By Dave O’Brien of Quantum5

While digital retailing is the current buzzword in our industry, I think any way of selling to today’s online customer should instead be termed “modern retailing.” In today’s increasingly digital environment knowing how to read people and adjust to their relational style is no longer just a best practice, it’s imperative to your success.

Teach your people the power of asking great questions designed to uncover high-value needs and motivations. Listen to understand and really dig into the motivations of each individual. This is a different process than most of us were trained on growing up in the auto industry. Car dealerships are process-oriented places, from the 10 steps to a sale, to the order which you do a walk around with a prospect. We all grew up with the tired word tracks and training videos delivered through CDs.
It’s time for the next evolution of learning and relating.

Only after we teach our sales and service staff to meet each individual customer where they are in their own sales journey, will we be ready to really embrace the “I” in Omnichannel.

How do we do it?

1. Build trust, credibility and relationship through understanding people
2. Learn a prospect’s needs and motivations by asking great questions
3. Tailor product value to these needs and motivations
4. Build next steps in the sales process and know how to respond to any resistance
5. Build lifetime value with the customer by keeping it personal and relatable.

In order to make this business shift, dealerships will need to make three re-alignments: culture, people and training.

Culture Alignment – Your dealership must agree on the customer experience while training staff to meet the customer where they are in their own sales journey. If aligned then everyone, both the salesperson and the customer, get their needs met and the result is increased monthly profits.

People Alignment – Hire right. The traditional problem of salesperson turnover will never allow for a true Omnichannel experience. If you use data to appraise a vehicle, you should be willing to use data to appraise new hires. We like to say that employee retention will become a dealership’s superpower.

Training Alignment – Train for modern retail. Customers are taking their own journey, interacting with some of your tools but perhaps not others. They will expect to meet a real person who will embrace what they have already done and who will be their advocate. This will require new skills.

I don’t care if you call it frictionless selling, digital retailing or omnichannel marketing, at the end of the day, we are still a business built upon people relating to the needs of other people. So let’s go out there and do what we do best, put the I back in Omnichannel and get back to the basics of caring for the customers and where they are in their own journey.

Author: Christine Corkran

Digital Dealer