Paragon Honda is located in the heart of Queens, NY, one of the most densely populated areas in the US and the hardest hit by the coronavirus epidemic. In a normal month, Paragon would sell around 1,000 cars, making it consistently a top 3 volume Honda store in the country. With their digital focus, Paragon acts more like an online retailer, with the ability to deliver cars to people outside of their primary market.
While Paragon has always been extremely effective at digital marketing and sales, prior to the pandemic they were still finalizing most deals in the showroom. So, when showroom closures were mandated due to the extreme number of coronavirus cases, Paragon knew they were going to have to pivot quickly. No longer could a BDC rep say “when can I make an appointment for you to come into the showroom?” Those words were to be entirely stripped from everyone’s vocabulary, overnight.
By April, when the announcement hit that automotive retail sales were deemed “essential,” Paragon had already adjusted their entire sales operation to focus on remote selling and delivery that resulted in 255 vehicle sales in April with May on target to double that at 600+ sold and delivered 100% remotely. Paragon experimented with a new 3-person pod approach — coupling a sales manager with two digital sales consultants to collectively guide customers through every step of the process, from initial lead response to delivery of the vehicle at the customer’s home. As customer inquiries were assigned, the sales manager was making contact with customers at all times of the day and night, building trust during a time of crisis by identifying with them and letting them know he is also working from home and would do his best to help them with their transportation needs. Once contact was made, the baton would be handed to a salesperson. They then walked the customer through the buying process, 100% online using Roadster’s digital retailing platform, which allowed them to be as efficient and flexible with their time as possible.
My customers have been ready for this for a long time, but it took a little longer for our dealership to be fully ready. Now we have no choice but to meet the need and accelerate into the future.