By Tim James, Chief Operating Officer, Flick Fusion
During these times, consumers are becoming more comfortable with online transactions and are much savvier about how they chose to communicate with businesses. As a result, dealers are having to utilize technologies they may not have previously embraced
Video, in and of itself, has proven to be a necessity for successful marketing for dealers. In today’s world, live video is even more important. But not everybody does it as well as they could!
A great article on Business2Community lays out some simple best practices dealerships can use while performing a live video for a prospective car buyer. These tips are great for salespeople or BDC agents who communicate with your customers.
Here are three of the top tips:
Pause! – When you are having a conversation with someone and they do all the talking – that quickly gets old, right? A one-sided conversation is not something many people enjoy which leads to the first tip in the article, Pause!
You have the customer’s attention. You have them on a live stream and, just like selling a car in person, you need to listen to their needs and wants. You have to listen to tailor that walk-around and your conversation to supply the information they requested. Listening is also how you find out what is important to them so that you can tailor your conversation to that specific customer.
It is much more effective to listen to your customers, answer their questions, and proceed to the sale than to dominate the conversation. Take a breath. Don’t worry about the uncomfortable pause. As long as the customer is still with you, you don’t need to fill the gap with conversation. They may be digesting what you have already told them and considering their next questions. If they don’t ask any questions, you can easily prompt them by saying something along the lines of, “Should I proceed with the other features I was going to show you or did you have specific things you would like to see?” — just like you would if they were physically on your lot.
Engage – The customer didn’t agree to a live video engagement because they weren’t interested in the vehicle. The very reason that they are on a live video call with you is that they are VERY low funnel and in the market RIGHT NOW! Think about all the Internet leads your dealership gets and how hard it is to contact the majority of these opportunities. Here you not only have a customer that engaged with you but one that agreed (or requested) to do a live video call about a specific vehicle.
Perhaps something about the vehicle which they inquired about doesn’t suit their needs. Since you have them live, you can easily ask them if you could show them similar vehicles you have in stock and, essentially, show them multiple vehicles.
What’s the other option? The customer doesn’t like the one you showed them and disengages simply to move on to the next dealership. Don’t waste the opportunity to show them more inventory. You only need to ask them — just like you would if they were physically on your lot.
Eye Contact – While you may not be able to see the customer, the customer can see you. If you aren’t looking into the camera while engaging, you lose the opportunity to build rapport. Most of our communication is physical. We typically read expressions and interpret answers by how someone is looking and/or physically gesturing. In a live video, the customer can see you. By making eye contact with them, it is much more personal.
How do you do that? By looking into the camera, itself. Not just at the phone. You can practice with another salesperson beforehand to get the hang of it. When you are talking to the customer, look directly into the camera. To them, it will seem as if you are talking to them rather than seeing your eyes focused elsewhere. — just like you would if they were physically on your lot.
Smile – There’s magic in your smile and smiling while engaging in a video call can be one of the most important strategies for success. Smiling while on the video call will not only help you relax and improve your mood and energy, it will also help the consumer relax. Remember, it’s not only “what you say,” but “how you say it” that matters. The video call is your opportunity to build a personal relationship with the consumer and get them to truly like you. We all know that people buy from people they like, and a simple smile while engaging the consumer is scientifically proven to improve your chances of being liked — just like you would if they were physically on your lot.
Live video has never been more important in the sales world. Buying a car is a big decision for most customers, typically the second-largest purchase any consumer makes. Regardless of whether you are open for business completely, or only online, consumers are getting more comfortable with online shopping. If you are a veteran in the automotive industry, think about how different your communication strategy was in 2010 versus 2020. Now imagine how different it will be in 2030. Trust me, the next ten years are going to fly by, so make sure you stay ahead of the competition and are prepared for the acceleration and adoption of this technology by consumers. Great conversations certainly lead to more sales. And live video is a highly effective way to have great conversations with your customers.
About the Author
Tim James is a dynamic online marketing strategist with more than 20 years of visionary leadership. Tim is experienced in implementing, managing, and improving online and interactive marketing strategies across multiple channels.