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Remember your first days in a dealership and the fundamentals the sales manager drilled into your head. That was good advice. We tend to forget a lot of it over time and as experience adds up. 

Yet neglect of the fundamentals can cost sales. This is especially true when working certain opportunity categories. Consider these challenging ones: 

  • You’ve spent time to bring that unsold prospect back to the dealership and they’re coming in shortly. 
  • You’ve made the effort to call the customer base and now have an appointment coming in at noon. 
  • You’ve invested the energy on a phone up and he’s committed to coming in about seven tonight. 

Swing through

Staff has spent the time, energy and effort to work these opportunities. Odds are these appointments will show. Anticipation fills the showroom. Now is the time to recommit to following through each opportunity in the most professional manner. 

This follow through is as critical to successful car sales as it is to a proper golf swing or tennis serve. Those are just games for most, but if selling is a livelihood then step back into Sales 101 and review several fundamentals you’ll find especially productive with the three opportunity categories just described: 

ü  Be sure to have management provide a few prominent VIP – Very Important Person -- parking spots close to the showroom and keep them reserved just for these kinds of prospects.  Inform the customer to be sure to park there when they arrive. 

ü  Be sure to wash the vehicle the prospect is coming in to see and have it parked up front waiting for the demo drive. 

ü  Alert floor reps and the greeter to these appointments and require them to notify the manager the moment the customer appears. 

ü  Make sure at least one manager is prepared to greet the customer immediately upon arrival. This promptness communicates how important you consider their coming into your dealership again. 

ü  Be sure the preowned manager is ready for an appraisal at the designated time. 

ü  Have the manager turn the customer over to you or your designated sales representative to finish the essentials. Be sure the manager comes back to confirm details. 

ü  Ensure a proper test drive. Drive first, demonstrating the new features. Then allow your customer the chance to drive back. 

ü  Have the deal paperwork ready for approval and signatures, such as appraisals and credit applications, before desking it with your sales manager. 

ü  Ensure that an F&I office is available. Have the F&I manager greet the prospect in the showroom. Use menu and other efficiency tools to present aftermarket options to help complete the process more quickly for the new customer! 

ü  Introduce the customer to the service department and service manager, and inform customer that you’d like to schedule their first covered maintenance appointment to help them get in the good habit of routine vehicle care. 

ü  Be familiar with the vehicle being considered; understanding how to set the infotainment system; fill up the gas tank; inspect the vehicle for lot damage and make sure the spare tire is in place. 

ü  Get the spare keys, owner’s manual, warranty books, and any CDs for the GPS. Prefill warranty info required by the manufacturer as you wait for your customer to exit F&I. Have a service advisor card and a sales manager card available with this package. 

ü  Take time to familiarize the customer with these items as part of a thorough vehicle delivery. Use the delivery checklist to ensure completion. 

You know these fundamentals, but we don’t always insist on performing them at every step of the sale. As basketball great Michael Jordan once said about running the fundamentals, “The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”

For a downloadable eBook about intelligent selling, click here or contact me.

Jeff Cotton is Vice President and Co-Founder of AutoAlert, Inc., a leading customer database analysis and sales strategies company. He is a former sales professional with Fletcher Jones Motor Cars. Contact him at and visit


Views: 191

Tags: car, closing, csi, improving, rates, ratio, sales, showroom


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