Priorities for the Modern Automotive Salesperson
Are you an automotive salesperson managing not just Floor Ups, but also Phone Ups, Internet Leads, and perhaps Website Chats? If so, then you likely encounter times when multiple opportunities appear simultaneously, each requiring your immediate attention.
The simplest idea, the one where you prioritize the person in front of you, followed by the ringing phone, then the inbound chat, and finally the email lead looks like it works fine on paper. Of course, real life is a little more complicated than paper, for example:
- By prioritizing the Floor Up ahead of the Phone Up, the chances the caller will call back or leave a voicemail are slim.
- By prioritizing both of these ahead of the Website Chat, ensures you’ll anger the chat prospect (given they expect immediate assistance when you offer chat on your website).
- By prioritizing all of these ahead of the Internet Lead, usually means it will be hours before you can make your first response to that lead. As you know with internet leads, you snooze, you lose.
So, how in the world are you supposed to prioritize these different channels in a way that maximizes your sales while minimizing lost opportunities?
Technology and Transparency
Certainly, the order of importance on these four opportunities was correct. That is:
FLOOR UP > PHONE UP > WEB CHAT > INTERNET LEAD
However, the key to maximizing your sales without losing opportunities is to find a way to balance all four at the same time. This is actually easier than it sounds when you leverage the right technology and provide some transparency to your prospects.
On the technology side, you’ll want to use a chat provider who offers a team capable of handling your unanswered chats within an acceptable time frame. Yes, you could require salespeople to log into and out of chat throughout the day as they come and go from their desk, but the reality is that this never happens. Just adding this feature – one that many dealers already use – is all you need to properly prioritize your inbound chats.
Another piece of technology to leverage – one that should be a non-negotiable for all salespeople – is the mobile app provided by your CRM. By leveraging this app properly, even salespeople working with a showroom visitor can find the time necessary to respond properly to new leads.
You won’t be answering leads while in front of the prospect, of course. However, you can easily do so when you’re going the get the keys for the demo drive, when you take the prospect’s trade keys to the desk, or when you touch the desk for any other reason.
A properly configured CRM allows you to quickly call, text, and/or email a new prospect right from the app, while also keeping all the customer details in front of you. Of course, making a phone call might take you away from your live prospect for too long, though it takes just seconds to send a templated text and email to any new lead.
Okay, What About Transparency
This is where some salespeople might be shocked, but most of today’s prospects understand and appreciate multitasking… so long as you keep them informed, and they don’t feel you’re giving them less than what they deserve. This means – and here comes the shocking part – telling your prospects what you’re doing, especially when that means you need to help someone else or take/make a call.
“Isn’t helping someone else rude when you’re already working with someone?” You ask.
Nope, not if handled properly. For example, telling a phone prospect that you’re really swamped today, and asking if they can hold for just a minute while you greet a guest in the showroom is not out of line, and it’s not rude. It’s the kind of honesty, transparency, and authenticity most of today’s customers appreciate.
Just be sure when you greet the showroom guest that you let them know you’re really swamped today, and then ask if it would be okay if you got back to the customer you have on the phone. You’re going to be surprised how understanding both customers are in these situations.
It’s likely you’ve already seen this work to another salesperson’s advantage when they’re faced with two showroom customers at the same time. While most salespeople will hand off one customer to another salesperson and hope for a split deal, top salespeople will work both – and close both – simply by letting each customer know the situation and asking for their help.
That last part – asking for their help – is critical because people (even customers) don’t mind helping someone when that person is honest, transparent, and authentic. Again, you’re going to be surprised how understanding both customers are in these situations. (If you haven’t already seen it in action.)
The key for prioritizing multiple prospects is to understand that you’re going to have to work these prospects simultaneously. You won’t be successful managing leads, for example, if you stick to a rigid priority that always puts lead responses after everything else is done.
Technology can help – if you leverage it. Though whatever you do, don’t discount the positive impact of transparency. Telling your customers how busy you are and asking them if it’s okay if you (fill in the blank) will have them not only understanding your situation, but also rooting for you to win.