Dealership Training Economy EFG Companies Electric Vehicles Industry Trends

Educational Revenue Opportunities

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Attention agents – it’s time to dust off your playbooks, education resources, and training best practices. Your retail automotive and powersports clients are going to need some knowledge in order to have a successful second half of 2023. Gone are the days when sales teams simply responded to pent up demand and took orders for units. Economic headwinds and rising interest rates are prompting consumers to delay purchases. And growing inventories are erasing those healthy margins logged over the last three years. Agents who focus on electric vehicle (EV) education, debt protection products, and sales best practices will prove invaluable to dealers who need to ramp up their level of customer service for a profitable close to 2023.

Let’s look at some of the issues facing your clients – and how you can help them overcome the challenges.

According to Kelley Blue Book and Cox Automotive, May new vehicle inventory reached its highest level in two years. The average listing price ended the month at $47,172, four percent higher than a year ago. To add insult to injury, interest rates on auto loans also continued to climb in May. Your dealer is working with a lot full of high-priced vehicles and consumers who are increasingly uncomfortable taking out a loan for a new car.  These challenges spell opportunity for agents to serve as the trusted resource for dealers, providing their staff with the tools and resources to make the most of every sale and maximize revenue opportunities.

Returning to Best Practices

The high price of new vehicles is prompting many buyers to consider used vehicles. However, with few low-mileage used units, prices still remain inflated. Now, we’re seeing more buyers deciding to hold on to their current vehicle rather than fork up the cash for a vehicle they will be paying off for the next seven-to-ten years. According to the Manheim Used Vehicle Index, used retail sales are estimated to be down 6 percent year-over-year in June, with a 45-days supply.

With hesitant buyers who would rather keep their cash for a rainy day, it’s time for dealers to put the brakes on the “take it or leave it approach”. For three years, sales teams simply served as order takers. Now, sales and F&I staff are realizing the need to negotiate, sell, and overcome objections again and they are rusty. As a practiced agent, you know the value of quality sales and F&I training, and it’s time to dust off those best practice manuals and sharpen your clients’ skills.

EV Education is a Must

In addition to economic headwinds, it’s likely your dealer principals are beginning to stock EVs. Consider the new technology for these vehicles. They are complex machines with unique features and functionality, and simple things, such as the wrong charging adapter, can turn a lovely experience into a failed experiment for the consumer. Dealer sales and service staff must be extremely well educated on all the ins-and-outs of these new vehicles, the maintenance and charging requirements, and available protection products. A dealer who becomes a trusted advisor will garner sales and competitive market share.

Within the service drive, the level of EV skill and knowledge cannot be overestimated. A 3NG Consulting report revealed that dealer service retention for EVs to be significantly higher – just under 90 percent – versus roughly 20 percent for ICEs. Setting aside infrastructure costs, the only thing separating your dealer clients from EV sales success is knowledge. Take the opportunity to be the best EV educational resource for your clients so they can begin moving those units off the lots into households.

As your trusted partner, EFG has taken the first step to help you with your EV education. Learn how to help dealers electrify their infrastructure and about our EV protection packages here:

While there may be some challenges ahead for a successful close to 2023, the good news is that education combined with a return to customer-focused selling and service best practices can pay dividends. Your opportunity is to be the best resource for your dealer clients, with proven tools that deliver measurable results.

Fortunately, our nationally award-winning client engagement team is here to help with proven AFIP-certified trainers, consumer protection product innovation, and product administration technology that keeps pace with today’s challenges.

At EFG Companies, we’re more than an F&I provider, we’re your business partner with years of expertise helping agents generate profitable results. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help you achieve your winning strategy.

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