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With total electric commitments coming as soon as 2035, the future of transportation is quickly changing, posing unfamiliar problems for dealerships and their customers.
While many consumers consider purchasing an electric vehicle, the auto industry still struggles to persuade them to commit. Dealers must establish a new set of EV sales strategies to help convince these on-the-fence customers to switch sooner rather than later and beat out competitors to the initial sales surge.
6 EV Sales Strategies
Dealers should consider the following six EV sales strategies to catalyze the transition away from ICE:
1. Market EVs in Tandem with ICE
Consumers begin their conventional car buying experience at home through television commercials, social media pop-ups, and internet advertisements. As a result, dealers might consider marketing EVs like they advertise all other vehicles on the lot.
EV consumers seek cars in various intermediate and SUV classes like their ICE counterparts. The most effective means of advertising this wide array of vehicles is displaying them side-by-side with ICE.
2. Become an Authority Through Staff Education
Dealership staff needs training in all EV-related concepts. The floor crew and finance department, for example, must be able to explain the attributes of an EV to potential purchasers, including how it differs from an ICE vehicle.
These communications require a rudimentary understanding of:
- Short-term expenses vs. long-term savings
- Charging options
- EV batteries
- Vehicle longevity
- Available subsidies
3. Become a Trusted Advisor Through Customer Education
Dealers with committed customers already have authority in their local communities. They can leverage that position to become trusted advisors by educating consumers on EVs throughout the purchase journey. This process might include an established data source that helps customers make informed decisions.
Educating and guiding first-time customers through a new EV-buying journey offers value and might give dealers a competitive edge.
4. Leverage Social Media and Online Content
As mentioned earlier, EV marketing should include client education, and dealers might consider using social media channels and related online content to reach target demographics quickly.
EV marketers can utilize channels and platforms such as:
- Thought leadership blogs
Audiences might be more likely to trust a brand that publishes authentic and expert social media content.
5. Avoid Overselling
Commercial pressures, such as top-down sales campaigns and incentives, dominate the traditional automotive retail market. However, those strategies do not necessarily mix well with new products that require detailed explanations and customer education.
Reps might struggle to implement conventional sales models because EV purchases require more one-on-one discussions with customers. As such, dealers should take a less aggressive approach to selling EVs.
This revised strategy might include an “agency” approach, where dealers act more like agents representing principals (the customers) in business transactions.
6. Educate Customers on Charging
EV charging, like anything new, requires education and might appear intimidating to consumers at first.
However, dealerships can help dispel EV charging myths by providing hands-on seminars. When potential customers have opportunities to be active EV learners, charging confusion should dissipate when they discover how simple it is.
These seminars might include introductions to:
- Apps that locate nearby chargers
- Impacts of power usage
- Local utility incentives
- Metering challenges
Establish Your EV Sales Strategies with the Right Tools
The EV revolution is still in its preliminary stages, and EV inventories and sales models are less developed than those of equivalent ICE vehicles with much longer histories.
However, optimizing marketing strategies will become necessary as EVs become more volume-market focused. Dealers must fine-tune their model to provide education, guidance, and a softer sell approach for products less familiar to the consumer base.
All | June 30, 2022