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Retail Car Lot

Top 10 ways to Improve the Car Buying Experience.

Make the Car Buying Experience a WOW Moment for Your Customer

From the get go, consider the customer experience. Even when setting an appointment, explain the process, in other words let them know what to expect when you get together. If they are coming to you, make sure they know where to go exactly, not just the address, but direction inside the building as to where you are.

top ten car buying tipsMake yourself distinguishable: When the customer arrives, chances are they will be met by another salesperson and their is a good chance the customer will not remember your name. One trick I used was to have a big plant in my office, so when I set the appointment, I just told them to go to the office with be giant plant. Another example; I had a salesperson that worked for me named Dorothy, she used to tell customers to “Follow the yellow brick road”. When customers arrived they would ask for the yellow brick road and the greater would point right at Dorothy’s office. Even items of clothing are valuable, my dad for example wore a three piece suit for years, he would tell customers to “look for the Irish guy who looks like he’s going to a wedding.”

Have the car ready. I cannot stress this enough.  Pull the demo vehicle up front and make sure it has gas. Again, a feeling of urgency is the mission, you want them to know they matter.

Know their name: When a customer arrives, have their name ready. Write it down if you have to. I put their info in my CRM and have it loaded on my phone, this way it is at my finger tips and I can add info as I collect it.

Make eye contact: This sounds so basic, but I cannot tell you how many salespeople look around as they speak to customers. Look them in the eye and you ask questions, split your time between all parties. If they have kids, introduce yourself to them too, and ask them questions periodicity.

Ask questions early on that illicid shopping answers:  “What would you like to accomplish today?” or “Consider me your shoppers assistant, how can I help?”

Have toys for kids to play with: I have a small box filled with brand new matchbox cars (99 cents on Amazon) even pink ones for the girls. I also have coloring books and crayons (again 99 cents) that I give the kids to play with. I also have 2 older Nintendo DS’s that I got on eBay for 50 bucks with Mario cart loaded. This will keep a child occupied for hours and make the shopping process a WOW for your customers.

Coke for a Car BuyerHave quality beverages available. A good cup of coffee is one of the best ways to relax a customer, spend some money on a higher quality coffee machine. I like the Keurig because it allows the customer to select and brew their perfect blend.
Also have cold water, Cokes and lemonade. There is something homey about offering a ice cold glass of lemonade. In the condo sales area at Disney they have a full ice-cream bar, again make them feel comfortable. Serve coffee in a high quality paper bio-degradable cup.

Make sure the bathroom at your business is immaculate, and stocked with supplies like diapers, paper towels and even disposable toothbrushes. Hand sanitizer and mouth wash pump with small cups are also a wow.

You get the idea, small touches make all the difference, I once sold a car because I noticed that my customer child has a bug bite, so I offered the mom bug cream and a Band-Aid. Her smile was priceless. Little things like that wow customers and get them to talk about you with their friends. Result: You get referrals and the keep coming back. Don’t forget to friend them on Facebook the same day.

By Kevin Leigh

Entrepreneur / Writer / Serial Growth Hacker

As the son of immigrants, Kevin Leigh lives the American dream and understands the value of hard work and enterprise.
Leigh’s family immigrated to the United States from Ireland when Kevin was just 13 and Kevin has spent his adult life building a successful career while always staying grounded in his Irish roots.

Leigh studied at Drimnagh Castle in Dublin Ireland and in Lancaster, NY and has spent the past 34 years working primarily in the automotive industry. Leigh’s work has involved sales, business development, digital marketing, software development and growth hacking.

Leigh was the Director of Finance for an Auto Nation Dealership in Buffalo New York. for almost 14 years, working with Mike Maroone and his Father Al. Then Leigh spent nearly 17 years with West Herr Automotive Group, the a top 25 dealer group in Buffalo, as the Director of Business Development and Digital Marketing.
In both positions, Kevin was successful in implementing programs that increased both the size of the businesses and their profits. In one perticually successful project for West Herr, Leigh’s team created used vehicle inventory management software resulting in a 300+% growth in used vehicle sales. When Kevin left West Herr, the company was delivering almost 40,000 retail automobiles and another 15,000 profitable wholesale transactions.

Most recently, Kevin Leigh co-founded Dealer Simplified, LLC, a company dedicated to simplifying automotive software. Leigh has called this venture his passion and it allows him to combine his entrepreneurial skills with his ability to utilize current technology to create more effective automotive solutions. The goal of Dealer Simplified is to jump-start the profit centers in dealerships while keeping the processes and software simple and easy to understand and implement.

Kevin Leigh is also an accomplished author and is passionate about writing and blogging. His latest novel, “Gollup the Woods” was inspired by the stories he heard from his father on their many trips through the Irish countryside. The novel is targeted towards young adults and features the adventures of orphaned twins with magical powers.

Kevin currently resides in Alden, New York with his wife Mary and their three boys. Leigh spends his spare time volunteering with various community organizations and is active in the Geocaching community.