How to Sell the Missing Merchandise?

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How do you sell when inventory is missing? Photo Pixabay

In the current economic climate, the rate of new vehicle purchases at dealerships is dropping significantly. What are the best practices for keeping the facility’s turnover afloat and maintaining that bridge of transparency with customers?

An update on a delicate situation as seen by a few stakeholders in the field.

Keep the customer close by

When asked to describe the current reality of dealerships, Gilles Pilon, President of the MADC and CEO of Vaudreuil Volkswagen, says that the automotive industry is undergoing “a kind of revolution marked by a shortage of manpower and supply chain problems.”

“The consumer is the priority. We don’t sell cars anymore, customers buy them”, Gilles Pilon philosophizes. Photo CCAM

The ups and downs of the market are pushing dealerships to make their websites attractive and comprehensive in terms of information, as people are getting more information than ever when shopping via virtual platforms. In this regard, Mr. Pilon persists in believing that the customer must be taken care of as soon as he has stored the necessary details regarding his purchase.

“That’s when we make the difference. The last 10% is listening, follow-up, empathy, honesty, openness. The consumer is the priority. We don’t sell cars anymore, customers buy them.”

While waiting for the supply, the business link must remain alive. Mr. Pilon highlights the constant work of sales consultants, who must properly greet the customer and keep up to date with industry technologies.

“In addition to being a positive input to their customers in real time, they need to be the reference! Even if they don’t sell a vehicle now, they have to keep in touch with the customer. We said the same thing twenty-five years ago,” he recalls, adding that a customer is never lost.

“The customer may walk away, but they are never lost.”

Answer present

“The expertise and sound advice of sales consultants are still more than necessary, even though they have become increasingly important,” says Charles Drouin. Photo Corporation Mobilis

The same is true at Mobilis Corporation, where Charles Drouin, Chief Executive Officer, emphasizes the importance of the sales team’s knowledge.

“The expertise and sound advice of the sales consultants are still needed and have become even more important. From now on, after-sales service makes all the difference. Follow-ups, which were already of high quality, must be irreproachable.

Mr. Drouin goes on to say that, in a context of standardized prices for automotive products, there are advantages that motivate customers in their purchasing process.

“Since the customer has a choice of dealerships, customer interest and loyalty are influenced by two key elements: the visibility of the dealerships and the quality of service they provide.”

In this regard, our speaker reminds us that it is essential for dealers to remain firmly rooted in their respective communities and, of course, in their customers’ goals.

“Some dealers have maintained their involvement in various corporate and charitable spheres, thus compensating for the significant decrease in their advertising investments. It is also a priority for all Mobilis Corporation member dealers to ensure the best possible service in order to stand out in the eyes of their customers.”

Conveying brand attachment

“… if our representatives have made a good impression and have demonstrated that our vehicles are worth waiting for, we have a better chance that the customer will choose a vehicle from us despite the wait,” says Marie-Lee Michaud. Photo Michaud Automobiles Inc, Rimouski

When asked how to summarize the steps in the order and delivery processes that prevail and persist, Marie-Lee Michaud, Marketing and Human Resources Coordinator at Michaud Automobiles in Rimouski, reminds us that communication between dealerships remains an option to consider.

“First, we look through the network to find a vehicle that might fit the customer’s needs. If there isn’t one, we order the vehicle for the customer. If the customer is looking for a vehicle that is not yet available to order, we keep their contact information on file and let them know what happens next.”

In closing, Ms. Michaud reiterates the importance of the representatives’ work, starting with the reception of the client and especially following their personal presentation. In her view, product enhancement should be reflected in the speech.

“The customer may not want to wait for a vehicle with us if the delay is significant and it is not significant for another brand. On the other hand, if our representatives have made a good impression and have demonstrated well that our vehicles are worth waiting for, we have a better chance of the customer choosing a vehicle from us despite the wait.”



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