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NEW technology written in Canada is adding a new dimension to the sales events conducted by Absolute Results in Australia by capturing details of owners cars at the invitation stage of the event process.

Absolute Results specialises in training showroom sales staff to make appointments to the sales events it organises and supervises for dealers. Customer invitations are drawn from the dealer’s CRM database.

The recent launch of a What is my car worth? action on the dealership invitation coincided with a sales event run at a Toyota dealership, Llewellyn Toyota, in Ipswich last Saturday which saw the dealership take in 13 trades; two of which were sold again on the following Monday.

The director of operations – Asia-Pacific Region at Absolute Results, Steve Zanlunghi, told GoAutoNews Premium that the dealership holding event had scaled back due to the pandemic and was only using three sales executives.

“We assigned a target of four sales per executive so the target was 12 for the sale on the Saturday.

“They ended up selling 26 vehicles; 24 new and two used.  We made 69 appointments and 40 people showed up.  One sales executive had 10 of his appointments show up and he sold nine cars,” he said.

The dealer had sent an email to a targeted group of people in its database; aimed at customers who were identified as the most ready to buy a car using Absolute Results’ proprietary “customer retention” technology.

“It is very personalised,” Mr Zanlunghi said.

The RSVP email can also include an offer specific to the event like, for example, a $1000 loyalty offer if they buy at the event. Other offers can include extended warranty or two or three years free service or no-charge accessories. Whatever the dealer or OEM wants to offer.

“But we have now added a used car appraisal tool to the online invitation process where, using our new technology, the customers being invited to the event request a Dealership Appraisal in their current vehicle. The customer can also enter any notes or comments on the vehicle as well.

“In this way the dealer can start the appraisals process before the customer even comes in on the day of the event,” Mr Zanlunghi said.

The customer can click to book an appointment to an event but the invitation now includes the What’s my vehicle worth? feature.

“Since the details are sourced from the dealer’s CRM, we know what vehicle the customer is driving and the system will automatically pre-populate those vehicle details.

“If the customer is no longer driving that particular car or wants to trade a different car in the household, the customer can enter the details of their current car using the drop-down box. From there they can upload the images of their vehicle.

“That information then goes to the dealership sales manager and we can send it to the used car manager as well. They can see what condition the car is in from the pictures so the dealership has a pretty good idea of what the trade-in is worth before the customer has even turned up for the event.

Steve Zanlunghi

“So, not only do we know what kind of car they are looking for from when we booked the appointment, we also know ahead of time what kind of car they are bringing in.

“This is really good intelligence for the dealership because if they are in need of a specific used car, which is critical right now as we all know, and they know that this car is coming in, then they can begin to structure the kind of deal they can offer the customer,” Mr Zanlunghi said.

Absolute Results rolled out the system several weeks ago in Canada and went live with the feature in Australia a week ago at the Toyota dealership in Queensland.

“It is all about giving the customers a superior customer experience when they walk in for the event. It shows that we really value their time. It also gives the dealer intelligence on what they can expect from that customer when they enter the showroom.

“So it really starts the process before they walk through the door.”

Meanwhile, Absolute Results said that it was now working with a dealer group to conduct a virtual sales event.

“Retail stores are able to be open for click and collect and we are working with one particular dealer group which is keen to experiment with a virtual sale,” Mr Zanlunghi said.

“So we are looking at setting appointments in one-hour online time slots where a customer who makes an appointment can work with the dealership through internet meetings platforms. We are training the sales executives on how to do the walk-around with the camera for a car on the showroom floor and, if the customers like what they see, they can buy it and come in and collect it.

“That is not something that was planned but dealers are trying different things and we are happy to work with them and seeing what works for them.”

By John Mellor

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