time to take action is now.