When making a purchase as big as a car, consumers need to answer an assortment of questions before they’ll contact or visit a dealership. Questions like — Is this vehicle right for me? Can I afford it? Where should I buy it? and, Who do I buy it from?
While I think we all agree that things like pricing, transparency and building trust via online reviews are key considerations during the car shopping journey, you may not have realized that consumer behavior has shifted to the point now where shoppers want to know exactly who they’ll be working with at the dealership.
97% of car shoppers say they’d prefer to choose their salesperson before they enter the dealership.*
Even without this super compelling stat from our friends at DealerRater, you can probably uncover this sentiment just by using Google Analytics to see how many pageviews your website’s Staff Page receives on a monthly basis. In my experience, it’s almost always in the top 15 most viewed pages on your website and often times it cracks the top 10.
That said, while your website’s staff page is great for putting a face to a name that a customer may have already connected with through lead follow up via text or a phone call — staff pages typically don’t do much on their own to start laying the foundation for building a genuine connection between a salesperson and a customer without prior contact.
MEET SALESPERSON CONNECT™
The good news is that we’ve been able to fill that gap by integrating Salesperson Connect™ from DealerRater® within the Dealer Inspire web platform. This new integration lets you enhance the user experience by highlighting your top salespeople on the most important pages on your website.
With Salesperson Connect™, the ratings, profiles, and reviews for each of your top salespeople are seamlessly incorporated into your DI website’s VDPs and Staff Page to drive personalized, 1:1 leads.
COMPETE ON YOUR REPUTATION, NOT YOUR PRICE
The data shows that not only do people want to choose who they work with at the dealership, but those customers who submit a lead via Salesperson Connect™ have an 89% higher lead-to-close rate and close 16% faster than regular website leads**.
At a time when dealers are increasingly competing on lowest price, you can differentiate your store by highlighting your salespeople. By focusing more on your people, you’ll be able to stop racing to the bottom and win customers based on the value and experience your team can deliver.
When consumers trust your people, they are less likely to haggle and more likely to accept a fair deal, helping your store to increase margins.
IT’S GOOD FOR EMPLOYEE LOYALTY TOO
I’ve never met a car dealer who wasn’t hyper-focused on their Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score. But did you know that there’s a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction? To put it simply, the more valued and professionally fulfilled employees feel by their organization, the more likely that positive sentiment will be passed along to customers as well.
Data suggests that employees at companies that invest in personal branding initiatives like Salesperson Connect™ are 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future; 20% are more likely to stay at their company; and 40% are more likely to believe their company is more competitive.
There isn’t an easier way to show your sales team you care by putting them front and center on the most viewed pages on your website.
If you’re already a DealerRater customer, you can add Salesperson Connect™ to your Dealer Inspire VDP’s and Staff Page at not additional cost to you. Not a DealerRater customer just yet? What are you waiting for!
*Survey of 17,981 car buyers on DealerRater.com, October 2018
**Based on sales and lead data provided from 39 DealerRater customers July 12-December 31, 2017. 3 Based on 16,500 vehicle sales data from 10 dealerships, 3-months prior-to compared to 3-months following enrollment with DealerRater Connections Plus