The stars and stripes are fluttering on cars up and down the lot. The streamers are streaming, and that floaty Uncle Sam balloon guy is doing his dance. Incentives are high, prices are low, and when you put it all together it means just one thing: Time to sell some cars over another red hot holiday weekend. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), in fact, there’s often a 25 percent lift in car sales during holiday weekends -- when compared to a typical mid-month weekend. This is especially important in July, as the holiday can make up a big chunk of sales for a long summer month. The simple fact is that many people have plenty of time this weekend to check out cars, do their research online, and go for a test drive. As such it’s times like this when your showroom workflow matters most of all. With that in mind, we’ve gathered three simple tips to keep in mind as you get ready for the Fourth of July:
Tip 1: Pick up where the shopper left off, online
A typical shopper has already done their research online, and has started the purchase process by filling out a credit application and trade-in evaluation tool. Many will have also penciled a deal on the VDP by using solutions such as MakeMyDeal. Point is, today’s car shoppers become buyers online – then continue the relationship in the store, where they finalize the deal. So be sure to pick up where they left off online. It makes the sale faster, friendlier and more productive.
Tip #2: Don’t forget your compliance steps
A busy dealership is a good place for consumer identity fraud, and it’s also an opportunity for missed regulatory steps in the sales process. So be sure your team is checking the box on meeting the Red Flag Rule, and OFAC requirements. They should also be printing Risk Based Pricing Notices and Privacy Notices. And don't forget about your Adverse Action Notices. These are notices sent to customers when you’re unable to get them financing, when you unwind a spot deal, or when you take their credit app but do not send it to any financial institution. Remember, the key to good compliance is to make it an integrated part of your unique workflow.
Tip #3: Optimize your aftermarket menu selling
Hopefully you’ve moved on from the days of plastic-covered binders and have embraced technology-driven presentations that create a personalized and interactive experience. If so, make sure you’re leveraging reporting and data analysis to present the right products to the right customer. Don’t forget, as well, to capture acknowledgement signatures during the menu selling process. By having the customer sign or initial the menu – signifying their acceptance or rejection of each product – you protect your dealership from potential fines.
When it comes to holiday sales weekends – especially the Fourth – the key is to be consistent and have a process that easily transitions shoppers from the online experience into the showroom, and ensures that all critical steps are made throughout the experience -- an experience that ends with a happy customer in a new car.