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I've decided to start my blog with information that I know will help dealers sell more vehicles: Logging Prospects

Take a minute and think about the "lot up". No matter how they arrived at your store, “lot ups” has proven a few great things to you:

1. They have an interest in your franchise
2. They live or work around your location
3. They are at the least thinking about buying a vehicle

They are the right people to advertise to! In today's economy, it's difficult - if not impossible - to drive a lot of traffic to your store. So you must maximize the opportunities that you know exist.

Why is it important?
There is one huge difference in the stores that maximize their “lot ups” versus all the other stores. To maximize these opportunities, it will require the average dealer to completely take a different view of "logging up". You need to come to grips with who is getting logged? “Lot ups” can be categorized in one of three separate categories:

1. Prospects we pencil
2. Prospects we test drive
3. Prospects that walk on the lot

Since you spend thousands of dollars each month just to get people to walk on your lot, doesn't it make sense that you at least write their name, address and phone number down? Even if they don't buy a car now, you definitely want to keep your name in front of them. Why wouldn’t you require your staff to build a database for you? If your sales people use personal logs (or a master log) your inmates are running the asylum. The only reason that salespeople log “ups” is to protect their paycheck. They won't log a person who is just walking your lot, they won't log a test drive. They don’t care about your database. If the opportunity in front of them can't affect their paycheck this week, they will not log it. Why would they? If you track close ratios, it makes them look bad. If you look at the number of valid addresses and phone numbers on your log, it's more work they have to do, so they won’t do it. They will not log anyone who they have pre-determined cannot purchase a vehicle. REMEMBER THAT!

The most effective way to ensure that you're maximizing your “lot ups” is to have a Manager’s Master Log. What's that? It's one log that only the Managers can touch. Before a salesman takes a test drive, before you write up a deal, the Manager needs to complete the Manager's Master Log.

The benefits to this system are HUGE!

1. You will increase your gross per deal!
It get's the manager involved in the process at the beginning, not the end. How many times do your desk managers pencil two or three different vehicles? In stores that don't use a Manager’s Master Log, it's 70% + and every time you move to another vehicle you lose gross. The reason you pencil more than 1 vehicle is the salesperson didn’t ask the right questions up front.

2. You will sell more vehicles!
Managers log an “up” before every test drive! Get the managers involved at the best time in your process. Why allow a salesperson to let a single mom with 5 kids test drive a two seater? Why allow a customer who wants to keep their payment around $299.00 to test drive a $45,000 vehicle.

3. You will truly understand your real close ratios.
The stores that say their close ratio is 25% are dreaming. They may close 25% of the prospects they pencil, but that is not what you want to track!

4. You will have more be-backs, which will increase your sales!
Since Managers are completing the Manager's master Log, the information will be more accurate.

5. You should use direct marketing as part of your advertising mix.
Include your database of unsold prospects. Your direct marketing campaigns will be more successful because you are targeting people who have an interest in your franchise at your location.

In most stores, the vast majority of sales are closed by a Manager. However, the Manager really doesn't play the role of a closer, he plays the role of a saver. If it was easy to close deals, salespeople could do it. They can't, that's why you have Managers!


For now, get more prospects logged. Next we'll discuss the best practices for follow up.

~ Steve Dozier, Sales Director @ DMEautomotive


Steve Dozier brings 15 years of experience in the automotive industry to DMEautomotive. Before joining Full Circle Solution and DMEautomotive, he held upper level management positions in the retail industry. Steve also owned a consulting company that specialized in CRM and direct mail, which brought in $2 Million in Sales for approximately 5 years. While serving as a consultant Steve was consistently recruited by the top 3 CRM firms of that time.

Since starting with DMEautomotive Steve has held a managerial position overseeing the Dealer-to-Dealer team. He is responsible for the entire telephony sales department.

Steve is married with two children and enjoys scuba diving and boating in his free time.


For the original blog post, please visit:

Views: 46

Tags: car, dealerships, direct, increase, marketing, prospecting, revenue, sales


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Comment by MERLE SIMPSON on December 9, 2009 at 6:09pm
Nothing like the fundamentals. In good times these important things go by the wayside and in tough times they always resurface. The dealers that do this type of management during good times don't count their money they weigh it. Good stuff!!

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