Do You Engage Buyers After Hours?

Dorsey West
Virtually every weekend, I drive by both independent and franchised dealerships and see car shoppers visiting lots after business hours to look at the inventory. A local used vehicle salesman recently that told me that one of the secrets to his success was to spend a couple of hours on Sunday afternoons "staking out" his lot from his vehicle and then approaching these after hours car shoppers as if he just happened to be passing by when he saw them. Does anyone have a system or strategy in place to directly engage these potential buyers in any way (aside from dealer contact info on the window stickers, of course)?
Dave Cannon
Hmm, that's a good idea, and sneaky. I know of a few sales managers who have routine times throughout the day to walk through the lot like they're in a hurry, and they'll quickly introduce themselves as they bump into the customer. If you're just entering the lot and you're eyeing that guy on point by the door, wondering when he's going to pounce, and then you fortuitously run into the manager, who hands you his card as he's walking by, you'll be likely to say "wait, actually I do have a question...." and engage with him while you have the opportunity.
Dorsey West
How about the potential buyers that purposely wait until the dealership is closed to look at inventory on the lot just to avoid actually talking to anyone? I've had dealers tell me that they know that there are car shoppers on their lot after hours, but I'm interested to know how dealers are proactively engaging this group (if at all)?
mark rask
We do not.....we are closed on Sunday. We do have 24 hour chat service on the website
Dorsey West
We developed our service, Cell My Ride, for the sole purpose of capturing leads from car shoppers that visit dealer lots after hours to look at vehicles. So far, we have yet to come across a dealer that has a system or strategy in place to actively engage these potential buyers, so the feedback we're receiving in the Driving Sales forums is really helping us to determine need and enhance our service.
Mary Lynch
We have a texting number on the window stickers so that if the customer wants to know more information they can contact us that way. We also have a code on the vehicles that the customer can use to go to the VDP page of that vehicle. Generally if the customer comes to the lot after hours it is because they are not ready to talk to a sales person yet. I think that this allows them to reach out on their own terms and gives them the tools to do so without scaring them off.

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