Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders

Loading... Be Patient!

The Big Missed Opportunity: Never neglect to log an up

There’s an elephant in the room. This particular elephant is eating your sales career lunch!


You know about the elephant, that “topic” nobody seems to want to recognize and talk about. There’s a big elephant in the middle of most sales floors. This elephant is called missed sales opportunities.


These missed opportunities are ups that flow in and out of our showrooms:

  • These are ups we sell and then fail to follow up with throughout the months or years they own that vehicle.
  • These are the ups who don’t buy and for whatever reason we fail to capture their information in an up log of some type so we can pursue them later.


Sales people thirst for the fresh up, but their opportunity is the elephant. This elephant is made up of be-back, repeat and referral ups that statistically are the big missed opportunities in car sales. Here’s what I mean. CAR-Research statistics tell us something very different from the industry rule-of-thumb rate of 18 percent fresh up closing rates. In fact, of 100 fresh ups who come into your store, just nine will buy -- just 9 percent of fresh ups buy!


This is the opportunity we chase in closing percentages and gross; when the elephant is easier to catch and more profitable. Our research also shows:

  • Be-back customers, those who return after some level of negotiation, close at 67 percent rate.
  • Repeat customers, those who bought service or vehicles from us before, close at 60 percent rate.
  • Referral customers, those whom our friends and families refer to us, close at 55 percent rate.


Yet we so often fail to follow up with customers:

  • Who leave without buying.
  • Who did buy but we’re too busy chasing the next fresh up to call them and ask how their vehicle’s operating, to wish them a happy holiday, happy birthday or simply stay in touch.
  • Who have friends and families who need vehicles and vehicle services but we neglect to ask them for their names so we can build a base of referral business.


Our elephant of missed opportunity is a big one – closing rates with five to six times greater closing opportunity than the daily up that crosses our curbs every day.


Think about this math for a minute... If you have 100 fresh ups:

  • 9% close. That leaves 91 missed opportunities.
  • 33% of those are willing to come back in if proper follow up is performed.
  • That’s 30 be-back’s who will close at 67% according to NADA.
  • That’s 20 car deals.  You just doubled your sales!


We must work daily ups to keep the customer base fresh. But we do more damage to the long-term health of the dealership and to individual sales careers when we neglect to continue important relationships with customers and fail to ask them for referral business.


Is the elephant eating your sales career one bite at a time?


Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks!

Views: 935

Tags: AutoCon2012, CAR, CRM, Customer, Kelly, Patrick, Research, XRM, car, management, More…motivational, rally, relationship, sales, speaker, up


Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

Join Automotive Digital Marketing

Comment by Vicki ONeill on August 29, 2012 at 7:48am

I agree - diligence is key! It's also knowing where that shopper is in the buying process so you know "how" and "how often" to follow-up. You can continue following-up with someone who's early on in the process but if they aren't ready to buy, they won't respond. So understanding the shopper and where they are in the buying process is also key to greater success. 

Comment by Patrick Kelly on August 29, 2012 at 7:11am
Vicki, I agree as well... We have so many avenues to walk down now as tools for proper followup have never been more accessible to sales. I remember the day when we only had snail mail and telephone without cell phones... Diligence is key here.... Results are guaranteed just check the stats, the numbers don't lie..!! :-)

Comment by Patrick Kelly on August 29, 2012 at 6:53am

Thanks everyone.  The opportunity to sell more cars each and every month is right there…for every salesperson!  Ashley is right.  Every time you log an up, you are simply putting another future opportunity into your funnel.  Have a great Labor Day weekend! 

Comment by Ashley Poag on August 28, 2012 at 2:44pm

Great Point! Sales is a funneling process. You are constantly filtering and funneling those opportunities back in. Nothing worse than an opportunity that falls completely out of the process.

Comment by Vicki ONeill on August 28, 2012 at 11:56am

Hi Patrick - I've found through talking with dealers that an effective way to increase your showroom traffic is with a great process (followed by a great overall experience). Providing in-market shoppers a reason to come in helps with that follow-up email or phone conversation. Even those who are no longer active and considered "lost" may re-engage with the buying cycle at a later time. So follow-up and monitoring of these digital and showroom visitors is key to increasing sales. There shouldn't be any missed opportunities - just making sure the timing and communication is there.

Comment by Gene Loop on August 28, 2012 at 10:19am

Patrick...great post...the process of selling cars is alot like playing've got to touch all the the right order... before you can score.

It's not unusual to see claimed closing rates decline significantly when everything gets logged properly.



Comment by David Blassingame on August 28, 2012 at 9:57am


Thanks for another great post. It's tomorrow's sales meeting!


Automotive Professional Network and Resource Exchange for Car Dealers, Managers, OEM and Marketing Practitioners seeking Best Practices.

ADM Sponsor

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge


Based On Your Interests...

ADM Consulting, LLC

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting, LLC Professional Services
Select the maximum monthly investment you plan to make
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......


Top Automotive Marketing Forum Discussions

1. Electric Vehicle is the Future

Posted by Dwayne Jhonson on August 29, 2019

2. Email marketing

Posted by Andrew Qrueed on August 26, 2019

4. 5 Ideas for car dealers FB page

Posted by Kevin Lewis on August 6, 2019

Share the Best Content w/AutoMarketing Community

© 2019   Created by Ralph Paglia.   Powered by

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service