Your Best Buyers are Boomers

NOTE: This article originally appeared on pages 24-25 of the May 2015 edition of Car Business Today:

62.3% of all new vehicles are purchased by buyers over 50*1. People 50 to 68 are known in the marketing world as Baby Boomers. Boomers control 70% of the US wealth and 50% of all discretionary income, which now averages over $24,000 per Boomer per year.*2

On the flip side of new car buying ability are the 15 to 35 year old Millennials. 36.6% of millennials are unemployed and 36.5% still live with their parents*3. As an extra burden to this generation’s FICO scores, 2/3 of millennial graduates owe an average $27,000 for student loans. Limited disposable income is a key reason only 11.5 percent of all new vehicles are registered to millennials*4.

Here’s a fact that every automotive sales consultant needs to know; 22% of all Boomer parents contribute financial upkeep for an adult child not in college*5. A millennial may be on the phone or in the showroom, but there may be a Boomer providing the down payment and influencing the decision.

Unlike Millennials, Boomers have a long-term love affair with their cars. The happiness Boomers get from cars runs much deeper and last years longer than almost anything else they can buy. After loved ones, Boomers love cars. Cars represent freedom. Cars defined Boomers. Today, the vehicle Boomers drive is still silently telling the world who they are.

Millennials use smartphones to meet new friends, Boomers used cars. Cars were the heart and soul of the early Boomer social experience. Boomer boys met Boomer girls slowly cruising Central Avenue on Saturday night in their cars. To maximize premium and luxury sales, ask questions to help Boomers relive those memories and feeling of open road ahead excitement.

Is your sales process geared toward Millennials?

If you’re using a logically based sales process that focuses on offering the lowest monthly payments or negotiating a price acceptable for the buyer, you’re losing Boomer sales. Why? Boomers use emotions more than logic when making car buying decisions. To sell the way Boomers buy follow this proven six step process.

Create Trust

With so many models, packages and technology the first thing Boomers shop for is a sales consultant they can trust. High trust trumps low price. Show a sincere interest, monopolize listening and encourage Boomers to tell you more.

Determine Desires

Questions not only allow you to discover your buyers desires, they also allow you to create new desires. Questions like,

Have you every changed lanes at high speed then suddenly saw another car hiding in your blind spot?  Did you ever wish there was a way to keep that from happening again?

Now, when you demonstrate the blind spot wanting system, Boomers listen harder because emotionally, they already own it.

Customize their Ideal Vehicle

Once Boomers come face-to-face with the scary fact they have more days behind than ahead, this sudden awareness of mortality jolts many boomers into buying the vehicle they really want. And this time they’re not going to compromises. Here’s where you become invaluable — Boomers need your listening skills and product knowledge to help them customize the perfect vehicle for their changing roles, physical needs and lifestyle.

Let Boomers set in the fit-like-a-glove heated driver’s seat and feel how it reduces the strain on the back and neck muscles. Help grandparents discover the road-trip ready grandchildren friendly onboard entertainment system. Show how Boomers can safely back out of their driveway without twisting their necks and watch as they move themselves up to the model with the rear-view camera package.

Reduce Risk

Every time Boomers buy new vehicles they face 5 potential risks. The way to provide the greatest peace of mind is to help Boomers identify these risks and reduce each one to their satisfaction. One way to comfortably discuss risk is to ask questions like;

When you pull into fast moving traffic how important is quick acceleration?

For most Boomers, safety trumps MPG.

Boomers are old enough to know that any purchase that requires negotiating carries risk. Over the years most Boomers have a losing record when negotiating with experts. Instead of negotiating to keep your gross by holding your price, review all the benefits each Boomer buyer wants. Every time you review their emotional benefits, desire to own them grows and the price seems less important.

Elevate Emotions

Baby Boomers buy the vehicle that gives them the most emotional satisfaction they can afford. Boomers must experience the fit and finish, smell and aromas; touch the controls and visualize the joy of driving down that long and winding road. The more emotional benefits Boomers receive, the less they compare and quicker they buy at full advertised price.

Attain Agreement

There are four indispensably benefits only you can provide; your dealership, the greatest peace of mind, your buyer’s ideal vehicle and you. When Boomers want the four benefits your competition can’t provide – there is no need to negotiate because your competition has been eliminated.

Follow-up

24 hours after the sale contact your Boomer buyers and ask this question,

Are 100% satisfied with everything?

No matter how small their dissatisfaction might be, do everything in your power to take care if it immediately. There is no faster way to create an unlimited supply of pre-sold Boomer referrals. This requires a daily investment of your time but when done consistently can pay phenomenal dividends for you and your loved ones long into the future.

Millennials get a lot of attention these days because they are seen as tomorrow’s most important new car buyers. After they inherit almost $10 trillion dollars from their living parents Baby Boomers will continue to be best new car buyers you’ve ever had.

*1 J.D. Power and Associates and AARP study

*2 US Consumer Expenditure Survey

*3 Pew Research

*4 R.L. Polk research

*5 Nielsen Company and Age Lessons study

 

By Steve Howard, founder, No Pressure Selling®

Steve is the author of Boomer Selling — helping the wealthiest generation in history own your premium products and services. Boomer Selling is one of three VT programs that lead to No Pressure Selling® certification. For more information please go to NoPressureSelling.com

 

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