Kijiji’s DealerTalkx is celebrating its fourth birthday.
And what better place to stage an auto retail conference, and a Digital Collision, than the automobile pavilion at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in Toronto?
Now called the Allstream Centre, the building was the first building to house a Canadian auto show in 1929.
The conference has a new name: DealerTalkx. That distinguishes it from Kijiji’s online hub, DealerTalk.ca. The company has also added a new location as Montreal will play host to a session on Sept. 28 in addition to Toronto and Calgary (Oct. 6).
Olympic Gold medal winner and host of the Amazing Race Canada, Jon Montgomery kicked off the conference. The multi-talented Montgomery is also an auto auctioneer and a Georgian College grad.
He urged his audience to build their confidence by celebrating “small victories.”
“Don’t let one error or stumble upset you,” Montgomery said.
Susan Seto, V-P market strategy Environics Retal Group, profiled the female and Millennial carbuyers dealers are seeing in their showrooms. In late 2105, Environics’ researchers interviewed 1,800 recent car buyers across Canada. Here are some of the findings.
• For both groups, the car is a practical, rational buy.
• They will consider a used car.
• The female buyer’s budget will dictate the size of car they buy rather than their needs.
• Both look to friends for advice. Word of mouth is important.
• Both are looking for a pressure-free experience at the dealership.
• Millennials do not understand the car-buying process and in particular how their purchase will be financed.
Kyle Costa, Internet manager at Bustard Chrysler in Listowel, Ont. is not old school. He believes in giving Internet shoppers all the information they want and quickly. That, he insists, brings them into the store.
“Don’t hold back,” Costa urged attendees.
But he told Canadian AutoWorld giving shoppers all the information they want to know doesn’t whet their appetite for haggling. It builds a foundation of value under Bustard’s asking price.
To make sure his efforts keep the dealership ahead of the competition, he mystery shops them online twice a year.
“If you think the product is what sells cars, you’re wrong,” insists sales trainer Kevin Graff. “It’s your salespeople.”
Graff served up his recipe for creating a sustainable sales culture.
•Focus on sales goals relentlessly. Set monthly, weekly and even daily ones. Make sure everyone knows what those goals are.
•Share the results constantly.
• Make staff accountable for the results. This doesn’t mean failure to hit targets brings a layoff.
• Develop a program of ongoing training and coaching.