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From: Jared Hamilton
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Bryan Armstrong

Bryan Armstrong e-Commerce Director

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Inspect what you Inspect

We’ve all heard the expression “inspect what you expect” and granted there is great power, insight and learning to be had by monitoring your processes through thorough reporting. However, when is the last time you inspected the data from which those reports are compiled?

 

The power of inspection lies primarily on the focus those actions will receive because everyone knows they are being monitored. This very knowledge however can backfire when your basing the reports on false data. For example, we know there is a direct correlation between closing percentages and response times. There is also not a manager worth their salt that does not keep a keen eye on this metric. When was the last time you took the extra step and looked at the quality of those responses? Better yet, have you ever picked up the phone and simply asked the consumer “I know you just spoke with my I-Net manager, but I wanted to personally thank you for giving us this opportunity. Have you received all the info you requested?” The answer may shock you. I know it did me!

                This last 2 weeks I have been thoroughly engrossed In processes long before they normally escalate to my desk and I can say that salesmen still “cherry-pick” and form judgments and opinions about who is a “buyer” and who is a “shopper”. The worst are from customers who have contacted your store within the last 90 days but have not yet purchased.

Inevitably, the notes on the contacts become redundant and I marked more than sale “lost” and “bought elsewhere” because the salesman said they were waiting 6 months (oddly enough that was the original note on the show room visit event).

Prejudices form and the easy way out and next and newest beckons more enticingly to most.

                Don’t just look at your reports, get involved! Shop your own store, or get a friend to, and quit delegating every task thinking that some are “beneath” your level and what you have to do is more pressing. Inspecting what you inspect will most certainly raise your expectations and provide insight into your business that no report can show.

                Good selling!

Bryan Armstrong

@bryancarguy

Chris Costner
Well said Bryan and certainly right on point. Believe it or not, once my team has completed the processing of a lead, then either set an immediate appointment or if it is something that will require further follow up, it is then logged on a old school paper desk log with the pertinent sales manager who then follows up. Yes they have CRM access and see our department in real time but keeping it in front of their face on paper keeps it top priority. We now have two departments in the know and ready to act as needed. It works great from our experiences. I too have called behind my staff when the notes said "already purchased" or "vehicle not available" and wasn't the case at all. If we all apply just a little more effort, we will set more appointments and help more prospective purchasers earn our business. Until then, trash those garbage reports as they are zero help in the success of our organizations. Thanks for sharing. Great post.
Jim Bell
I don't believe that your salesmen cherry pick. I thought that we were the only ones that had that problem at times. I knot ath there are a few times where I would pick up that lead that no one wanted to answer because they thought it looked bad for some reason. Well, I either got a hold of them too late because they had bought something else, or I set an appointment for them to come in. We have no idea what is on the other side of that lead until we actually pick up the phone and talk to them and make direct contact. Note and message to internet salespeople...STOP CHERRY PICKING!! We spend thousands of dollars a month to get that lead, so let's help the customer. Would you ignore that customer on the lot? I didn't think so.
Jeff Ward
Bryan, simple and precise as always. You are dead-on right. There is way too much delegating and not enough reaching out to that potential car customer to make sure their needs were met. After all - they called to buy a car from you. That potential car buyer would prefer that their call to your store gets them where they want to go ...the purchase of a vehicle. We know that 80% to 90% of the time the store fails to help the car buyer succeed in their quest ... literally scaring off the potential buyer and chasing them into another store and/or talking them into canceling or delaying their car buying decision. Many of these missed and mis-handled opportunities would be solved if the uber-skilled folks at a dealership got involved with their phone-up buyers the same way they typically get involved with their live ups. The top tier sales leaders at every store need to be involved with all potential buyers ...especially those that are calling. I think the inefficiency comes from cherry-picking, general lack of skills, fear of the phone, bad time management and misplaced priorities. Good stuff Bryan!

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