In a 2021 study by Marchex and Root & Associates, 91% of car shoppers said that trust in the salesperson and/or dealership was an important factor in their dealership selection process. That is higher than the percentage of people (85%) who chose “Absolute lowest price” as an important factor! As one of our great industry friends used to always say, “It’s the PEOPLE, people!”
This is one reason why so many car shoppers read online reviews before visiting a dealership. They want to know if the dealership and its salespeople are trustworthy. But do you know where else they look for information? Right on your own website!
The vast majority of car shoppers’ first contact with your dealership is when they visit a vehicle display page (VDP). There they can find plenty of information about their vehicle of interest. But most VDPs do not have any information about the dealership or their sales staff on these pages. This is a HUGE missed opportunity to establish trust early in the buying process.
To take advantage of this opportunity, follow this simple, three-step process.
*1 Make Staff Introduction and Value Proposition Videos
People buy from people they like; it’s human nature. Most salespeople are very personable and likeable, which is why you hire them in the first place. Additionally, most salespeople make a better impression “in person” than they do on the phone and in emails.
Create a staff introduction video for every salesperson on your team. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Have them say their name, why they enjoy working in the car business, and share a personal hobby or pastime. Do they enjoy going to their kids’ baseball games? Do they enjoy fishing or playing video games? Do they play an instrument? Sharing personal information makes them relatable, and less like scary salespeople who are just out to make money. Above all, make sure that your salespeople are smiling!
Imagine being able to choose a salesperson you want to work with, instead of the random draw of calling in or pulling on the lot. I would love the opportunity to see and listen to salespeople and decide who I want to do business with. The closing percentage has got to be much higher.
In addition to staff introduction videos, create one (or several) dealership value proposition videos. Why should the customer buy from your dealership?
*2 Post Links to Videos on Your VDPs
Once you have these videos, post them on your “About” pages on your website, as well as on your social media platforms. But don’t stop there. Remember, the first contact with your dealership is typically with your VDPs.
When a car shopper lands on a VDP, they are looking for information about a vehicle. If you have inventory videos, they are very likely to click on the “Play video” button. This is when the opportunity to sell your salespeople comes into play.
Have the video link take the car shopper to a landing page with several more videos available to watch. This is where you can post your dealership proposition and staff introduction videos. Once a person watches one video, it’s very natural to watch another video. This is why people spend hours on YouTube every day.
Another option is to have a button on every VDP that says “Take a Virtual Test Drive.” When the car shopper clicks on the button, they are connected to a salesperson at your dealership via a live streaming phone call. Your salespeople can chat live with them, and offer to do a virtual test drive with a camera mounted on the dashboard. Can you imagine the impact of a real-time, live virtual test drive?
*3 Send Videos in Lead Responses
In addition to posting your staff introduction videos on your website, have your salespeople send their introduction video in every email lead response. Even better, create a process for your sales team to make quick, personalized lead response videos. As a consumer, wouldn’t you be impressed if a salesperson took the time to make a personalized video just for you, and emailed it to you?
As consumers complete more of the vehicle purchase process online, making those personal connections can be challenging. Staff introduction videos are a great way to establish an emotional connection with car shoppers, and to start building that trust that plays a critical role in the dealership selection process.