What dealership wouldn’t like to do 13 months of business in 12 months? This sounds impossible, yet one more sale each month per salesperson is all it takes.
Add it up. If the average salesperson delivers 12 vehicles a month and a dealership employs 10 salespeople, that equals 120 vehicles a month.
Is selling one more car a month realistic? Absolutely!
How much more money will that cost? Nothing. A dealership already has the traffic it needs to get one more monthly sale per salesperson.
So what does it require? It requires each salesperson to do a better job at helping customers make a selection and understanding what the customer wants. It also requires the dealership to immediately follow up on every opportunity.
Break it down. If a salesperson talks to 60 potential buyers in a month and closes 12 sales, that leaves 48 people that could still be in the market to purchase.
These 48 people should rank as a dealership’s highest priority for closing business. They’ve done research before visiting the dealership in the first place. They know the place. They know the vehicle. They have invested time to go to the showroom, get more information and take a test drive. They are on the brink of making a purchase.
Yet often, no one works these opportunities, most of whom still are in-market. If you aren’t chasing them, who is? If it’s competitors, they will get the sale.
What can dealerships do to get these people back? At a minimum, before each person leaves, give them a reason to return. The salesperson must help them select the right vehicle. Then the team must develop and execute a follow-up plan designed to bring that opportunity back to close the sale.
This plan includes deciding who is best to make the follow-up call. It could be the business-development center, the salesperson or a manager.
Each situation is different. Did the salesperson have a good rapport or did the opportunity leave because of something that happened – or didn’t happen? If this is the case, the salesperson is not the right individual to follow up. The manager may be able to find the real reason someone didn’t buy – everyone has a reason – and may be in the best position to bring that person back.
They typically didn’t find the vehicle they wanted or the salesperson didn’t do his or her job. Customers leave, not because they are out of time, but because they are out of patience.
If the BDC makes the call, be sure the questions focus on bringing the customers back. For example, a CSI call will not be effective. The only reason to make the call is to get them back.
Timing is everything. This call must be made the first thing the next morning. If not, why bother? Remember, everyone is a buyer unless you make them a shopper. Are you prepared to do whatever you have to so they say “Yes”? Are you helping the customer buy a vehicle from your dealership? When sales managers support their salespeople in following up with existing prospects, selling one more is not difficult.
When every salesperson succeeds in this mission, dealerships essentially gain an extra month of sales. In addition, they are more successful in building clientele who will return to buy again and again.
Dealerships don’t get those additional sales without chasing them. It doesn’t cost more than a phone call, smiling eyes and pleasant words.
Who knew? It is possible.
Richard F. Libin authored the books, “Who Stopped the Sale?” and just-released “Who Knew?” and is president of APB-Automotive Profit Builders, a firm that works with sales and service departments on customer satisfaction and maximizing gross profits. He can be reached at [email protected] or 508-626-9200 or www.apb.cc