Having all of the technology in the world will not help you when it comes to the human touch, communicating and connecting with customers in a way that not only builds commonality, but gives the customer the “I gotta guy” feeling.
The biggest buzz that I have heard in the trenches over the past several months is the underlying concern of a broken Internet process. My first question to each and every one of them is why is it broken? It is important that you understand the underlying factors of why, otherwise when you go to fix it you will come up with a band-aid solution that corrects it for the moment, but then reverts back to the same ineffective process that you started with. Don’t make rash decisions without really understanding what is going on currently, what you would like to see happening and then determine what processes you can put in place to get the desired results. Viable solutions can be clouded by internal views. It is essential that you keep intellect over emotion (I over E) when you are making these decisions and there are many times those of an outside consultation can help give you that unbiased opinion that can truly make the difference.
There is a plethora of opportunities at your disposable before you buy a single lead or spend your money on advertising and marketing. Know where you are wasting your marketing dollars and maximize their value. Below are specific questions that you should ask yourself when evaluating what you are doing currently, whether it be incoming phone calls, fresh Internet inquiries or the ever bogged down database (that houses thousands of customers that in most cases are rotting their like apples).
1) What happens with a prospect when they first inquire? Do they receive an initial call and e-mail only?
2) Are they then sent to the sales team? If so how often are they followed up with?
3) How many save a deal cases do you have each day?
4) How many prospects do you have in your database that you have not spoken with in the past 30 days?
5) Are you incorporating techniques such as utilization of human instincts and self conscious?
6) When you have the customer on the phone are you remaining appointment minded or are you giving TMI on the phone? Are you giving them the information that they need in order to go and buy the car from your competition down the street?
When consulting and training in the field you could not even imagine how many times when we investigate to find out the answers to these very questions the answer is “I don’t know.” If you too cannot find the answers you may have just hit your number one problem – accountability. If this is the case with your location it is essential to find a way to track this information.
Next, what specifically are you looking to have happen and what are the results that you want to achieve with your prospects? Are there specific actions that are missing from your process that would allow you to get the change desired? Create an action plan to implement the changes that are needed and to create the accountability to make sure that the changes remain consistent (and are not put in place for the moment and then dissolved as soon as it is too much).
Detail how you will regenerate your vision into others. What I mean by this is many dealerships are still relying on a few good managers and team members instead of educating the entire organization. People without information cannot be held responsible, but people with information cannot help but be responsible. Provide them with a backup plan, just like a loose fitting garment that can be tailor made to fit a man or woman precisely the right way. Remember any plan without a backup is still just a wish. That is what skills, not just scripts, is all about.
As you implement the changes you will see your results increase and sales amplify. Never forget that with each process you want to ensure that you are making sure to monitor what your customers are saying about you, your competition and our industry as a whole. Also to monitor how many have been able to achieve the magic of differential of trafficking ROI, as well as ROR, despite turning over marketer conditions of the economy. Know from the beginning what makes the customer tick by staying in regular meaningful connection with the customers. Content is king.
Track this with your own individual reputation management site. Word of mouth is the best advertising a dealership can have. Reputation management defense is essential, not only to resolve issues when not if they crop up, but 45% of negative reviews that are posted are from former disgruntled employees that get covered up through the layers of the team trying to cover their own tail. There is no escaping this tracking and monitoring. What is being said is essential.
I look forward to explaining this more in detail at the 12th Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition in Orlando next month. Good selling my friends.