We’re currently living in unprecedented times, which means we’re working and selling in unprecedented times. As the nation continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, many dealers are limiting the number of people inside of the dealership, while others have been forced to transition to working remotely. That’s a tough reality when so much of our business is based on human interaction within the physical dealership.
However, with the population spending significantly more time at home, people are spending much more time online. In fact, our Trader Interactive vehicle marketplaces — including RV Trader, Cycle Trader, Commercial Truck Trader, and Equipment Trader — have seen big spikes in website traffic since the declaration of a national emergency.
With so many consumers browsing the market, competition for their attention will only increase, so now is the time to shore up your (1) advertising, (2) listings, (3) communication, and (4) sales . Even if a prospect decides to hold off on finalizing a purchase until things go back to normal, attracting and nurturing leads now sets you up to immediately close the sale as soon as the customer is ready. With each of these areas in mind, here’s how you can adapt your sales process during COVID-19:
To maximize your online presence, do everything you can to extend your visibility across digital platforms , including your own website, third-party online marketplaces, email, blogs, and social media. This includes updating all of your relevant data on those channels with accurate contact information, hours of operation for both sales and service, any policies affected by coronavirus, and available inventory. If you’re on third-party marketplaces, see what advertising upgrades might be available to help your units stand out. You’ll want to be top-of-mind for customers and prospects when this pandemic ends, and emails are great at maintaining brand awareness, and are also effective at providing updates about your dealership as circumstances may change. While you would normally develop familiarity and trust with consumers in-person, now you’ll have to connect digitally. Social media can help connect you and your dealership on a personal level with customers and prospects, while producing and sharing relevant content — such as blog posts — can demonstrate your industry expertise. You can also manage your reputation by soliciting positive online reviews and productively responding to poor reviews
As online traffic continues to increase with so many people at home and online, your listings need to be clear and competitive. Now, more than ever, we recommend that you optimize your unit listings by remembering to get P.A.I.D.:
❏ Price : Clearly provide the for-sale and/or rental price, which gives shoppers key information they look for and establishes you as a transparent and trustworthy dealer. In fact, most of our marketplace consumers say they won’t even consider a listing if it does not have a price.
❏ Appearance : Include all relevant keywords so the listing appears higher in search results, either in search engines or in the search feature on listing websites where you advertise.
❏ Images : Photos and videos of the inventory enhance consumer interest and buying confidence. Be sure consumers can see the vehicle from every angle and highlight all of the key specs, helping them feel as though they are standing on the lot themselves to inspect the unit.
❏ Descriptions : Today’s consumers want as much data as possible before reaching out to a dealer, so include all relevant information, including mileage, condition, fuel type, and upfit details.
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