Tag Archives: follow up

Set More Appointments: Videos Alone Will Not Sell Cars

Elise Desktop

Branding yourself on Youtube is no simple task. Elise Kephart has managed to make her videos so popular amongst those in the auto industry that some stores are using them for training purposes. The Youtube Diva is on the cutting edge as far as incorporating the technology available to us today into her sales process. She’s also become quite good at it; being recognized by the likes of Jim Zigler as far back as 2010. She’s now sharing a lot of her insights at automotive industry conferences and of course, via her YouTube channel.

In the beginning Elise’s videos were very focused on the vehicle, which the customer had stated they were interested in. The vehicle on the lead, whether that was received via email or form filled out on the dealer website set the tone for the entire video. Her videos struggled to hold the attention of the prospect in todays busy world. They contained loads of information up front and rounded out at about 5 minutes run time a piece. Elise found that by pairing these videos down, to focus on starting that relationship with the customer, she had a lot more success and better customer response. Focus on the customer experience and the personal relationship, more than the vehicle and sales pitch right off the bat. You want to put the customer at ease, show them you are a real person and begin a friendship. Including video clip referrals from her past customers has also become a trademark of Elise’s videos which she send out to prospective new buyers.

This process has been tried and tested with exceptional success by Elise. Below is her process for contacting new internet leads step-by-step:

1. From your Office Line, Call the customer at about 9am.
a. Tell the customer that you have “Some Great News” and ask for a return call
b. Keep it short and non-specific but give your hours and contact information
c. Let the customer know that if you don’t hear back from them you WILL try them again later today
2. Send your Video email message immediately after your first call attempt.
a. Introduce yourself and your store
b. Tell the customer briefly what you discussed if you got ahold of them and thank them for speaking with you
c. If you left a voicemail, then give them your vehicle options that match the customer enquiry e.g. “We have the 2013 Honda Accord available in the red or white today”
d. Give the customer your direct contact information clearly and your On Hours in store
e. Make it Personal. Use the customers name and be casual and conversational
f. Keep your video under 90 seconds and under 60 seconds is optimal
g. Ask for the Call back and let the customer know that you WILL contact them again if you don’t hear from them.
3. From your Mobile Phone, Call the customer at about 11am.
a. Do NOT leave a message
4. From your Mobile Phone, Call the customer at about 2pm.
a. Again Do NOT leave a message
5. From your Office Line, Call the customer at about 5pm.
a. Leave a Message again with your contact details and hours in store today
b. Ask for the call back and explain that you WILL call the customer back again tomorrow if you do not hear from them before then

Some people may call this borderline harassment, but the simple fact is that the customer has requested this information, about a car that interested them, from your store. You may get some negative feedback on occasion, however for the most part it is your job to reply to these leads. Furthermore, you aren’t doing your job, if you don’t get in touch with the customer.

The goal is to Set an Appointment. You can’t sell a car if you don’t get that customer on the lot. How you begin your relationship with each lead will determine if you get that appointment set. Treat each lead as Elise suggests above and I bet you set more appointments. It’s our job to sell cars and put the numbers on the board sure, but giving the customer the most wonderful car buying experience should also be high on your personal agenda. Once you get the customer on the lot they can fall in love with the car. Videos and that personal touch will build trust and help the customer to fall in love with your store. It also removes the awkward from your first appointment as the customer feels that they have already met you and you can get straight down to business as soon as they arrive.

What’s your Follow Up Process? Are you utilizing Videos to Prospects? How are you accomplishing this while using CRM? Let us know in the comments below and share this article using the social buttons below 🙂

Original article published on Dealer20.com in late October 2013
Special Thanks to: Elise Kephart for allowing us to interview her and share her follow-up process within this article. Follow Elise on Twitter @theyoutubediva 

Sales Representative Best Practices for Automotive CRM

Final CRM

The benefits of deploying and engaging your team with a customizable and intuitive CRM are numerous. We could bore you with the stats and go on about how wonderful our CRM system is, and it is truly wonderful, but we understand you only care about one thing. How to sell more cars, move the metal off the lot and the money into your pocket. How do we know this? Because we have been there my friend. We have stood in your shoes early on a saturday morning fixing our ties and straightening our hair ready to take on the world… and make some deals. But I digress, what we want to do is help you use your CRM to it’s fullest potential.

Let the CRM take the Names, while you Kick Ass

We don’t care if all you have right now is a name and number. It’s a start. Add every single customer you come into contact with to the CRM system. Make it your personal rule of thumb to add 100% of the people you speak or engage with, 100% of the time, without fail. Customer relationship management software is only as good as the data it is given and the team who use it. Get as much data from your potential customer as possible… without sounding like a stalker. Then let the CRM take over.

If you commit to a task… Do it.


Your MyDay in DealerCRM says you are scheduled to make X number of calls and some other tasks today. You told a customer you would touch back with them “tomorrow” because you understand that the Actions Plan in your CRM, which your dealership custom designed for your store, will fire a follow up for the next day. Well, it’s tomorrow and that call is chilling on your MyDay screen. Bottomline? Clear it. Make that call.

Following through with commitments is Business 101. If you don’t call the customer on the day they’re scheduled, then you appear unprofessional. Especially if they’re expecting a call from you. Your store also appears disorganized and flakey which is exactly the opposite of the impression you want to give people who could potentially build a lasting buying and service relationship with you and your dealership.

Time is the killer of deals and by not contacting them, they could decide to purchase elsewhere. By completing your daily tasks you’re ensuring that every customer that you’re supposed to contact actually gets contacted. Thus every opportunity is maximized and nothing falls through the cracks.

Get it Right

Vehicle information, stock numbers, car color, is the car a surprise? (ask Vitale about this one), deal structure, customer nickname, and how your customer prefers to be addressed (Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. etc.) make sure you enter it all correctly into the system the first time. Or at the very least correct any errors post haste.

Correspondence which is sent on your behalf, from the system, reflects on YOU and the dealership. If an email, postcard or letter are generated with inaccurate information then everybody looks bad. Let’s face it, we’ve all heard stories about botched info on personal invitations and junk mail from other industries. What do the addressees remember? Well, I guarantee it wasn’t the killer Labor Day Weekend special.

Having all your ducks in a row also ensures that if something comes up and you are unavailable the show can go on, because the show MUST go on! Life happens, days off happen, illness happens, stuff happens… A sales manager needs to be able to jump into any deal efficiently and seamlessly, without having to make a client wait, while they contact you on your day off. This makes your store look like everyone is on the same page, you all function as a team, and the entire staff are professional and on the ball. If there is fumbling and pointed fingers and customers forced to wait while calls are made that’s all that will stand out in the mind of those customers down the road.

Record all of your interactions in real time

By successfully resulting the outcome of your client contacts and interactions, you ensure the software schedules the next contact due. It’s important to log information as close to real time as possible in order to allow the action plan to trigger follow up actions properly. How effective will a “3-Day Follow up call” be if you log the action which would trigger it 2 days later than it occurred?

There’s also nothing worse than a manager following up with a client to ask why they missed their appointment when the customer called you to reschedule. Or worse… they made the appointment and you didn’t log the results of that interaction in the system. The goal is NOT to look foolish but to portray a unified front whereby everybody is on the same page. When a customer has confidence that you and your team are on top of your profession they also feel more comfortable parting with their money and making a purchase.

Reply to customer emails, texts, calls and Internet leads IMMEDIATELY

Especially now in the internet age of instant gratification, time kills deals! The majority of people today are communicating via mobile device. The customer has an even higher expectation of a nearly immediate response. The sales person who responds first and fastest has a much greater chance of winning that lead. Which is sort of the idea behind our LeadBlast lead handling system.


Response Time Statistics:

  • For Internet leads, the first dealership to engage the customer is 5 times more likely to sell that customer a vehicle. How is that for a 5 times rule for you?
  • 35-50% of sales go to the Dealer/Sales Rep who responds first.
  • Call within 5 minutes, and the chances of reaching a lead is 100 times higher than calling 30 minutes after the lead comes in.
  • When you’re not talking to leads right away, you waste about 92% of your time and budget.
  • The odds of qualifying a lead, if called in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes, drop 21 times.
  • A study by M.I.T reveals that the average company takes 1 day, 18 hours & 15 minutes to respond to an email lead by phone. Now that’s Terribleness…

Maximize your Reach

Follow up is key, if you want your be-backs to have a better closing ratio you need to have multiple avenues with which to communicate with your customers. Once you have a foot in the door so to speak, make certain you ask for Two Phone Numbers and an Email Address with EVERY customer.

According to NADA, 7 out of 10 customers will provide their email address if they are simply asked for it. Mobile numbers are even more critical today. People are much more likely to be near their mobile phone than a landline.

Most people are more likely to read a text message than take a phone call from a number they don’t recognize. For that reason the ask for text message opt-in is a word track you must master. Be sure to place phone numbers in the appropriate, corresponding fields within the system. Mobile numbers in the mobile field, home landline numbers in the home landline field, work numbers in the work number field and so forth. You can’t text a landline and calling the customer’s office at 10am on a Sunday probably isn’t the best use of your time.

Consistency is Key

You’ll have much better success with your CRM if you follow the best practices mentioned above… but the key is to do each of these things consistently through every opportunity, every day, always. It’s sort of like flossing… it only works if you do it every day. And fibbing to your dentist about skipping the task isn’t going to help anyone.

Do you “floss” everyday? Tell us about your Best CRM Tips in the comments or take us to task on the tips above.

You can always reach out to us via Social Media as well 🙂

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7 Characteristics of a Top Salesperson

In every dealership, there is a Top Dog, number one Salesperson. This is the person who everyone wants to be, in some way or another. There are usually some common factors which make this person as good as they are. Below we discuss some characteristics of that top salesperson, the new sales reps hope to be one day.

  • Organization
    Most Top Dogs have some level of organization. It may not make sense to you, but their follow up is done a certain way. Their desk has notes in order of importance. Their deliveries are set just right. Or, some have someone, an assistant, who makes sure all of these things are in place. Either way, they have organization at some level.
  • Schedule
    Most great salespeople have a schedule in place. It may not be strict but it is typically followed. Something like, most follow up calls are made between the hours of 11am-3pm or no calls between 5pm-7pm, etc. They also tend to schedule vehicle deliveries in specific time slots. Time slots based on when the finance department wouldn’t be busy with SPOT deliveries, or what works best for most client’s work schedules. Either way, having some sort of schedule in place will help you to do your job at a superior level to those around you.
  • Charisma
    Every person, who has ever Sold me anything, has had a special something about them. Something that made me like them. Something that made me feel good about buying a product from them. Usually, it is a great sense of humor with a great knowledge of the product that they are selling. It could just involve the way they spoke to me or the way they involved me in the purchase. It is different for everyone, but find out what your best quality is and improve upon it in any way you can. Take advantage of your natural talents.
  • Knowledge
    Who likes to buy a car from someone who knows nothing about the car? The answer – NO ONE! You may not need to know EVERY ASPECT of the vehicle, but know the basics. If you have an appointment with someone on a vehicle, go refresh yourself on that vehicle. Do so based on conversations you have had with the client to verify you are giving them information which is important to THEM!
    Example: I like good stereos and speed, don’t talk to me about coefficient of drag and airbags.
  • Attitude
    BE POSITIVE! No one likes to be around someone who is negative. If you don’t like the manager you are working with, keep it to yourself. If you hate the car that they love, shut your mouth! You are allowed to have your opinion but in some cases, it is best to keep it to yourself! Having a positive attitude will not only help you get along with co-workers and have a less miserable day that you would have had otherwise, but it will also help you sell more cars. Your customers can feel your mood and most would be put off buying from a crabby car salesperson. This is an exciting time for them, make it feel like you are genuinely happy for them.
  • Association
    Surround yourself with people who help you to become better at what you do! Don’t hang around the typical clusters by the “water-cooler.” I am not saying, don’t speak to your co-workers EVER. I am just saying, surround yourself with like minded people. “Birds of a feather, flock together” can be a positive thing. If you are around successful people, you are more likely to be successful. You tend to pick up their habits, in a good way. Instead of picking up habits like hiding in the breakroom or avoiding Ups that look challenging.
  • BE YOU!
    Not everyone is going to be the best, but be the the best you, that you can be. Everyone is unique. Every customer is unique. and every Salesperson is unique. It may turn out that the guy who just walked onto the lot likes the exact same pro-wrestler who you worshipped as a kid. Or maybe you both have a child who is around the same age and are struggling with similar challenges of that stage. Perhaps their dog is like your dog in that he’s always chewing up the WRONG items in your house. Take the time to be yourself, ask questions and get to know your customer. You may find that the 5 minute friend you make adds a few extra digits to your paycheck as well.

There are a million things that a Salesperson can do to be Top Dog. Find out what that means for you and get to work! It can only make things better for you! Have any tips of your own? Share them below in the comments section or let us know what you think about the tips above.

DealerCRM: Your Personal Secretary

Who can remember the names of prospect customers from last month, let alone if and when to contact them again? Will you remember if they had a vehicle they wanted to sell, a co-signer, how much of an investment they were able to work with, which vehicle they were interested in, features that were a must and what color they preferred? No, not even your BEST salesperson could possible retain all that information for each opportunity. With iMagicLab’s DealerCRM or CRMSuite, you won’t have to. With our personalized features which allow the CRM to act like your very own secretary, all you have to do is remember how to say, “Hello.”

Action Plans are created manually by someone at your dealership. They are fully customizable and unique to your store. Meaning, if you would like an alert to call a prospect the day after you meet, send a “thank you” email three days after or a reminder to reach out again in two weeks, it is completely up to you. There are usually one or two people, in any given store, who have the PIN number to access your store’s Actions Plans. While iMagicLab won’t change your actions plans or simply assign a generic action plan to your store we do offer guidance and feedback to help your store get the maximum benefit from the Action Plans and close more often. And who doesn’t like more money in their pocket?

What is the best kind of customer? One who will pay cash? A business man with a large down payment? An eager first time buyer willing to get into anything? An older person you can slam? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, please do yourself a favor, and find a new career. The best kind of customer is a Return Customer – one who keeps coming back. It means you’ve done your job, and excellently at that. If you don’t like your hairstylist – and let’s be real, that’s major – you’re not going to go back! Trust is a large factor, in creating repeat customers, and in reality you only have about five minutes to build that trust.

People have busy lives, but I guarantee they will remember when their current lease is up or their financing is coming to an end. Who doesn’t count the days until that final car payment is in the mail? But, will you remember those dates for each of your previous customers? Probably not. Let us remember for you. Alerting you to get that customer back into the dealership will not only benefit them, but you as well. They have the chance to upgrade or go all out with a completely new model (everybody wants the new hotness on the lot) and you have a potential return buyer. Take advantage of that and let us help.

What have you found to be the most beneficial part of using DealerCRM or CRMSuite to personalize your store’s action plans and/or help you to follow up with past customers and potential opportunities?

Getting Started with your new iMagicLab CRM

DealerCRM-facebook-coverSo, you have done it. You have made the first step in changing your dealership’s future in the world. You have partnered with the best, iMagiclab! Now, it is time to get the ball rolling with everything you need to figure out this new Customer Relationship Management system.

First, let me start off by saying, we are not your typical CRM provider. When you partner with iMagicLab, and start using DealerCRM, you have control of your dealership’s work flow. We do not schedule random calls in a one-size-fits-all follow up plan, though we do help by starting your store off with some best practices. However, our Action Plans are fully customizable down to a Rep level. We then encourage you to make changes to fit your dealership’s follow up needs. We show you how to make said changes and then work with you, using various reports within DealerCRM, to show you how our CRM is working to your advantage.

To get started we recommend consideration of the following:

  • Cut the old CRM out cold turkey! Start using DealerCRM right away. Everyone learns in a different way. Some of your staff will learn best by doing. While others prefer textbook or tutorial style learning. But what better way to learn your new CRM than to use the CRM? Make mistakes, it happens all of the time. I don’t know about you, but I learn best from my mistakes. Don’t be scared to jump right in!
  • Encourage your staff to complete all of the iML University training classes which are pertinent to them. The iML University is available for everyone who uses DealerCRM, from right on their MyDay page. This collection of Video Tutorials and Demos will give you and your team members onsite training on your time. No need to sit in a boring class looking at an overhead projection of a CRM you’ve never seen before. Trying to retain every bit of information you are shown in a short hour long class isn’t productive. iML University is available around the clock and can be revisited whenever there is a need. As a manager you’ll also be able to track your teams progress through the iML University topics.
  • Practice. Who’s heard the phrase “Practice makes Perfect?” Well, honestly, it does. The more you practice, the better you will be at working within DealerCRM. The same goes for your sales processes, techniques, work flow, etc. What better way to learn DealerCRM than to work within the system regularly?
  • Keep an open mind. DealerCRM is not your typical cookie cutter CRM. When you have work flow, it is created by your management team. iMagicLab didn’t just randomly schedule the call to your best friend who purchased a car. Keep in mind, we make updates based on dealer feedback and industry trends, regularly. We do not do this to make your life difficult. We do this to simplify the process and ultimately save you time. Time that you would be spending logging someone in, we give back to you, so you have more time to SELL THEM A CAR!
  • When we are in your store, ask questions! Do not be afraid to open you mouth and say you can’t figure something out. What would you rather do, ask a question everyone else is thinking, or keep your mouth shut and struggle later? No question is a stupid question. Not everyone knows everything about one piece of software or another. We need you to have a good understanding of DealerCRM. I would much rather you ask the question while I am there to show you, than to struggle with it and not use DealerCRM to its fullest potential.
DealerCRM Support Center

DealerCRM Support Center

Keep in mind, iML University is available 24/7 on the right side of your MyDay screen. We also have our Support Center Page available for your convenience via Help on your MyDay page. As a bonus, Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 6PM we offer Live Chat Support, available from our Support Center Page. This allows you to chat with one of our fantastic trainers, in real time! And when I say Trainer, I mean an Actual iMagicLab Product Specialist or Trainer who uses the same system you are daily.

It doesn’t get any better than that!

On July 2nd The Car Business Will Change Forever

Want more information?
Text ‘Tell Me More’ to 26740

The Art of the Follow Up

Poll any number of sales reps asking what the worst part of selling is and I bet the overwhelming response will be follow-up; worse than going through dry spells or dealing with mean customers, is the grind of the follow-up. Now granted, I’ve met sales reps who take their follow-up jobs seriously and those who don’t, but it’s almost universal that reps that master the habit of follow-up build better relationships with their customer’s and set more appointments.

The key to being successful with follow-ups is finding the right balance between too much and not enough. A next day follow-up call is almost a must, in any situation, whether it’s an internet lead follow-up, missed appointment, sold etc. is irrelevant. I personally always liked the stagger method with my opportunities: a call followed by an email, then just an email the next day, followed by another call and email the following day, rinse and repeat for about a week to ten days, then I taper off to just emails going out to a month. It’s important to keep following up to stay relevant until you build that rapport, because until then you’re probably competing with other dealers.

Price is important, but so is the buying process and the buying process starts the second they get an email or phone call from you. My advice is to not overdo it. If you’ve left many voicemails in the past, stop leaving voicemails unless you have something new to say. Try calling at difference times of the day to see if your customer picks up the phone, because any answer is better than no answer. As for content when you leave a voicemail, do you sound excited? Are you offering any value on the voicemail or are you looking to take value? It’s amazing what a positive tone and change in energy can do to increase responses. Notice the difference from, “just checking to see if you’re in the market still so….call me back, my number is…” to “Hey so-and-so we just received some very nice xyz in stock, beautiful cars, let me know when you’d like to come down for a test drive, also looks like we can pay top dollar for your trade etc…!” the key is to sound somewhat excited, if anything, you’ll stand out from the other dealers that are leaving them messages.

What do you think about your follow-up process? How effective has it been?