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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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kurt kubicki

kurt kubicki VP Marketing

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How to Turn Unsolds into Sold Be-Backs

Industry stats show that 80% of your ups will walk without buying. Yet if you can re-contact them within 48 hours and address their real reasons for not buying, the evidence shows you’ll get 33% of them back into the store and convert approximately 67% of them into sales.

For many dealers, this extra effort to pursue shoppers who left, and convert them into be backs, can net you up to 50 or more additional units per month. In any economy, that’s great incremental business!

Here’s how you can enjoy this success at your dealership:

a) Determine to pursue every unsold. Build this objective into your sales plan and your pay plans.

b) Devise a process for ensuring this pursuit; here is where using a CRM to scan or enter contact information on every up is going to be a critical step. Without complete customer data in the CRM, it can be impossible to really measure and understand who was an up and who wasn’t – and what happened and why.

c) Establish that every unsold will be re-contacted within 48 hours or less of their leaving your store by a designated unsold follow-up specialist.

d) Determine who this pursuit specialist or specialists will be. The right individual or individuals need not necessarily be strong sales-types, but should have warm, engaging and curious communications styles that will enable them to disarm shopper reluctance to learn their real reasons for walking.

e) Depending on how the dealership is structured, this re-contact function may be more productive when outsourced to a vendor skilled in making the kind of delicate calls required to successfully interview these customers and get them back into the dealership.

Dedicated pursuit of unsolds may also produce valuable business insight that can help improve ongoing sales and marketing efforts.  Asking the right questions to these shoppers can give you invaluable information:


          i) What the advertising source was that brought the customer into the dealership?

          ii) Why the customer did not buy – what was their true objection or barrier?

          iii) Did the dealership sales representative and sales manager follow the correct steps in your      Road to the Sale process?

If you want to close more units per month without having to generate more ups, put in place and then practice a dedicated unsold follow up program. The resulting surge in retail sales that can result (up to 100% increase in sales to showroom traffic) will sure look good on the monthly sales board!


Eric Miltsch
Nice process Kurt - thanks for sharing. Always nice to see new people sharing their ideas here.
kurt kubicki
Thanks for your comments Jim and Eric. Jim, in reply to your question. As I understand what you are asking is what percent of customers that come into the dealership and have gone through the write up process but did not purchase get an attempted follow up. Our experience has told us that probably about 50-70% of those customers get an attempted follow up from the dealership personnel, sales person, etc. The problem is that typically it is going to take 4-5 attempts to reach the customer and the customer left for some reason and so is not likely to be responsive and the sales person is unlikely to maintain persistence. There really are no statistics to validate what percentage of customers who go through the process actually get contacted and speak to a sales person so all we can do is guess at the attempt to make contact. It’s a very grey area. That is the reason many dealerships chose to go to a 3rd party to execute that follow up process; knowing that there is a much higher percentage of contact as the customer is more likely to respond to a third party and pick up the phone and give more honest responses and give up the real reason they left, versus the false excuse they gave the sales person as a reason to leave. You cannot overcome a false excuse. However, you can overcome a real objection and that is the problem the dealers will always have.

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