Q: Is the move to electric vehicles (EVs) impacting dealer-customer relationships, and if so, how?
Intersect: According to our 2022 report, 46% of customers are currently considering an EV for their next vehicle purchase. Dealers have a great opportunity to reach these customers by becoming experts in the benefits of EV technology. And, just as importantly, we can address customer concerns about vehicle range and charging infrastructure.
Walsh: Pied Piper, a retail services consultant, released research this summer showing that traditional retailers are more satisfied than direct-to-consumer models. EVs are only fueling more questions from consumers. As long as distributors can seize the opportunity with an educated sales force and a disciplined (and sometimes different) sales process, they can be very successful in EV.
Q: The high cost of electric vehicles is a major obstacle to widespread adoption. How do smart dealers deal with price objections?
Walsh: Powerful dealers are doing the same thing they’ve always done. This means listening to our customers, understanding their wants and needs, educating them about vehicles and their benefits, and finding solutions. A strong sales process, backed by a strong sales force, helps us meet the needs of our customers, regardless of vehicle type.
Intersect: Dealers should take full advantage of government incentives and develop comprehensible cost-benefit analyses. Certain EV models may cost more, but have lower operating costs over time. This makes EVs a cost-effective purchase and a greener alternative.
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