Did you know 73% of Americans will likely abandon a brand after one unfavorable experience? This means fostering good customer relationships should be a top priority. Recognizing common mistakes during the buyer’s journey can help mitigate the risk of losing potential customers and set your dealership up for success.
Here are eight common mistakes to avoid during your sales process:
1. Dismissing Customer Needs
Successful service means addressing your customers’ needs promptly and respectfully. When asking what brings someone to your dealership, you should take care and listen with intent. Then, take what you learned about your prospects and work to deliver their needs.
Failing to listen to your customers can result in a missed opportunity. For example, if a customer is dead set on a Class B motorhome model from the previous year and you decide to show them the newest Class A model instead (thinking they’ll be impressed), they may be offended by your dismissal of their requests and choose to search elsewhere.
On the other hand, a customer might enter your dealership without conducting prior research or having predetermined interests. If this is the case, you should take the time to explain their options and give them ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss ideas.
Ignoring what your customers are saying can halt the sale, but listening attentively will allow you to respond correctly and help them find the most suitable choice.
2. Being Underprepared
Individuals who enter your dealership are likely considering spending a great deal of money. To commit to a purchase, they’ll be looking for high-quality products and customer service. As a result, sales representatives must be prepared to answer questions regarding specific units. Otherwise, potential customers may be turned off from giving your dealership their business.
Lack of preparation shows up in various ways. For example, not knowing where – or if – you have a specific unit on your lot exposes disorganization and can prevent a successful sale. These potential customers are visiting your dealership with a serious inquiry, so you will want to impress them with organization and efficiency. You can adopt advanced geo-location technology to stay up to date with unit inventory information (such as location) and be ready to help potential customers who walk through your doors.
Employees may also be underprepared if they aren’t optimizing how they use your dealership’s DMS technology. You can boost employee efficiency and accuracy by encouraging training opportunities throughout the year — such as attending specialized dealer training events. In return, this investment will improve their ability to provide top-tier customer service.
3. Emphasizing Features Over Benefits
The impressive features of your specialty vehicle may be what brought a customer into your dealership, but the benefit provided by the feature is ultimately what will seal the deal.
Rather than focusing on what the cool new feature does, you should try to connect the feature to something you’ve learned about your prospects. Do they have kids? Describe how a new pontoon boat at your marina maximizes comfortable seating space to accommodate families. Are they concerned about safety? Then explain how the jet skis you sell are equipped with intelligent braking and reverse to avoid collision. You can use context clues to your advantage and demonstrate how your product is perfect for the customer’s unique needs.
4. Having A Bad Attitude
Have you ever changed your mind about a purchase due to an unpleasant encounter with an employee? For many, the answer is yes. Disagreeable encounters can dramatically impact the likelihood of a finalized purchase. In fact, Forbes found that 67% of consumers would end their relationship with a company because of rudeness or apathy.
When you engage with customers, be friendly, welcoming, and eager to help. If the customer is the one exhibiting rude behavior, try your best not to harbor negativity toward them.
Be cautious of the information and opinions you express while conducting a sale. Oversharing can result in lost sales opportunities and uncomfortable situations — potentially leaving customers offended and no longer interested in what your dealership offers. It can be helpful to get to know your customers, but you should be sure to keep a certain level of professionalism throughout the sale.
6. Making Promises You Can't Keep
Trust is essential when building a strong and long-lasting customer relationship. It’s better to be honest than to cause disappointment in the future, so avoid making promises you aren’t certain you can keep. For instance, if it’s unclear when a unit will arrive on your lot, don’t tell your customer it will be ready by a certain date. When that day rolls around and the unit still isn’t ready, the customer will just be upset.
7. Putting Too Much Pressure on the Buyer
During the sales process, keep in mind that not every person who enters your dealership is ready to buy. Putting too much pressure on your customers can push them further away from closing a deal. They want to feel confident in their decision, not cornered. If a customer has made it clear they’re not interested in a certain model, financing method, or extended warranty plan, move on.
Avoiding putting too much pressure on your customers can apply outside the dealership as well. Although follow-up is important, avoid bombarding your leads. You want customers to feel excited to return after giving their purchase more thought.
8. Providing Inconsistent Customer Service
After a positive first experience with your dealership, customers will expect – and should receive – the same level of customer service during every other interaction. In fact, 60% of consumers purchase from the same business because of their positive service experience in the past. Whether a customer is bringing their RV, watercraft, or powersports vehicle in for service or is searching for a new product, you’ll want to remind them why they became a loyal customer in the first place.
Creating a supportive and positive sales experience is essential for fostering a healthy customer relationship and strong brand loyalty. By avoiding these common sales mistakes, you’ll be able to witness significant customer success growth.