During the past few years, due to inventory shortages brought on by supply chain issues and low-interest rates, independent dealers watched inventory exit their lot almost as quickly as it arrived.

They also hired staff quickly to keep up with demand and may not have had time to complete training on their sales process. While gaps in knowledge and skillsets may not have made a difference before, rising interest rates and increased inventory are going to present new challenges.

Here are some ways independent dealers can help their sales team learn new skills and brush up on the basics:

Focusing on the Fundamentals
During the last two years, many car buyers were desperate to purchase a vehicle, so sales employees didn’t have to focus on selling the vehicle as much as facilitating the transaction. Now that more inventory is entering the market, floor plan dealers are going to face increased competition from other independent dealerships.

Employees who are new to the independent dealer sales space may not know the basics when it comes to tried and true sales tactics, while seasoned sales team members could benefit from a refresher. That’s why it will be beneficial to make sure that everyone on the team has the right skills to close sales.

Walk the Lot
Your sales team needs to know what vehicles are available so they can better assist customers. What better way to see what’s available than by walking the lot each morning?

Vehicle knowledge will be key to closing sales and your team should be able to educate and provide recommendations to customers who may not know what type of vehicle they want to purchase.

Independent dealers can use tools like Kinetic 360 to provide their team with comprehensive information on any inventory on their floorplan before they start interacting with customers each day.

Perfecting Methods of Communication
Whether it’s testing out a social media or email campaign to attract new business or cold calling a customer after they’ve visited your website, it’s important to track and analyze your data to see what types of communication are bringing in the most sales.

You should also have your employees practice interacting with consumers both on the phone and in-person so they can help expedite the sales process by getting a clearer picture of what the customer is looking for based on things such as their lifestyle, timeframe for purchasing a vehicle, and color preferences.

Catering to Customers
One of the best ways to ensure that customers come to you and not your competition is to ensure your sales team knows how to create a positive buyer experience.

They can access Kinetic 360 to let customers know of any inventory that’s being refurbished or in transit from an auction if the vehicle they’re looking for isn’t on the lot. They should also know how to consult with customers when they need guidance and cater to their preferences.

For example, if a customer wants to spend as little time at the dealership as possible, they should try to accommodate them by completing as much of the sales process virtually as possible. This can include things like virtual vehicle tours and agreeing on a trade-in price, so all the customer has to do is sign on the dotted line when they come in.

Fostering Loyalty
Investing in your sales team is going to help prevent frequent turnovers when there are lulls in the market and they have a more challenging time selling inventory.

Use techniques such as role-playing to help them better navigate different sales scenarios. And work on developing soft skills such as emotional intelligence that can make them stand out from the competition.

You can utilize your dealership floor plan to increase cash flow to help pay for courses or training. You don’t want to create a top-notch sales team only to have them leave in a few months for greener pastures, so make sure they feel valued and appreciated by rewarding them with things like a retention bonus and prizes when they hit a certain number of sales.

While the market may experience a slowdown over the next few months, helping your employees to enhance their sales expertise will allow you to sell more vehicles. You can also count on your Kinetic Advantage floorplan to keep your cash flow moving so you can keep vehicles rolling off your lot and your team happy.

Financial Solutions That Maximize Success And Minimize Worry

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