Five tips for managing the EOFY rush

Two people looking at catalogue in showroom

After a two-year sales slump caused by the COVID pandemic, dealerships are looking to finish the financial year with strong sales. What can sales staff do to set their dealerships up for success?

The end of the financial year is almost upon us, which means car dealerships across Australia are bracing for their busiest time of the year.

Car buyers know the score when it comes to end-of-financial-year sales. They expect to pick up a new car with substantial cost savings, so it’s not uncommon for them to visit a dealership intent on driving a hard bargain. They understand that dealerships are motivated to shift stock and want to finish their financial year with a swag of new sales.

There’s no reason why dealerships can’t strike deals that keep both parties happy. It’s a period when car-sale best practices can really make the difference between ending the year with a bang or ending it with a whimper.

As the end of the financial year looms, let’s explore how you can make the most of your increased customer foot traffic and ensure your dealership is the one that bargain hunters purchase from.

1. Know your product inside out

Thanks to the technology at our fingertips, customers are more educated than ever about what vehicle they want – and what they’ll need to pay. You need to understand your product better than any online resource if you’re going to make a connection with your customer.

Many customers aren’t sure about what’s involved in vehicle financing, insurance, and servicing. You understand the end-to-end car buying process – be their guide and take them through the sale step by step.

2. Be upfront about delivery delays

Anyone within the car sector knows that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc with car delivery times – and that it’s put upward pressure on prices for second-hand and new cars. But that news may not have filtered through to the general public.

With waiting times for popular models currently extending from three to 12 months, it makes sense to give customers a broad estimate of when their car will arrive to avoid disappointing them. You may find you need to educate them about the full extent of the delays on car imports.

3. Personalise your sales approach

Just as you should never judge a book by its cover, you should never make assumptions about your customers. Every car buyer is unique when it comes to spending power, vehicle needs and the length of time they’re willing to wait before they receive their car. Adapt your sales approach to your prospective customer’s individual needs and wants, and you’ll take a significant step towards landing a sale.

4. Exercise patience

Patience has always been a virtue in the dealership game. For every customer who wants to buy a vehicle there and then, there’s a lead that needs to be patiently cultivated over time.

The end of financial year is when prospective customers are likely to visit several dealerships one after the other in the hope of securing the best possible deal. Don’t let that put you off – the fact they are standing in your salesroom proves their interest in your product.

If a customer walks out of your dealership without purchasing, it doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. They may just need more time to decide. Let them know the best price you can offer, how long the price is valid, and be prepared to follow up.

5. Secured a sale? Stay in touch

Once you’ve closed the books on the financial year, make sure you follow up with your customer. Operating a successful dealership means having a relationship with people beyond the original transaction and having them come back for after-sales servicing or a new car purchase.

After your customer has received their vehicle, get in touch with them. See how they like their new car, express your gratitude for their business and encourage them to leave an online review of your dealership.

Remember, the end-of-financial year is once every 12 months, but a loyal customer can provide a dividend for your dealership year after year.