Do you feel less than confident about selling electric vehicles (EVs) through your used car dealership?
More and more drivers are interested in them today than ever before. And the trend is growing. You could be limiting sales and revenue at your dealership now and in the years ahead if you don’t actively promote and sell them.
Here’s everything you need to know to get comfortable with selling preowned electric vehicles.
1. Position electric vehicles alongside gas powered ones.
Whether it’s online or on your car lot, showcase EVs next to gas models. It’s a good way to demonstrate the breadth and depth of your used car inventory. Your shoppers will see that your dealership has a complete selection of vehicles. It makes it the ideal one-stop place to comparison shop and check out all the models they may be interested in, both electric and conventional. It also conveys status on EVs and hybrids, which makes it more likely that traditional car shoppers will consider them, not just people concerned about protecting the environment.
2. Educate your sales team.
The only way for reps to effectively sell used green vehicles is to have a complete understanding of them. Salespeople should be able to intelligently talk about things like batteries, performance, charging options, vehicle life expectancy and more. They should also be able to discuss the differences between models and compare and contrast them with gas powered vehicles. The people on your sales team should be authoritative so they build credibility with customers. Provide whatever training it takes for them to be able to communicate with confidence.
Tip: Don’t make the common mistake of only having one or two electric vehicle sales experts on your lot. It relegates EVs to secondary status, which could limit sales.
3. Keep your EVs charged and ready for test drives.
One of the biggest concerns for many electric vehicle shoppers is how they drive.
- Do EVs handle as well as gas powered models?
- How is the acceleration?
- Do they feel sluggish or powerful?
That’s why it’s critical for you to have EVs charged and ready to go at all times. People want to try them out so they can experience how they handle. Without a test drive, shoppers are unlikely to ever buy an electric or hybrid vehicle.
Tip: A full charge on your EVs shows that you’re committed to selling them. They don’t come in second to the cars on your lot that have full tanks of gas.
4. Don’t ever be apologetic.
Never let your sales reps open their electric vehicle pitches by apologizing for how long the batteries last between charges. Or talk about the availability of charging stations (or lack of them). Or the cost.
Focus instead on what makes them awesome.
- The battery charges typically lasts far longer than most people drive every day.
- They’re good for the environment and save money on fuel.
- They’re great second cars for families.
- They can be perfect for people who live in urban areas.
Start your pitches by focusing on the positives. Once you do that, you can address shopper questions, doubts and concerns. It doesn’t make sense to turn people off something they’ve expressed an interest in buying.
5. Don’t talk different about EVs.
Have you ever listened to people speak a second language? It’s never as convincing as when they express themselves in their original one.
When the people on your sales team discuss electric vehicles, it shouldn’t come across as a second language. Coach your dealers so they sound as natural and comfortable when they talk about electric or hybrid cars as they do gas powered ones.
6. Make charging seem as easy as filling up.
Sometimes the barrier to buying en electric vehicle is as simple as knowing how to charge it up. Make sure your sales reps are able to break through the most basic barriers to entry. Have them offer customers hands-on tutorials on charging. Make sure salespeople know simple things like where local charging stations are located. Or have them explain that there are apps that help people find public charging locations. Once people start finding out about EVs, they typically don’t want to stop. Make your dealers gateways to learning about them.
7. Demonstrate how green buyers can essentially drive their electric vehicles for free with no impact on the environment.
For customers who are passionate about the environment and electric cars, introduce them to residential solar energy systems. Adding as few as ten solar panels at their homes can provide enough power to charge a vehicle’s battery. It could be the added plus that makes them committed electric vehicle buyers.
8. Build an online electric vehicle community.
Attract new customers to your business by building a virtual community for EV fans. Create a unique social media page, blog and other digital properties that will attract enthusiasts. Provide a forum for them to share ideas. Offer content that will encourage conversations. It doesn’t cost a lot, but it will position you as the green used car dealer of choice for the people in your area.
Electric cars aren’t a fad. They’re a reality that could really pay off for the bottom line of your business now and in the years ahead. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a pioneer — and leader — in this growing used car segment.