Five things that will make a difference in your sales for 2018

Rain or shine, good days and bad, boom or bust, you’re out there selling cars.

And with new-car sales expected to retrench this year – and used-car sales rise only slightly – you need to do everything just right to make sure you get your piece of the pie.

Some things you’re doing, or not, which didn’t hurt as much when sales were increasing year over year, could prevent your dealership from squeezing the best results from lower consumer demand.

Is selling to women on your to-do list for 2018?

Is selling to women on your to-do list for 2018?

CBT Automotive Network took a tongue-in-cheek, yet still useful, look at How to NOT sell cars in 2018.

“Sales processes have evolved, and the traditional way of selling cars is losing its effectiveness,” wrote Jason Unrau at “Dealers and salespeople who resist change and continue to do things the way they’ve always been done can expect their sales numbers in 2018 to slip.”

“If you don’t want to sell as many cars in 2018, keep doing these five things,” he wrote, suggesting, of course, that doing the reverse is more likely to boost your results.

Print advertising

Citing a report, Unrau writes that “newspaper readership in print declined eight percent in 2016 from the previous year. That stat is accelerating as more people read news online and papers are left on the stand. Spending money on print ads was effective in the past, but that tide is turning.” He suggests targeting desired readers online with the help of a digital marketing agency.

Which shoppers to target

“Nearly 80 percent of automotive industry personnel are male … [and] vehicle ads are often highly masculine,” writes Unrau, an automotive specialist with more than 15 years of dealership experience. “In contrast, 65 percent of new-car buyers are women and 80 percent of car purchases are influenced by women.” He suggests creating greater appeal for female shoppers by hiring more female staff, changing the way you advertise, and updating your showroom processes.

Value of the walk-around

Don’t rush or skip this step – or, for that matter, the test drive – if you want to make the most of customers who have entered your showroom. “Build a relationship with the shopper and nurture interest in the car itself with a thorough, knowledgeable walk-around … [and] test drive,” he writes.

Negotiating with customer

“Car buyers spend more than eight hours, on average, researching a car before setting foot in the dealership,” Unrau writes. “They know the list price. … But as soon as price is the focus of the shopping experience, you’ve either lost the sale or all the gross profit. … Negotiate based on terms whenever possible [and] present financing or lease terms to base the conversation on.”

Set yourself apart

“When the car is the focus of the sale, you aren’t setting yourself apart, and the customer has no reason to stay and buy from you,” Unrau writes. He recommends setting your dealership apart from others in the area selling the same product by making shopping a dealership experience. “Show the customer what makes you different, both personally and as a company.”

And make a difference in your results this year.

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