Selling online isn’t really that different than from selling on the lot. There is, however, one fundamental principle for expanding your dealership’s business online, and that is to remember that online sales are more than just another sales channel – they are an extension of your brick and mortar dealership. Just as you work hard to maintain the professional reputation of your location, you’ll want the same dedication to your online presence.
Dealers considering selling online need to create an account specifically for the dealership. Such an account is exactly the same as any other traditional account on eBay Motors, except for the key difference that the account will belong to the dealership, instead of merely someone at the dealership. Having an account specifically for your dealership will ensure that the data associated with your account will always belong to the dealership.
A dealership, on eBay Motors or anywhere else online, is selling its brand, its image and its trustworthiness when dealing with customers. That’s why dealers selling online should maintain the same policies and procedures they use in their brick-and-mortar location.
Your image online
When creating an account specifically for your dealership, you should strive to present your company in a professional manner. Once you’ve completed the basics in setting up your account, determine the brand image you want to project to customers when they visit your listings. Incorporate the same logo, colors and graphic style in your listings that you use in your store signage and marketing materials.
The “About Me” page is a key positioning tool for any seller on eBay Motors, and should carry your dealership’s brand image to your online location. Customers will click on this page to learn where you are located, how long you have been in business, special aspects of your customer service program and other important information. Be sure that you present your dealership to these online customers every bit as impressively as you do in person.
It’s also a good idea to include a photo of your brick-and-mortar dealership and a photo of the person who manages your eBay Motors transactions on your About Me page. Customers will appreciate the ability to place a face with the person behind the listings and transactions.
To extend this branding into your listings, a number of third-party solution providers offer templates that will maintain your brand integrity within each listing, along with a wide variety of tools for managing your sales online. Visit http://pages.motors.ebay.com/services/software.html on eBay Motors to find links to a solution provider that best fits your dealership’s needs.
Customer service is just as important online as it is on the lot. Regularly monitoring your listings is critical for a dealership. You will want to respond to questions from potential buyers promptly and consistently check the feedback you are receiving from your eBay Motors sales. Earning positive feedback is especially important, as it will help comfort your prospective customers and make them more willing to make such a large purchase online.
While it can be difficult to deal with negative feedback or challenging customers, it’s important to do so. Most issues can be resolved with a little time and a positive, solution-oriented attitude. Your “About Me” page will provide your customers an important resource for resolving these issues. Be sure to provide current information including your dealership’s phone number and e-mail address. When selling online, as in selling on the lot, always take the time to find a solution that satisfies both you and your customers.
Another matter to consider is the assignment of sales staff to your online account. One or more individuals should be selected to carry the responsibility for your online sales. They will monitor the account and establish relationships with potential buyers to ensure that all questions are answered quickly and appropriately. Be certain that the sales records maintained by your online sales staff are available to top management in the dealership and do not reside only on the individual sales rep’s personal computer.
Management should be kept apprised of all account updates through weekly or monthly meetings. For higher-volume dealers, eBay Motors provides account managers to assist with developing sales and marketing strategies, dispute resolution and expanding your online presence.
When taking your dealership online, be sure to understand the rules relating to your own state’s dealer laws, eBay listing and bidding policies and your responsibilities as a seller. If you take advantage of all the resources offered by eBay Motors, you can expand your business, build your reputation as a professional and drive greater profitability.
Vol 3, Issue 5
Former Rolls-Royce North America executive Eric C. Shepherd has joined Hamlin & Associates as the company’s new president.