With the enhanced community quarantine running for about a month now, many businesses are indeed hurting. The COVID-19 outbreak that has caused all this trouble, after all, doesn’t choose its targets so we can agree that closing shop is a safer bet for customers and employees.
So, what’s an innovative entrepreneur to do during these trying times? Well, turn to online sales, of course. Now, if you’re like us who are working from home, surely you’ve taken advantage of the numerous delivery services for essential goods by now.
Even the largest car seller in the Philippines temporarily ceased their operations
But what about car dealerships and car sellers in general? Is there a way to effectively sell a car amid the COVID-19 crisis?
Ways on how to effectively sell cars amid the COVID-19 crisis
Before we talk about actual strategies, let us first get some facts straight: selling cars is considered a non-essential business.
Going out for any car selling related activity, even for private sellers might also be considered a “non-essential trip” so authorities might bar you from these activities during the duration of the ECQ. Or worse, you might even get arrested.
The basics: What is a lead?
This is why we’re focusing on online selling strategies to help you meet and record people who are interested in buying your car. In the world of sales and marketing, this is called a “lead.”
Now, leads are important because they give you, the seller, a list of potential car buyers you can contact or follow up on. This definition, however, is hotly debated between people in sales and people in marketing.
Regardless of what they are, leads are people who are interested in your product
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For marketers in the automotive industry, leads are simply an entity linked to contact info that they can convince to engage in a sales conversation later. Take note that people have varying degrees of interest, so this is where “lead quality” comes in. More on that later.
For salespeople, however, this definition might not be enough because their definition of a lead might be limited to people who are ready to buy, or simply sales-ready leads.
This begs presents us with the first tip:
Tip #1. Never stop generating leads
Car sellers, especially during this time, should stay on top of their lead generation. This is regardless of what exactly a “lead” means as we’ve mentioned above.
Sure, it might be time-consuming to entertain a lead with a mere smidgeon of interest in a car, but even this might turn to a “good quality lead” if…
Find a platform and have leads for your car
Tip #2. You put in the effort with content
Now, as with most, but not all car-selling businesses nowadays, their websites not only have car listings but also offer great car-related content.
This way, a potential car buyer will have a convenient way of performing research about a car model he/she wants without having the need to crawl through thousands of google searches.
And yes, almost all car buyers in today’s world are smarter and will do research, as such, providing “definitive answers” to your prospects' queries about a car will come in handy to turn that person into a potential sale.
It also helps a lot when you're transparent with your car's details especially its mileage
In this vein, we highly advise car sellers including private individuals who are selling their cars to provide a clear outline of a car’s features, mileage, transmission type, etc.
Basically be complete in making a listing for a car. Don’t rely on things like “PM is the key” because that wastes yours and your potential client’s time.
Also, do take a lot of pictures of the car. Include shots of its front, its side, its rear end, the dashboard, the seats, the trunk, and the engine.
And if possible, make sure to take clear and great pictures. This will help a lot nowadays because interested parties cannot go out and see the car in the flesh.
Tip #3. Take your time to call “lost” prospects
Remember that guy who called a week ago and never did call back? How about that person who came into your dealership before the ECQ and stared at some cars but never did call or visit again?
Well, guess what, they might still be in the market for a car so get in contact with these lost prospects because a.) they might be willing to buy a car after the ECQ, or b.) they just forgot about your dealership/the car you’re selling.
Tip #4. Conversion Architecture is your best friend
How do you identify leads in the first place? Through conversion architecture, of course. These are stuff on your website like forms that you usually see before downloading a car model’s brochure.
Also, these are a section of a website that allows a potential lead to come into contact with you.
For individual car sellers, don’t forget to leave a contact number and/or your e-mail address on a car listing.
Tip #5. Use reputable third-party websites
For individual sellers and car dealerships, one way to increase leads is to list the car that you’re selling on a reputable third party car classifieds website. One of the best and the largest automotive classifieds here in the Philippines is Philkotse.com.
How to create a great listing on Philkotse
A car seller should also choose a third party site with strong content and has an easy-to-use interface, as well as those with a strong social media presence.
The last one is particularly important because followers of a third party website might also share your sales listings to other users or even on other social media pages. This, of course, benefits you, the car seller, as this creates more leads.
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Tip #6. Patience. A lot of patience
As you already know, one important step in buying a car is actually seeing the car in the flesh. This is something that we cannot do during the ECQ.
As such, a seller, as well as a car buyer nowadays, should exercise patience. So for now, let’s keep our car selling activities on the internet and let’s just wait until this crisis ends.
Here's to hoping that your leads will turn to actual sales after this ECQ
For more car buying and selling guides, keep reading here on Philkotse.com, the Philippines’ leading automotive news portal and car classifieds website.
Cesar G.B. Miguel