A Tin Hat Opinion

Know how I know you never sold cars??

Written by Christine Plunkett

Written on December 22, 2020

So, let me get this straight. You partnered with a company built by people who have never sold cars, ever, in their whole life. You added their “solution” to your website to help you sell more cars.

How’s that workin’ out for ya??

Here’s a little newsflash: Being wealthy, technologically savvy, and/or entrepreneurial does NOT equip someone to sell cars. It’s a special skill, one that can only be developed by going toe-to-toe with actual human car shoppers. Learning the nuances of customers primarily guided by emotion is a hands-on gig. The healthy mixture of excitement and fear a customer experiences when stepping onto the lot is unique. It requires a combination of talents to soothe, guide, and assure a customer while also turning a profit. 

Here’s how to tell if your digital retail solution was built by someone who NEVER TOOK AN UP. 

QUESTIONS – The entire tool consists of questions, rapid fire, intrusive, and obnoxious queries about everything from how the customer plans to pay for the vehicle, how many miles per year they drive, and what is their credit score. Here’s why assaulting your lead with a barrage of questions is a bad idea.

🚫 People in general do not like answering questions. Whether it’s your Mom calling on the phone or your four-year-old from the backseat, being bombarded with question after question is a major annoyance. 
🚫 They very often DO NOT KNOW the answer to many of your initial questions.
🚫 They might not want to tell you the answers. 
🚫 You have not earned the right to ask them ANYTHING. 


CALL-TO-ACTIONS – This is where most digital retail tools totally miss the mark. In the entire history of selling cars, dealers have presented numbers and customers have had the opportunity to react. The current crop of DR tools break the cardinal rule of assumptive selling: Never let the customer know they’re being sold. You don’t ask, “Would you like to start the buying process now?” In fact, that kind of thing would earn you a pink slip at best and more likely an ass whoopin’ at any respectable dealership. If your “solution” includes any of the following CTA’s, it ain’t gonna work.

🚫 Submit to dealer
🚫 Begin the buying process
🚫 Finalize your deal
🚫 Buy now
🚫 Unlock Price
🚫 Get ePrice

MANDATORY STEPS – We all know the importance of having a solid road-to-sale mapped out in our minds. People who have actually sold cars before also know; the customer is always right. When they veer from the path, we must adapt and adjust. You simply cannot force a customer to follow steps when they are unwilling. Automotive digital retail tools built with step 1, step 2,… step 73, etc., designs experience astronomical abandonment rates because that’s not how people work. 

🚫 Step 1
🚫 Step 2
🚫 Step 3
🚫 Step 4

Now, here’s what a person who HAS actually sold cars before might do instead. Invite customers to focus on their monthly payments. Use an open, fluid interface that is non-threatening and requires no customer information at the start. Focus on engaging customers and providing a positive customer experience first. Offer multiple real-life reactions including choices other than YES. For example, “I’m not sure”, “I’d like to sleep on it”, and “Share with friend.” Lastly, monitor customers digital body language to determine their motivations and concerns without asking a bunch of questions.

✅ Focus on engagement, not collecting contact info
✅ Seamless customer experience
✅ Easy/open interface with no mandatory steps
✅ No questions
✅ No insinuation that they’ve “begun the process”
✅ Relatable and varied reaction choices
✅ Visibility for dealer to watch all customer activity


To learn more about engaging customers with SALESiQ, hop over to our SALESiQ product page or give us a call/chat.

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