Whether training recruits or re-training “old school” folks, we always warn them of who to avoid, including the waiters! I mean that in two ways: The sales rep out front waiting on a deal with incomplete tasks on multiple fronts in your CRM right now (and the mini deal order takers) along with managers that either have to or decided to wait to address major issues.
- Waiting for someone to answer the phone. People will hold no longer than 28 seconds to speak with someone who, in their mind, may be dispensable. (*NVS IT analytics/surveys October 2010) Have you mystery-shopped your competition and yourself lately? It can be a challenge to get anyone to answer the phone (especially if your BDC runs on banking hours). But I have heard “Internet managers” and “sales managers” yell, “Someone, answer the phone!” Why? Find out and solve it – the cost of delaying is too high.
- Waiting to train people “on the job.” Why? Wouldn’t you want every new representative of you and your team to be trained and practiced at the art of communication (telephone, live chat, sms, social networking tools/CRM and body language) before taking their first call or catching their first opportunity?
- Waiting or hoping someone will “ring the bell” for sales in your virtual showroom? I know you wouldn’t stand for customers walking into your showroom, looking at some vehicles and leaving without a greeting. Why do so many choose one vs. 35 (NVS statistics) live chats per day by removing a drop down, friendly greeting from their home page: a business card saying, “Welcome, I can help.”
- Waiting for business to come or focusing on the low hanging fruit? It is no different to me having watched our son pick our peach tree than watching how “leads” are handled these days. Even the best of us can do better. Behaviors match exactly in this experience.
This summer in the backyard we had a peach tree so loaded with fruit, the branches were literally touching the ground, it was time to get busy. (Sound familiar yet?) I watched our son pick two big baskets of ripe and juicy peaches. He had 117 cleaned and ready for eating and sharing. As I looked back the branches were back up to normal but there were dozens of peaches left on the tree. Less convenient or just too much? (One rep in any of the three top Hybrid BDC systems should not exceed 150 active leads each at once.) They could have been picked if he asked for help. (I am 6’3” so it wouldn’t have been a stretch, but why ask for help when his basket is full?) I know, what a concept – asking for help. People save face over saving deals every day. What struck me as the most ironic was the dozens of peaches on the ground, unchecked (real follow up) as to whether they were ripe or rotten. How many “bought elsewhere” customers from two to five years ago are “rotting” (unchecked as to sales or service opportunities) in your DMS or CRM?
- Social networking. National standard operating procedure for, say, Facebook use etc.; is way too late.
First two key elements: Have a corporate policy addendum signed by all, clarifying the use of your name, store name(s), etc. Only incorporate this into your delivery step process on “right and tight” deals. (Do it when you get the payoff or POI, etc.)
Take a picture like we always did, upload to their page, get a nice little testimony, connect to your corporate page, click “like” (easy to sell the sizzle for greater CSI and service retention) and communicate consistently. Tag the picture and testimony. Two great things happen. All their friends get notified and we further explain the pass/fail truth to surveys with the “like” feature. Plus when, not if, people shop your Facebook page they will, in time, say, “I know her,” and “We know them!” I refer to this as Magnetic Marketing and it sure beats sending a link with “be our fan” weeks later.
- Do you have a legal soft pull like insurance agents and other professionals do? Why wouldn’t you want to know someone’s score when they walk into your store?
- Lastly, scan your online reputation. Why wait for someone to share something they found? Always post resolutions and re-post positive feedback.
Our group discussed everything from letting the old school “not for me” rep or manager go or grow. For those that did not have the support of letting a 20-30 car a month person go (losing 10 times as many deals in the meantime) to recruiting and training new people intensely and comprehensively before they greet their first customer in person, in live chat or through the most precious and underutilized tool we have: the phone. When a “green pea” is no longer dismissed as lucky or fed and it’s obvious they’re working with an understanding that there is hardly enough time in the day, not a lot of down time in the car business; one of two things happen. They change when they get it or they feel the heat.