New sales strategies for the automotive industry

Mar 13, 2019

We discuss what the automotive industry can do to sell cars to millennials and adapt to the increasing popularity of messaging apps.




WhatsApp’s users opened the app an average of 23 times a day. If we assume that they don’t use the app in their sleep this means that it is being opened more than once every hour. Simple stats like this are signals of a much bigger shift towards message-based conversations, which is especially evident in younger demographics.

This shift is significant for the automotive industry because many of the traditional, in-person sales tactics no longer work with younger generations. Millennials are people that have grown up with the internet and are often assumed to be a generation of young kids that aren’t yet affecting the market, but in reality, today, they are between 23 and 38 years old and well into a “car buying” age.

Young people prefer online interactions

They are a generation that is less comfortable asking for information in person or on the phone than their predecessors and are often driven away by the type of in-person pitches that are so common in car sales. They are used to the internet, and the ability to sit at home and search for what they need, with no pressure and an often instant feedback loop between the moment they have a question and the moment they find or receive the answer.

Car dealers are having to adapt to this new demographic and have started using WhatsApp and other messaging apps to talk to their customers. The challenge, however, comes from that instant feedback loop we just described. Young audiences are used to get information and answers whenever they want and wherever they want. Car salespeople, on the other hand, are human beings and have working hours, sleep, and other commitments that limit their ability to answer messages.

To make matters worse there’s also often a mismatch between the time when people seek information and the time when salespeople are at work. This is because both salespeople and customers follow the same working hours, and customers tend to message when they (and the sales team) are not at work.

How to address the challenge

Dealing with this mismatch can be challenging for car dealers. They could hire more sales staff to handle the questions but that would raise costs and make it harder to keep the business running, and rising fixed costs is never an attractive proposition.

A better alternative is leveraging technology, using automation and chatbots to answer questions and gather data on what the client is interested in. Once the initial questions are answered and the data on the customer’s interest is added to the company’s CRM it becomes easy for a salesperson to continue the conversation when they are back in the office.

Technology has evolved fast, and today we have an almost endless array of options to choose from when setting up a chatbot.

To guide you and help you understand it better we have put together an experienced team that will analyze your company’s situation free of charge and finds the best solution. Get in touch with them!