Glenice Wilder Vice President EFG Companies

Contributing Author:
Glenice Wilder
Vice President
EFG Companies

EFG Companies recently completed its second national consumer research study regarding consumer buying habits. The data from 1,457 respondents clearly showed the importance of an online presence when it comes to selling powersports. Specifically,

  • 50 percent of customers check a dealer’s online customer reviews prior to considering them for a potential vehicle purchase.
  • 71 percent compare dealership website prices before deciding which dealership to visit.
  • 83 percent expect a response from the dealership within 24 hours of sending an online inquiry, and 16 percent want information immediately or within the hour.
  • 43 percent say the more information you can provide online, the more apt they are to visit the dealership.
  • 45 percent rank poor spelling, grammar and punctuation as a top three reason to eliminate a dealership from consideration.

These data points should come as no surprise, especially if you consider your own online shopping habits. But one question should arise. Do you have the right team with the right skills to convert these eLeads into sales?

Selling in a Digital World

We’ve all been coached on email etiquette and hopefully have mastered professional online communication. But, converting a basic inquiry to a dealership visit, and a sale, involves more than an automated email response.

Based on the research, we know the potential buyer has already spent some time researching the motorcycle and options to purchase. A contact form inquiry or email means the customer is likely one-third of the way through the buying decision process. At this point, the sale is literally yours to close! The problem that most salespeople have with online shoppers is that the salespeople are working blind. They don’t know any details about the customer, their criteria, budget, etc. This is the very reason why most salespeople are extremely hesitant to discuss pricing information online. Unfortunately, consumers are demanding pricing be made available online and they will give their business to those dealerships who meet those demands.

As you respond to the inquiry, remember you want to build a relationship. Answer the question posed but also strive to learn more about the customer. Is the bike an upgrade? Will it be used for primary transportation? Are they motivated by budget or brand? Demonstrating interest in meeting the customer’s needs shows you are interested in more than just a sale. And, knowing more about the customer will enable you to find the right bike for them with the right price, and attach profit-driving F&I products.

As a dealer principle, set the tone by prioritizing eLeads. Track online engagement, website traffic, response times and action taken. Make sure your team knows you value these opportunities – and they should too.

It is possible to build consumer relationships online. It just takes investing in maximizing this opportunity. Stop leaving money on the table and start training your team on responding to eLeads today.

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