Turn Your Cell Phone into a Sell Phone

There’s a good chance you’ve been in this situation before: A shopper changes her mind about the car she’s considering and prepares to leave your store, until you offer to show her another vehicle that you believe will meet her needs. She likes the car, agrees to a test drive and, afterward, seems interested in taking the next step – only she hasn’t had the opportunity to research this particular model or calculate the monthly payment. While you feel confident that you can address these questions, some shoppers prefer to negotiate only after they’ve done their own homework. So which will it be: Deal or no deal? In this month’s Tips & Techniques, find out how you can put the mobile web to work for you to turn this undecided shopper into a sale.

Thanks to the growing popularity of the mobile web, undecided shoppers no longer need to leave your lot to do their homework. With any web-enabled mobile device, such as a cell phone, shoppers can now access mobile versions of sites such as Cars.com to read reviews, calculate payments and research Kelley Blue Book used-car values. By directing shoppers to online information sites they know and trust, you can build potential buyers’ confidence and help them get the information they feel they need before signing on the dotted line. Here’s how to turn your cell phone into a powerful closing tool:

  1. Save shoppers a trip: When a shopper gets ready to leave your lot stating his or her need to go home and do more research, offer to save the customer the trip. Let shoppers know they can do more research right from their phone if they subscribe to a mobile web service. (A growing number of consumers subscribe to such services. In fact, 71 percent of all cell phones in the United States are web-enabled, and 41 percent of U.S. consumers already use their cell phones to surf the web).
    Direct shoppers to Cars.com mobile, where they can gather all the information they need to make a purchase decision. If the shopper doesn’t have mobile web access, you may also consider offering internet access from a kiosk in your dealership.
  2. Use mobile pricing data to your advantage: Consumers trust online vehicle pricing data such as Kelley Blue Book. In many cases, these values exceed the pricing of cars on your lot. Assuming your vehicles are priced at or below Kelley Blue Book, direct consumers to online applications so they can see for themselves that they are getting a fair deal.

As more car shoppers turn to the mobile web for vehicle information, this trend will bring more opportunities for your dealership to connect with quality, in-market buyers. In addition to using such applications as a closing tool to build confidence with shoppers on the lot, you must also take steps to ensure you don’t turn off mobile shoppers. The experts at Cars.com recommend the following to ensure you’ll be successful with mobile automotive researchers:

  1. Keep it fresh: With access to your online inventory right from their phones, shoppers can find the car they want and click to call you for more details, perhaps while on route to your store. Few things will upset these shoppers more than to find out that the car they are inquiring about is no longer available. In the mobile age, it’s critical to keep your inventory fresh.
  2. Be consistent: With online access in hand, it’s essential that details such as price and mileage are consistently presented to shoppers, online and off. Imagine a consumer accessing an online listing from his or her mobile phone while standing on your lot and seeing a different price and a different reading on the odometer than what was advertised. It can damage your credibility and your opportunity to earn the business.

Additional Resources

Cars.com recently launched a mobile channel, making many of our most popular tools and research content available to shoppers on the go, including dealership listings. Cars.com dealers receive value-added exposure on the mobile site through a comprehensive dealer directory and new- and used-vehicle listings. To see your dealership and your inventory on our mobile platform, visit Cars.com mobile from any web-enabled mobile device. More information about the Cars.com mobile site is available at our website. The page contains an overview of the information available for mobile internet device users, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

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