Selling Cars on Zoom - Part 1

Virtual selling will become the new reality. To remain competitive and ahead of the competition, automotive retailers must shift the way they engage prospects and customers.  

In amongst the ubiquitous opinion on the impact of the pandemic, there is one constant of business that Covid hasn’t changed; and that is that the learners of our industry will reshape how we function and emerge with strength whilst the learned (those that have no more to learn) will find themselves perfectly well equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. Think Blockbuster, think Kodak, think Toys ‘R’ Us.  

Sure, every car retailer will be able to sell cars without moving to the virtual space, however, it’s difficult to dispute those that successfully make the transition will gain market share. Some might call it an unfair advantage. Others, no doubt, will call it business.

According to Deloitte, 18% of car buyers intend to buy their next car without visiting a showroom. Whilst Pareto’s 80/20 principle makes another corporate appearance, Covid has created a need to revisit how the virtual car buyer’s purchase can be completed with ease and without friction.

Enter Zoom.

During lockdown, many car buyers became familiar with the technology, primarily by joining a virtual birthday party, taking baking lessons or simply sharing a coffee with friends. Such behaviour took the daily users of Zoom from 10 million pre Covid to 300 million.  It also created a new group of car buyers who are comfortable using the technology and see it as a credible (and safe) alternative to visiting a showroom.

So, how can we feed this hungry crowd?

In the first instance, it is important to make prospects aware that you offer live sales calls via Zoom. Clear messages on your website (although non-automotive, Currys do this really well with their offer to ‘ShopLive’), social media channels and strategic positioning during telephone and email communication should leave the prospect in no doubt that you offer this new retail innovation.   

Training and development is also a key consideration as you can’t successfully engage in new sales channels with old skills. Quite simply, if you want to engage in new innovations, you need new skills. Over the coming weeks we will be sharing key insights to help get you started. 

Is it going to be worth the time, energy and money?

When deployed in other sectors, virtual selling has led to increased enquiry levels, accelerated movement through the sales pipeline and an increase in sales. It is difficult to leverage a plausible argument as to why the automotive industry would be any different.

Virtual selling will become the new reality, which begs the question; are you ready?


Authors: Nick Horton - Profit Box

Published: 20 Jul 2020


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