Published 14 Oct 2019
This article was originally published in the Autofile Magazine - July 2018 issue.
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Why did they purchase elsewhere? The answer to this question is highly valuable and significantly important to your dealership.
Understanding any consistent reason as to why prospective customers who have come to your dealership, engaged with your staff, test driven a vehicle, then left and bought somewhere else, is the first place to start when wanting to sell more vehicles.
Plenty of sales people will tell you the answer to this question is that it was price, or they were a tyrekicker and not in the market. This is generally very far from the reality.
Each month you have a level of customer opportunity that presents itself through the way of enquiry, walk-in and test drive. Some you sell to, some you don’t.
It’s the ones who don’t purchase from you that hold the information that you need to understand.
Once you understand why, you can then address these areas to ensure more of those customer opportunities are converted to sales in the coming months, or years, ahead.
Do nothing and you will keep losing the same, if not more, than what you lose now. If you aren’t sure of how many you lose, just think about how many test drives you did last month versus how many sales from those test drives. Chances are high that there’s some lost opportunity waiting for you to explore.
So why did that customer, who you thought was a sure sale, end up leaving the dealership and never coming back?
Well, it could’ve been for a number of reasons, such as you didn’t have the vehicle they ultimately settled on and purchased elsewhere, or they are undecided on what vehicle and are still in the market looking. Others may be:
Thinking about how they would answer any of these points, you can start to get an idea of what insight you would have from potential customers as to their reasons for not buying from you.
Once you learn what it was that has them off looking or purchasing elsewhere, you can then form a plan to eliminate as many of these red flags as possible.
To increase conversion leading to vehicle sales, it’s now up to the dealership to make changes to ensure the next lot of customers don’t have the same experience.
Price doesn’t feature as much as people would assume it does. This is great news as apart from lowering prices (which impacts the bottom line) it means you can address many other areas without any additional cost or negative effect on margin.
There are a couple of easy ways to gather this intelligence from those that got away.
One is getting an employee to contact each customer to ask some simple questions as to whether they are still in the market, if they have purchased somewhere else, and, if they have, why they didn’t buy from you.
The only downside to doing it from the dealership is you may not get 100 per cent honest feedback depending on how comfortable the customer feels with their experience and the person they are talking to.
An alternative to this is using the survey tool BuyerScore, which is entirely automated and comes from a trusted third party on behalf of the dealership. The surveys are sent straight to your inbox as customers complete them, so you know in real time what their reasoning was.
BuyerScore can also facilitate the gathering of important rating and review information from customers who did purchase from you, so overall offering a complete solution to understand more about the customers you lost and those you won.
Either way, measure their feedback, embrace the negative and celebrate the positive.
The Motorcentral blog is intended for educational purposes only. All writers opinions are their own and nothing published on this blog should be interpreted as a recommendation or advice in any way. Motorcentral is also not responsible for and does not verify accuracy of any of the information contained within this blog.
In the event third parties are referenced within this article, Motorcentral is not necessarily affiliated with those third parties.