OK, the idea of increasing your monthly closing rate by even 2 percentage points is enticing. So how do you set up processes within your dealership to make this happen? Here is a game plan, courtesy of 5square.com
- Capture every opportunity.
Trap every lead type: walk-in, internet, phone-up, etc.
Leads need to be trapped by source so that you can:
- Identify which lead providers are paying off and spend your ad budget where it does the most good.
- Avoid paying for duplicate leads.
Capture as much about the prospect as possible.
- Internet leads come in with e-mail addresses; try to get them from walk-ins and phone-ups.
- Most campaigns are to e-mail addresses.
- Respond quickly, have a process that has a live person making contact. Escalate opportunities to the next-in-line salesperson (or manager) if response is not timely.
- Automate sales follow-up to the highest degree possible.
Use driver-license scanners to capture as much information about a prospect.
Use automated follow-up functions and customize those as much as possible to make the customer experience as personal as possible.
- Specific e-mails and letters for sold customers, referring to make/model/year/style.
- Ditto for unsold follow-up, refer to the lead source if significant (i.e. Costco, AAA, Credit Union).
- Provide independent automated follow-up for each vehicle purchased, allow multi-touch points for the prospect/customer based on how you've interacted with them.
- Automatically put items onto the sales person's work plan.
Provide automatic alerts in the form of e-mails, pings and past due notifications.
- Enforce a consistent deal (sales) process.
Don't allow sales people to enter the sales process (take a new up) until they've finished all their current tasks and have set at least two appointments.
Make process the same for all sales people.
Make it simple, logical and engaging.
Take an up (scan the driver's license).
Land on a vehicle (walk the lot with the prospect).
- Make it clear to the sales people which cars need to be sold (oldest on the lot, too much inventory of a particular make/model).
- Provide spiffs for moving the right inventory.
- Take a test drive.
- Do the trade appraisal.
- Gather the credit information.
- Engage the customer; let the customer fill out the application (manually or on the computer). Getting the customer to contribute to the process is like a trial close. They get emotionally involved.
- Collect as much information as possible and get it right the first time.
Keep the salesperson with the customer, enable them to submit information to the desk electronically.
Enforce a process that captures why a prospect has left without buying and follow-up with the prospect based on that reason.
- Let the sales manager do his job, not yours.
- Let the sales manager focus on grosses.
The sales manager needs every piece of information at his disposal to make the best deal possible for the store.
There are only so many dials he can turn: APR, term, cost, price, trade-in, credit worthiness of the buyer etc. He needs to see it all. If the sales people are following the right process the manager has the facts and the time to turn the various dials to get the best deal for the store and the right deal for the customer.
Following the right process prevents road-blocks at the desk.
Track the life-time value of the customer so you can determine which ones to invest in (repeat buyers and those that return to your store for service).
- Manage past the exceptions.
Don't pay for duplicate leads; trap duplicates with automation.
Churn your lead source providers based on which ones are delivering the highest quality buyer.
Know where your buyers are coming from (source and zip code analysis), and target market to those buyers.
Lose the attitude that sales people have to be micro-managed, enforce a process and stick to it; lose the sales people who don't conform to the process.
Set goals, report on the exceptions and coach individuals on how to avoid future exceptions.
- Set a goal for the minimum acceptable gross on every deal and report on any deal that falls below that gross.
- Set appointment goals for sales people and report daily on appointments set.
- Enforce driver-license scanning and report daily on those walk-ups that have no license scanned.
- Enforce that e-mail, phone and addresses be part of the data collected by the sales people and report daily on those prospects with missing details.
- Confirm all appointments 24 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment.
- Capture all unsold opportunities and follow-up with these within 24 hours. If they were in the store and didn't buy, get them back into the store.
- Look at past-due tasks by salesperson on a daily basis; enforce the workflow and clear the work plan daily.