The September 2018 issue of Canadian AutoJournal is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of Canadian AutoJournal, Jack Kazmierski.
Step Into Your Customers’ Shoes
How is the used car side of your business doing? Are you happy with the numbers? Would you like to do better (who wouldn’t)? Have you been trying to boost used car sales, but simply can’t get to where you want to be—and you’re not sure why?
Let me offer a bit of advice: Step out of your shoes and into your customers’ loafers. See things from their perspective, and you might see why the used car side of your business is not doing as well as you’d like.
The only reason this comes to mind is because I’m currently shopping for a vehicle for my son. And although I’ve been writing about this topic for years, I now see it from the average consumer’s point of view, which sheds a new light on the matter. That’s why I’m suggesting you do the same.
Let’s face facts: in 2018 used car shoppers are not coming to your lot. They’re online, looking at your site as well as third-party sites, to narrow their choices and check out prices. So the key to successful used car sales is to make sure you shine online. Miss that step, and your used vehicle inventory won’t move as quickly as you’d like it to.
Online, transparency is key. The buyer (myself included) wants to see ALL the facts, including a Carproof report. So don’t ask me to email you in order to see the Carproof report. It should be ready for viewing online at the click of a button.
Pricing is also key. So don’t ask the consumer to call for a price. If I’m shopping online, I don’t want to call you. I’m researching my purchase, and if I have to stop in order to speak to a salesperson, I probably won’t bother, and you’ve just lost a potential sale.
And when you’re describing the vehicle, stop with the superlatives and misleading offers. One ad said, “We also offer our optional amazing certification package,” which, the ad continues, includes a wax and buff as well as a shampoo of the interior. If you’re selling cars, wouldn’t you want them to look their best anyway? Why are you telling me that your “amazing” certification package includes things I’d expect as a customer anyway? Without this amazing package, should I expect to get a dirty car?
Dealers need to appreciate that today’s shoppers are savvy. While some may be swayed by “amazing” offers, the majority can see through the bunk and will stay away from anyone coming across as trying to take advantage of the gullible.
So ask yourself, do you want to build a business based on selling to the gullible or the savvy? The answer to that question may change your used car stats moving forward.