Digital world requires different sales approach

Like flying in a plane, the most likely time a sale will crash is during takeoff and landing, so staff must be extremely well trained on these elements, according to Duane Marino, author and founder of Daune Marino Automotive Solutions.

Dealers and their sales staff should be paying close attention to average transaction time, Marino told delegates at the Calgary DealerTalkx 2017.

Traffic may be lighter, but “traffic is just changing,” he says. “The people who come in are way more willing to buy than ever.”

Using sales strategies developed pre-Google could be counteractive in today’s buying environment where people are doing research on large-scale purchases, advises Marino.

“We used to have tire kickers and we used to have people who were just looking — we don’t have that anymore,” he says.  “Has your sales process changed since the Internet?”

Marino suggests developing a sales and transaction process as two separate entities.

This way transaction-ready buyers — those who have done the research and know what they are looking for — don’t get talked out of a sale by redundant steps and information.  

“Whatever you’re doing, filter it all through efficiency and value,” says Marino, adding the key is to keep things moving.

A key problem, he notes, is not addressing price and payment early enough. “We close like it’s 1999,” he says. Take the pressure off the topic and focus more on customer service, Marino suggests.

He offered a number of tips to make the sales process more efficient, most centred on training, such as learning to build a rapport, studying body language and determining where they already are in terms of research and a decision.
Organized by Kijiji, Canada’s largest online classifieds site, the theme of DealerTalkx 2017 is “Dealership of the future.” The Calgary, Alta. event is held Oct. 17, followed by an event in Toronto, Ont. Nov. 16.