If you manage an Internet operation for a dealership, you probably have a good handle on your month-end metrics. We have found a way to ensure that you end up with a great month each and every time.
It starts by having an extraordinary Day 1 focus.
I've been working with dealerships on their Internet processes for the past 10 years and was asked on a recent visit to really help a client focus on making the first day of lead-handling more productive.
Given that most dealers do a good job on the first day I had not really thought a lot about that. We tend to have to encourage Internet salespeople to follow up for longer periods than just two or three days. However, my client's request struck me as critical to the success of any Internet or business-development center and the following is the idea we helped develop that really works.
When I was a student at the University of Tennessee, I worked part-time at Dean Stallings Ford in Oak Ridge. General Manager Johnny McCoy would ask us to come in three times a day to review our prospects.
His customer-relationship management system was a blackboard and chalk. He would go around the room and ask us where we were with our prospects.
This Day 1 focus was exceptionally good at ensuring no one fell through the cracks. Not surprisingly, when we implemented this in a couple of Internet and BDC departments it worked just as well.
To “go retro” in your operation and create a Day 1 focus, all you need is a whiteboard and a dry erase marker. If you want to really splurge get an eraser. It's truly that simple.
Here's how to make it work. Each day starts with a clean Day 1 board. When a lead comes in, the Internet / BDC team member writes the name of the client on the board, discusses the prospect with the manager and determines the strategy to use.
Once an action is taken (i.e. call, email, text, video) the team member provides a status update on the Day 1 board, as well as the next steps. A quick review with the manager and then they are off to work the next prospect or handle their other tasks.
Throughout the day the manager and the team reviews the status to ensure that every prospect has an exceptional experience on Day 1.
This also allows managers from the floor to come in and see what is happening for that day. All in all it, creates a clear focus to give every prospect a day in the sun before you move them into a Day 2 follow-up activity in the CRM system.
At the end of the day, the board is erased ready to start over with the next day's leads.
All of the current day's leads are already in the CRM with next tasks assigned so nothing falls through the cracks. The net effect is every prospect gets excellent service and attention, enhancing the possibility of a sale.
Even with the greatest CRM tool on the market, it is difficult to beat “seeing” a prospect on a board and encouraging the interaction on every fresh lead with the manager to strategize on what to do first.
You will have to decide if this is a good fit for your dealership. But I can speak first-hand that it is making a big difference in results at our clients who use the Day 1 Board to its full effect.
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