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Selling Automotive Retail During a Pandemic

Steve Roessler
April 3rd, 2020

Adapt your Selling Strategy

Disclaimer: This blog post was published on April, 3rd 2020. Please adhere to your newest state and local laws in delivering cars. 

This pandemic challenges every dealership to innovate their customer engagement strategy since many of us can no longer sell to a customer face-to-face. However, people are still searching for cars. They may not be searching at the anticipated volume, however essential workers are actively driving, and many are seeking to leverage the best automotive deals this industry has to offer. 

We monitored 47 dealerships, reviewed 6,833 conversations, and this is what we found:

Only 5 percent discussed the pandemic, COVID-19, or Coronavirus. These findings mean serious inquiries and sales are happening. 

How do we Adjust our Strategy?

Understand your customer’s level of concern. Use the “Virus Assessment Tool” to categorize your consumers as to who may be interested in buying a vehicle right now. 

Pandemic Assessment Tool

-Someone on the 1-5 scale would be most interested in buying a car. Home delivery is an excellent option for this group!

-A person between 6 &10 may have fewer inquiries and would be only interested in conversing over the phone, text, or email. However, as you get farther up the scale, fewer people in these brackets are less likely to think about buying a car. 

How do you know if your lead could be a 1-5 on this bracket? 

-Utilize LinkedIn and Facebook to search for your lead and their line of work. Doctors, Nurses, Engineers and C-Suite Executives are employed right now, use these tools to your advantage to understand your potential buyers. 

Proven Customer Engagement Strategies

Video: Virtual Test Drives, Salesperson Introduction, Proposal Video, etc. 

Texting: Customers are more likely to answer a text from an unknown number than a call. Our CRM platform has an average 2:1 text to open email ratio. Text to phone call has a 9:1 open rate!

Be Empathetic: Use dialog similar to this when texting a customer:

Hey (NAME), Joe here at (STORE) been a while and thought of you. Hope the family is safe.

We are going through a crazy time and thought there may be a good opportunity for you as the manufacturers are giving some of the best programs I have seen in a LONG TIME on cars. 

If I can discuss options, I am always here for you. Be Safe. 


Is your CRM allowing you to engage with leads and sell in this new market seamlessly with video, text, email and phone call? 

If you were unable to view our webinar live, we will be uploading a recording of the presentation to our social media and website soon!

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