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Guest opinion: Did your dealership cope with the 16-plate sales rush?

Nick Squire BTC 2015

Following the release of the 16 plate registration, it’s been a busy time for dealers the length and breadth of the country. 

As noted in a recent AM-online guest opinion, new car sales in March and September 2015 accounted for 36% of the year’s final total. Indeed, March of last year holds the record for most cars sold in a month, so the industry remains positive that this year’s figures will have continued that momentum when the final results are in.

The dealers that will have triumphed most from this period will be those pre-prepared for an influx of new buyers.

If you feel your dealership didn’t perform as well as hoped, here’s our top tips for ensuring you and your team are sales-ready next time around.

Refresh the sales techniques of your team

In preparation for any big sales push it’s a good idea to refresh your team’s selling techniques.

Enlisting the help of professional trainers can be particularly beneficial here, with on-site tailored coaching programmes serving as a great way to upgrade customer handling skills, improve selling confidence and boost profitability.

Reinforcing the importance of customer focus as part of a successful sales technique should also be on your agenda. The key to successful selling in any industry is the ability to think like the customer.

Adopting this mind-set is crucial to building customer trust and strengthening their willingness to make a purchase.

Have an effective customer follow-up strategy in place

Your dealership is likely to be inundated with enquiries following the launch of any new registration plate and it’s crucial that these leads are followed up effectively.

Not only will this present an additional opportunity to close sales, it’s also a great way of gathering feedback that can be used to improve future processes.

If your dealership lacks the relevant personnel for chasing up enquiries, consider using an outsourced contact centre. It’s a cost-effective, personalised method of customer contact which will go some way towards boosting profitability.

Embrace technology

Digital technologies and systems can be hugely beneficial during times of increased consumer-interest, so make sure you use them to their full potential.

Sales lead management software, for example, generally provides a paperless solution to data capture and allows for a more interactive customer experience.

For the franchised dealer, a paperless system not only saves time, it also minimises the loss of valuable data.

This can prove essential when it comes to the follow up process, with fewer leads written off due to incomplete paperwork or illegible handwriting.

Mobile solutions also offer the advantage of enabling sales teams to engage with customers either inside or outside the dealership, thus boosting enquiry capture.

Author: Nick Squire (pictured), operations manager at automotive consultancy BTC

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