Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Would you think I’m crazy? Well, I am not, but I can show you many dealers that are because over 90% of them are doing nothing to capitalize on this real opportunity!
For years, dealers have struggled to effectively buy and sell vehicles in the service drive. Dealers spend tens of thousands of dollars in advertising, trying to drive customers to their showroom, all the while they have a steady stream of quality traffic coming through their service drive. Now THAT'S crazy!
Let’s compare two scenarios:
Your sales person is waiting for a customer that they know nothing about to walk into the showroom to qualify them to purchase a vehicle. Sound familiar?
Your sales person receives a list of service customers coming in for service the next day highlighting those with vehicle equity and who are in a good trade position. They have a client information sheet that identifies all the needed customer information that would allow them to create a selling strategy... all before the customer arrives.
You would think the second scenario would be the solution to effectively buying and selling vehicles out of your service drive. While it is a huge improvement over scenario 1, most dealers who have tried that approach still fail.
So why have dealers struggled to capitalize on the single most untapped opportunity to increase a dealership’s profitability?
The answer is simple. Dealers have never properly committed to implementing a well-thought-out plan supported with the proper tools and support. At best dealers purchase the latest and greatest data mining tool to identify customer’s appointment times and equity position (scenario 2) and think that is the solution, only to find little to no increase in vehicle sales out of the service drive. That’s like trying to drive a car with no steering wheel. Sure, it will run but it isn’t going to take you where you want to go. Salespeople cannot be expected to turn a sheet of equity information into a compelling reason to trade. That is - unless they have the tools, training and a processes to do so.
So let me share the basic building blocks to implementing a successful program for buying and selling vehicles out of your service drive.
1. Create the Right Customer Experience
The customer experience should be less of a traditional sales presentation and more of a customer service experience that will enhance your CSI and SSI. Let's face it; the traditional sales experience kills CSI and SSI. We need to turn the expectation a customer has of being "sold" into the shock of being "served".
2. Use Technology that is Designed for Buying & Selling Vehicles out of your Service Drive
Technology is critical to the success of your program but not just any technology. The technology you choose should be built for the specific purpose of buying and selling vehicles out of your service drive. Be careful of vendors that try to adapt a data mining tool or CRM tool to what you need. The technology should be built to fit into the selling process and it should be easy to use. Technology should include the following:
3. Implement Proven Process and Procedures
It is critical that your dealership utilizes proven process and procedures as you will lose too much business trying to figure it out yourself. I might also note that most initiatives fail because dealers try to figure it out by themselves just to get discouraged and give up. I would recommend that you partner with a company that has experience at implementing this type of program. Again watch out for the companies out there that want to be a jack of all trades but master of none. It will jeopardize your success.
4. Ensure Staff Accountability
Even if you use the same technology as the most successful dealerships, you will fail 100 percent of the time without accountability. Partner with a company who understands the need to provide specific job descriptions, daily routines, call guides, scripts and pay plans. Your success depends on it.
5. Implement Proper Training and Support
This is maybe the most important element to success of all. Your team needs to be properly trained and supported if you want to achieve the greatest success. Again partnering with a company that’s core competency is helping dealers buy and sell vehicles out of their service drive will pay you huge dividends. They will be able to facilitate the learning curve and help to implement best practices that will ultimately generate more sales. When looking for a company to work with I would strongly recommend choosing one that offers ongoing support through a performance manager or coach.
6. Track Results and Return on Investment
You'll never know if you are succeeding unless you are tracking your activities and results. Partner with a company that can not only deliver your results but can also compare them to other dealerships similar to a 20 group composite. It will keep your team motivated!
Consider this… a well implemented plan that supports all six of the building blocks above will take the guess work and risk out of trying to successfully buy and sell vehicles out of your service drive.
Do you want to increase your dealership’s profitability? Stop being part of the crazy 90 percent and get serious about buying and selling vehicles out of your service drive!