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Jon Berna

Jon Berna Founder

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Improving Appointment Show Rate and Sold Rate

The phrase “Roll out the red carpet” or “We are going to roll out the red carpet for you” is one of the more common ways we have defined our sales process to customers as different from our competition.  I argue that any person or better yet, organization that is truly going to do this doesn't have to say this to a customer, the customer just feels it!   The term itself directs the dealership down the wrong path for giving a customer the best experience possible.  The customer doesn't want an overly dramatic staged experience, they just want to feel respected, important and most of all they want us to make everything easy for them.  This to me means understanding what they need before they need it as well as avoiding the all-too-common pitfalls we see every day. We tend to look for 'silver bullets' to help us sell cars. Like finding that miracle vendor, ad campaign or product to help us take our business to the next level.  If you wanted to grow your business 25% the best place to start is finding 1% in 25 places.  Each sale can be measured much the same.  I don’t think any one step or person by itself directly causes a sale.  It takes a completely random combination of events executed at the highest level to sell even 1 customer.  Think of each process down the sales funnel: advertising, website, email, phone, pre-visit preparation and finally in-store.  The area of focus in this document is what steps to take to maximize your appointed customers show rate and sold rate.

If you start viewing the down stream stats from the time you receive a lead (overall phone, internet and 3rd Party) you should have the following conversions over a rolling 30 days period:

This gives you an overall 25% appointment to sale rate.  Although benchmarks create false barriers for success this number if combining all sources would be considered healthy.  Sometimes we over-think common sense.  Over the last 10-15 years of the ‘internet-sales person’ versus the ‘old-car-guy’ rift we have seen countless internet sales people enter the business lacking tried and true common sense saleswoman and salesmanship.  All of the best practices you see below are taken directly over the years from nearly 100 sales people of all tenure in the car business.  This guiding document sets the table for what can be done situationally for your customers.

- What would you add?

Post-Appointment Checklist

Prior to Arrival -------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Confirm Appointment
    • Confirmation phone call
      • Fact Find, confirm vehicle(s) of interest, broaden
      • Ask what vehicle they will be driving to the store today
      • Add Notes to their CRM profile
      • Send email w/ video (if not already sent)
  • Confirmation Text Message (if applicable)
  • Vehicle Prep
    • Find the vehicle
    • Find all sets of keys
    • Make sure there is plenty of fuel
    • Make sure you have plates
    • Do a walk around to make sure the interior & exterior are clean.  Don’t forget the trunk, under the hood, dash lights and the wheels & tires.
    • Hang tag / sign with customer’s name
    • Either physically or mentally choose back-up vehicles
    • Paper work:
      • Carfax
      • If certified, inspection sheet and/or RO
      • Any current Incentives & Rebates on new vehicles
      • Pull vehicle(s) up front – this means you’ve started the car

After Arrival -----------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Direct to VIP Parking / VIP Check-In Area (if applicable)
  • Check In / Register (Mark them ‘shown’ in the CRM)
  • Strong, friendly greeting followed by…
    • Brief tour of dealership
      • Sales Manager introduction
      • Make sure customer is ‘checked in’ in crm
      • Get copy of driver’s license
  • Provide beverage & snack remove consumer guilt (just provide it anyways)
  • Don’t forget to point out the restrooms
  • Full walk-around of vehicle
  • Test drive
    • Interview
    • Trial Close
  • Park vehicle in ‘sold row’
  • Back at your desk
    • Gather additional contact info
    • Add notes
    • Make it happen

By Jon Berna
Founder Driven Data Consulting

 

Russell Brown
Great thoughts Jon. Creating the buying "experience" can be tough for a walk in. But when you know who the customer is, when they are coming, and what they are looking for - there's no reason not to be prepared to give them the red carpet experience that can go a long way in creating a sale today and a life time customer moving forward.
Jon Berna
Thank you Russell. I know most of this is common sense and the challenge is not "if" doing this will help, rather how to implement it as close to 100% of the time. In a single store this is a bit easier with improved appointment visibility. In a dealer group with a centralized BDC this takes well refined processes and oversight.
Heather Brautman
It's amazing just how quickly what we think is common sense goes right out the door when the sales pressure is on! One way to improve things when customers DO show for those appointments? Have an awesome waiting room. You can WIN the waiting room game - start here and download my new free eBook! (No waiting!!!!) http://bit.ly/1dOyonN
Russ Chandler
Great write up on a topic that is rarely improved. Nice Work!
Jon Berna
Heather I downloaded your eBook and this doesn't have anything to do with sales appointments and improving their show rate and sold rate. The last thing a dealer would ever want to do is make the customer wait after they arrive.

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