I overheard Liz Martin talking with one of our partners today about the lasting effect of the Virtual Online Sales process after the COVID-19 situation has passed. Then tonight I read an article which featured the quote below from Microsoft’s Rik van der Kooi. Both the conversation and the article made the same point, “there is no putting the online genie back into the bottle.” 

Sure, showrooms will fill up again. Hot dogs, pizza, giant balloons, and radio remotes will draw crowds. But things will be different. For one, dealers who figured out the online sale/delivery process through the pandemic will have a leg up on the competition as they will be able to go both old school and new age. Secondly, consumers who have experienced the joy of having a new RV or car delivered to their driveway will be reticent to return to sitting in lounges waiting for F&I to come to fetch them. Lastly, salespeople who figured out they are way more productive with a laptop and headset will continue to embrace technology.

One of my mentors Tom Ranker used to say, “in life sometimes you have to turn chicken sh*t into chicken salad.” If Tom we’re still with us today, I’m sure he would be telling his staff to make good use of this time to prepare for when it’s over. For dealers this time, while painful and frightening, can also, be valuable. The pandemic has forced training wheels on many. Learn to ride by throwing out the playbook and start with the basics.

1.) How do I get to know the customer? – Elevator speeches and firm handshakes have to be replaced with well written texts, emails and chats.

2.) How do I advance the sale by asking questions ? – As above text, chat and email are your friend, but you will find that video and the phone will become your besties.

3.) How do I do a walk around or test-drive? – Here video is the secret sauce. Skype, Facetime and apps like BDV (shameless plug) will allow both personality and product to shine.

4.) How does F&I function with no box? – Can technology help me make full menu presentations? Should F&I be brought in sooner so they can see the deal being built?

5.) If I get this far, can I deliver at a customers’ home? After all, we can’t just ring the doorbell and leave the keys on the mat.

These questions and hundreds of others will need answers. The good news is that you have some time to do your homework. One question that won’t need an answer is,” to what level will consumers embrace shopping from home?” No, that genie is out of the bottle, and there is no coaxing it back inside

Meaghan Cooper, VP of BDC Operations, spoke at RVDA and dealers cannot stop talking about it!

VP of BDC Operations Meaghan Cooper got a cool shoutout in this month’s edition of RV News. Read about Meaghan’s presentation at RVDA and get caught up on all things RV. https://lnkd.in/euwQmeH