Selling Cars Online or Offline: What Should Our Tablet Process Look Like?


Tablets, as I wrote in the previous post in this series, can help your sales team stay on track with a great process – one that also happens to provide a great buying experience for the customer. The right tablet (or kiosk) software, configured correctly, simply won’t allow your team to merely “check boxes” or skip steps. Instead, these tools hold your team to the exact process you dictate.

This makes your sales process repeatable and strictly enforced; and, if you recall, to be considered great, processes merely need to be simple, repeatable and strictly enforced.

So Let’s Design a Simple Process!

If I were running your dealership group, the tablet/kiosk sales process I’d put in place would begin where the customer wants to start and would include them in every step. For example, a simple road-to-the-sale that feels more like a buying process would look something like this:

  1. Meet & Greet
  2. License Scan
  3. Select Test Drive Vehicle(s)
  4. Evaluate Trade
  5. Trade Keys
  6. Demo Drive
  7. Write-Up
  8. Service Walk
  9. F&I Add-Ons
  10. F&I
  11. Delivery

While the buying process above shows 11 steps, keeping the prospect engaged the entire time, simultaneously completing steps and allowing every step to occur on the same tablet, makes this feel like just a few steps to the customer. From their perspective:

Step 1: Scanned my license, selected a vehicle to test drive, entered some information about my trade and discovered the book value.

Step 2: Gave my keys to the product specialist so his/her manager could provide a firm offer and got in my new vehicle to test drive.

Step 3: Returned to the dealership, did the paperwork, learned about their service department, and learned about GAP Insurance, Lojack and an extended warranty.

Step 4: Finished the paperwork with their business manager and then drove home.

During this entire process, the salesperson never needs to leave their side (unless you are still using a traditional F&I manager). Additionally, the write-up and any steps involving F&I can (and probably should by now) be completed by the salesperson sitting side-by-side with the prospect. (As they’ve done at Schomp BMW and other successful stores for more than a decade.)

Self-Desking & DIY F&I?

Want to go all-in on a great experience? Turn the tablet around and allow the guest to enter/explore everything from their trade value, to lenders, to terms, to F&I. This experience not only keeps the prospect engaged, but creates tremendous process and pricing transparency that builds trust. Additionally, with the right tool powering this (like an AutoFi), the customer will take ownership sooner in the process and your closing rates and (believe it or not) grosses will improve.

We’ve already explored Do-It-Yourself F&I and Self-Desking in this series, so no need to regurgitate those now, except to mention that allowing the customer to complete these steps on their own (with your team sitting by their side, of course) via a tablet that also manages your new simple, repeatable and strictly enforced process is actually part of a natural progression from “no process” to creating a buying experience that customers love, whether they’re 100% offline buyers or an online/offline hybrid.

Next up: The Common Denominators of a Great Experience.

(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post in the series: It’s About a Great Experience)

About TheManager:

Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in The Customer Experience. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at