Last Modified: April 12, 2024

Written By:Olivia Barickman

|Published Date: April 12, 2024|4 min read

Dealership Distance Selling: How to Boost Sales by Reaching Faraway Buyers

A photo of a man sitting in front of a blue car, scrolling through pictures of the car on his phone.
Car buyers have unlimited options beyond the brick-and-mortar dealership down the street. The internet opens the door to dealership distance selling, allowing dealerships to expand their reach beyond geographical boundaries, tapping into a wider pool of potential customers. But how can traditional dealerships effectively attract customers from afar and provide an exceptional buying experience? Let's explore the game-changing concept of dealership distance selling and its vital role in shaping the future of car retailing.

Understanding Dealership Distance Selling

Dealership distance selling refers to the practice of selling vehicles to customers who are not physically present at the dealership. Instead of relying solely on in-person interactions, dealerships leverage various digital tools and technologies to connect with buyers remotely. This approach eliminates the constraints of geographical distance, allowing customers to browse, negotiate, and purchase vehicles from the comfort of their homes.While this may seem intimidating, the opportunity to expand your pool of buyers outside of your immediate community puts your dealership at an advantage! A 2022 Subaru dealership study found that Americans are willing to travel an average distance of 469 miles for their next car.

Challenges of Long-Distance Dealership Sales

While dealership distance selling can boost sales for automotive retailers, it also presents unique challenges. One of the primary concerns is providing a seamless and personalized buying experience to customers who may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Additionally, building trust and rapport with remote buyers can be more challenging compared to face-to-face interactions.However, with the right strategies and technologies in place, independent dealerships can overcome these obstacles and turn dealership distance selling into a competitive advantage.

10 Tools for Selling Outside Your Region

To reach new customers beyond your immediate geographic location, you’ll want to master a few digital tools and software. For your best chance at dealership distance selling, consider the options below!

Online Inventory Platforms

Utilize online inventory platforms such as your dealership’s websites, third-party listing sites (e.g., Autotrader, Cars.com), and social media channels to showcase available vehicles. Ensure listings include comprehensive details, high-quality photos, and videos to provide remote buyers with a thorough understanding of the vehicles.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

A great CRM is crucial for both local and distance dealership selling to manage customer interactions and track leads efficiently. A CRM system enables dealerships to organize customer data, streamline communication, and follow up with leads effectively, regardless of their location.

Virtual Showroom Tools

Consider how to display your vehicles virtually. Some virtual showroom tools allow customers to explore vehicles remotely through immersive experiences like virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). But your tools don’t need to be this advanced to master dealership distance selling! Starting with video is a great way to virtually showcase inventory.

Video Communication Platforms

Leverage video communication platforms like Covideo to connect with remote customers on a more personal level. Sales representatives can use video messages to introduce themselves, provide virtual walkarounds of vehicles, and address customer inquiries. One big plus of video in dealership distance selling is that you can easily prove you have the vehicle on the lot, so they know it’s worth the trip! This is exactly what happened for Covideo user and dealership salesperson Skylar Prange, check it out:
Testimonial Video: Skylar Prange

Online Financing Tools

Offer online financing options and tools to facilitate the car buying process for remote customers. Implement secure online credit applications, digital document signing capabilities, and transparent financing calculators to streamline the financing process and make it more accessible to buyers outside the dealership's immediate area.

Remote Vehicle Inspection Services

Partner with third-party inspection services or utilize remote vehicle inspection technology to provide buyers with detailed vehicle condition reports. These services enable remote customers to assess the condition of the vehicle accurately and make informed purchasing decisions without physically inspecting the car.Service is another great area to implement video and improve dealership distance selling. Technicians can create videos showing recommended repairs that customers can approve with a click—without having to make a long trip. Check out our service solutions.
Recommended Repairs | Forbes Waterloo Toyota

Secure Payment and Delivery Solutions

When distance selling at your dealership, provide secure payment and delivery solutions to facilitate long-distance transactions. Offer online payment options and reliable vehicle transportation arrangements to ensure a seamless buying experience for remote customers.

Online Reviews and Testimonials

According to a SalesFuel study, 59% of people said reputation was the most important factor in choosing a dealership. Distance selling is easier when you showcase positive reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences online, whether through social media, review platforms, or testimonials on the dealership's website.

Live Chat and Instant Messaging

Live chat delivers the highest levels of customer satisfaction (more than email and phone), according to eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark. Live chat and instant messaging features on your dealership's website to provide real-time assistance to remote customers where they can ask questions and request more information.

Geotargeted Marketing Campaigns

Geotargeted marketing campaigns allow dealerships focused on distance selling to reach potential customers in specific geographic regions or target markets. Use digital advertising platforms, social media ads, and email marketing to promote special offers, incentives, and inventory tailored to remote buyers' preferences and locations.

Get Video Tools for Dealership Distance Selling

In conclusion, there is so much technology available to dealerships looking to sell outside their immediate area. Don’t get bogged down with the details and get started with an easy-to-use tool: video. Covideo is the #1 video messaging tool for dealerships across the country. You can record, send, and track videos in one platform without any prior experience on camera. It’s the best way to connect personally with customers at any distance and boost sales. Sign up for a quick demo!

More articles like this

Category IconSales

Car Sales Closing Techniques for Dealerships

Effective car sales closing techniques start at the beginning of the sales cycle. Check out our tips to ensure great customer service that seals the deal.

Read more
Category IconSales

Auto Sales Training Ideas and Tools for Successful Dealership Teams

Effective auto sales training is key to building a sales team that excels at your dealership. Check out our tips for training a winning team with longevity!

Read more
Category IconSales

Building Rapport with Customers at Your Digital-First Dealership

When it comes to building rapport with customers, dealerships should prioritize clear communication, building trust, and mastering their digital channels.

Read more
00:00 / 00:00