You hear it all the time: "this isn't rocket science", "a monkey can do this" and "you're kidding me, that's easier than chewing gum". Yet process seems to be as rare as a walk-up customer these days when it comes to the Internet side of the business. Not necessarily the sales process, although there are still many that struggle with that, but the part that deals with planning, accountability, results and reviewing.
Based on the non-scientific data at the recent round of automotive industry events, many are surprised that the majority of leads from dealer (and OEM) websites still are not responded to well, timely, with engagement or even at all. Most people from the consulting and coaching side of the business are not surprised. While there is definitely more attention and dollars flowing toward the online part of retail, more opportunities are slipping away as software and solutions are expected to run the business.
CRMs, as great as some are today, websites, as well as they take visitors 'through the process',even social media, as poorly as most dealerships handle it, are not stand-alone solutions that take your store from zero to hero. Your customers won't rank your vendors, they'll rank you.
Planning, visualization, tracking and accountability (yes, to someone else that can call 'bullshit') are all tools of the sales trade. Not printing your queue every day or starting off with a priority list when you first sit down? You will not experience success at the level you should. Fact is your database, no matter how clean, can't sell cars. It may be a goldmine, but it's covered up until you have a work plan that actually takes prospects and changes them into completely satisfied clients.
While it may seem that the top producrs always have things 'go their way', it's due to working smart, prioritization (that doesn't mean you chose which customers to respond to effectively), visualizing positive results ahead of time (not just saying 'yup, this one's mine and they're taking chromes! and window etching') and being consistent in what you do.
The 'best' location, dynamic website with strong SEO, a bulletproof CRM, well-written templates, intriguing videos and a mission statement that is generations-old with a mediocre staff to back it up will be out-gunned by a competitor with less-than-perfect technology but an eager, process-oriented, customer-connecting, motivated and excited group of individuals working as a team.
Not to take anything away from some great companies in our business, including many that IM@CS recommends, but we must remember that we're in the people business and the badge on the sheet metal is not more important than the person buying it, nor is the voucher more more important than the techniques to achieve it. Think about that the next time you skip asking the next guest how you can improve their experience , what would excceed their expectations or simply how they see things happening to earn their recommendation. Yes, asking and truly listening are on the path to perfection!
Ready, shoot, aim does work...as long as you understand how to improve every time and have had the chance to review where you are at and why. Go get 'em tiger!
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results
You can view more IM@CS posts here on DrivingSales.com or on our blog