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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Amy Taggart

Amy Taggart Marketing Manager

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Can You Sell Cars if You Don't Sell the Appointment First?

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I know it's a lot easier to talk to someone about a specific car over the phone, but you have to focus on getting them into your store if you really want to sell them a car. If you're talking to them, they've already raised their hand by applying for a car loan or submitting an inquiry on a piece of your inventory.  Working with them in person is the next crucial step.

In the course of your conversation, be specific on dates and times for potential appointments, ideally in the next 24 to 48 hours. These are car buyers who are looking for someone who can put them into a car today -- they're looking to move quickly, and you have to respond quickly to keep their attention.  Discussing too many details over the phone, such as financing options and terms, will result in fewer appointments.

Once you have them on your calendar, don't leave it up to them to remember their appointment with you. Reconfirm the date and time via email and call them the day of to confirm again. If they don't show, don't hesitate to call them and reschedule their appointment.   

If they do decide to hold off, don't panic. Continue to reach out to them periodically to keep them up to date with offers at your store and keep yourself on their radar. (Email marketing is a great way to do this.) 

Take a look at how you're working now - I would argue that you are more likely to close a deal if you've got someone in your store than not. Do you agree? 

Would love to hear about any exceptions out there.

Join us next week when we dig deeper into Best Practice #3, "Don't Pull Credit First."

 

Questions? Concerns? Can't wait for the rest of the series? Give us a call  at 800-222-8374 or drop us a line today.

 

mark rask
I agree. The appointment is so important
Amy Taggart
Thanks for the comment, Mark!
Dustin Lyons
I agree that appointments are very important, and that generally you have a much better chance of closing the deal when the customer is at your desk, however I do believe from personal experience that there are some exceptions which you asked to hear about. In todays world, the internet, smart phones, texting, and social media has changed the way a lot of customers want to do business. People are used to having all the information they want right at their finger tips. There are a lot of customers these days that will buy from the one that gave them the most information before they get there. It makes them more trusting, and shows that we respect their time. If we hold out too much information and push to get them here, it gives them the feeling that we have something to hide, and if our competitors give them the answers they are looking for we will surely lose the sale. Obviously we need our customers to come to the store at some point, and a deal isn't really done until they are in the box and sign the papers, but I for one can't count on both hands how many times I have closed a car deal through text message. For example the guy who pops in on his lunch break to see the car, and then sends me a text asking for all the numbers. When I tell him to just come back in tonight and we will go over everything, he tells me he doesn't want to come back in until he has his answers, and then he informs me that he has been quoted this and that from our competition. So him going back to work really meant going shopping online. I work the deal through text and 9 times out of 10 he comes back at 6:30 to sign papers(I guess that would count as an appointment though right?). And while I was working his deal over text, I was also helping other customers live in person at the store. Not all deals will go this way, and appointments are still very important, and I know that texting all the info over while the customer is shopping other dealers isn't the best way to hold gross, but I think we have to realize that for some customers especially in our modern times of fast and easy information, we have to cater to what each customer values or we will lose them. And it will only get more and more this way as things progress. Just my $.02
Amy Taggart
Thanks Dustin - I really appreciate your taking the time to type in such a full response to my request for feedback. Consumers are definitely taking more control of the process and expecting more from dealers before they'll sign the paperwork. You hit the nail on the head with one thing in particular: speed. If they're going to be more responsive by text then definitely go that route. I'm also thinking here Fallon and the edge that Ford got by being the first to respond on Twitter. Chevy didn't get involved till the next morning, and by then it was too late. Great response!

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