The car buying process has changed drastically over the years in a number of ways. For example, in the past, most consumers were reluctant to shop for a vehicle online. But in today’s world, many consumers are completing some or all of the car buying process online rather than in a dealership.
Even though consumers have changed the way they shop for cars, many auto dealers have not changed the way they sell to consumers. This is especially true when it comes to the customer’s experience at the dealership.
The vast majority of auto dealers use a multi-person sales model to sell to customers. But now, some experts recommend that auto dealers switch to a one-person sales model instead. What is a one-person sales model? Is it an effective way to increase sales at your dealership? Here’s what you need to know:
Multi-Person vs. One-Person Sales Model for Car Dealerships
Most dealerships currently use a multi-person sales model. This means customers who visit these dealerships must interact with multiple people throughout the sales process, including sales representatives, sales managers, and finance and insurance professionals. They may even work with multiple sales representatives before being passed off to a sales manager or finance and insurance professional.
A one-person sales model, on the other hand, streamlines the process by allowing one sales representative to work with a customer throughout the entire transaction. This sales representative is responsible for handling all of the tasks that the sales managers, finance and insurance professionals, and others would normally handle. In other words, the process itself is the same, but the customer works with the same person to complete each of the steps rather than multiple people.
Few dealerships have switched from a multi-person to one-person sales model. However, some experts believe that it’s crucial for dealers to embrace this new sales model.
What Are the Benefits of the One-Person Sales Model?
There are a number of benefits to implementing a one-person sales model at your dealership, including:
- Faster Process
- Stronger Relationships
- More Knowledgeable Sales Representatives
- Better Experience for Customers
No customer wants to spend hours at the dealership. Fortunately, switching to a one-person sales model could speed up the process of buying a new car for consumers.
Why? Under the one-person sales model, a customer who wants to buy a car will work with the same sales representative from the start to the finish. They won’t have to waste time explaining their needs to each sales representative they are passed off to throughout the process. They won’t need to wait around the dealership until a finance and insurance professional is available to help.
The sales representative they are paired with at the start of their journey will quickly guide them through each step of the process. As a result, making this switch can drastically reduce the amount of time that it takes to buy a new car in a dealership.
Building strong relationships with your customers is crucial to the success of your dealership. But it can be challenging to build a strong relationship with a customer under a multi-person sales model. Right when a sales representative is getting to know a customer, they have to pass them off to the next person in the process. There’s not enough time to lay the foundation for a strong relationship.
Fortunately, moving to a one-person sales model could help your dealership’s sales team build and maintain stronger relationships with customers. Under a one-person sales model, the sales representative stays with the customer throughout the entire transaction. This gives the sales representative more time to form a genuine connection with the customer.
This could make it easier for your team to close sales now and in the future. If your customers have strong relationships with your sales representatives, they are more likely to visit your dealership when they need another car years from now.
More Knowledgeable Sales Representatives
Switching to a one-person sales model can result in a more knowledgeable team of sales representatives. If you are using a multi-person sales model, your sales representatives only need to know how to complete a very small part of the sales process. Because they only play a small role, they may not know much about the other steps in the process. This can make it difficult to answer customers’ questions and address their concerns.
For example, a sales representative in a multi-person model may not know anything about financing and insurance since they don’t handle this part of the sales process. If a customer asks them a question about financing or insurance, they may not provide them with the right information.
But under a one-person sales model, your sales representatives will need to know about the entire sales process. This will make them more confident on the sales floor and help them provide better service to your customers.
Better Experience for Customers
Improving the car buying experience for your customers should always be one of your top priorities. If you want to enhance their experience, switch to a one-person sales model.
Studies show that automotive consumers are not satisfied with the amount of time that it takes to buy a new car. In fact, the less time a customer spends at the dealership, the more satisfied they are with their car buying experience. Remember, the one-person sales model speeds up the car buying process for consumers. Therefore, switching to this model can increase your customers’ satisfaction.
Your customers may also feel more valued and appreciated under a one-person sales model. They won’t feel as if they are just being passed from person to person until someone is able to close the deal. Instead, they will feel as if their sales representative genuinely cares about their needs and business.
The Challenges of Implementing A One-Person Sales Model
If you choose to switch to a one-person sales model at your dealership, you may encounter several challenges along the way, including:
- Skeptical Sales Team
Training is one of the main obstacles you will face when switching to a one-person sales model. If you are currently using a multi-person sales model, every member of your team only knows how to perform their specific role in the sales process. But if you want to switch to a one-person sales model, you will need to train your team on how to perform every role in the sales process.
For example, you may need to host training sessions on financing and insurance so your sales team knows how to help customers complete these steps in the process.
It may take time to train everyone, so it’s important to be patient. Don’t officially make the switch to a one-person sales model until you are confident that everyone on your team has been thoroughly trained.
Skeptical Sales Team
Your sales team might be skeptical of switching to a one-person sales model, which is another hurdle you will have to jump. Auto dealers have used the multi-person model for decades, so some sales representatives may be resistant to change.
Others may not understand why it is necessary to switch or may feel as if they will need to take on more work and responsibilities as a result of the change. Your sales team may also worry that they won’t be able to perform specific duties that are now required of them. For instance, they may wonder whether they will be capable of closing deals now that they can’t pass off their customers to a designated “closer” on the team.
You will need to invest in new technology in order to successfully make the switch to a one-person sales model.
Auto dealers that make this switch typically rely on software that allows sales representatives to use a single computer screen to complete every step of the sales process.
You will need to research your options, choose the right software for your dealership, and ensure that everyone on your team knows how to use it once it’s installed. This requires time and money, which may make you hesitant to switch. However, experts believe that your investment will pay off in the long run.
Tips for Transitioning to A One-Person Sales Model At Your Dealership
If you’re thinking about making the switch to a one-person sales model, there are some steps you can take to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Follow these tips:
- Get your team onboard. If your team is unhappy with the switch, it’s important to take the time to address their concerns. Explain how the switch will benefit them by allowing them to build stronger relationships with their customers so they can generate more sales. If your team isn’t onboard with the idea, it will be harder to implement this sales model.
- Take it slow. Don’t rush into a one-person sales model. This is a major change, so it’s important to make sure everyone is ready to perform their new duties before you switch.
- Expect a learning curve. Be prepared for some members of your team to adapt to the changes better than others. Everyone learns at a different pace.
By following these tips, you can successfully switch to a one-person sales model, generate more sales, and grow your dealership.