There is no “rule” in your dealership more harmful to your long-term success than that asinine, unwritten guideline that basically gives half the deal for any previous customer to the salesperson who sold them the last time.
I wrote “rule” in quotes, because this isn’t so much as rule as a copout on the part of your management team. (Hint: They’re afraid to hold people accountable.)
Can we all agree that your salespeople should be making calls? Can we all agree that they should be making calls every day? Can we all agree that these calls should include owner marketing calls to their current sold database?
Then why are you rewarding them for sitting on their collective asses?
Set The Appointment or Lose The Sale
When your prior customer catches new car fever on their own, there is absolutely no guarantee that they’ll choose your dealership this time around. In fact, there’s at least a 50% chance that they won’t even choose your brand this time.
When you fail to set a firm appointment that shows, you’re lucky to sell a car.
Your database is gold, but like gold, it needs to be mined properly. This means, unless your team is busy calling their previously sold customers, there is no guarantee that these folks will buy from you (or even consider you) when they come back into the market.
Given that studies show the average buyer visits fewer than two dealerships before they buy, the only chance you may have to sell to your current base is if you proactively market to them in advance of their next car shopping excursion.
This means phone calls.
Ensure they make their calls!
If you want to be certain that your salespeople make their calls to their sold database (and even follow an Owner Marketing Sales Process), put this one simple rule in place today: No Appointment? No Protection!
Basically, this rule states that if your prior customer arrives on the lot without a valid appointment (within 45 minutes either side of the scheduled appointment time), then everyone is ENCOURAGED to sell them a car, and you (the original seller) receive exactly 0% of the deal.
No Appointment, No Protection
If your team doesn’t like this rule, it’s because they’re not making their required calls or using your approved talk tracks. Oh, and they don’t like to be held accountable. However, the lack of accountability to required activities is most often the primary reason you have a bunch of people selling fewer than 10 units a month and why you’re blowing out every Green Pea you hire.
The great news for you and your managers is that this rule (No Appointment, No Protection) is Accountability 101 (without the need for much oversight). They either set the appointments or they lose the sale; and you no longer have to split the baby or listen to endless he-said/she-said arguments from a team too lazy to call their own customers.
Give your team a 30-day notice before putting any rules like this in place – this will give them a month to call their current customers and begin setting appointments – and then be prepared to immediately address any pushback.
Your team may look at this rule as taking “their” customers away and giving them to another salesperson. However, not having this rule in place is sending “your” customers to buy from your competition.