Tag Archives: Sales Management

Is Great Customer Service Enough to Set your Store Apart?

Recently, I had a decent, but incomplete, customer service experience with a large corporation. Were they polite, yes. Were they able to resolve my problem, yes. Would I recommend their company to my friends and family members? Hmm, would I? I mean, really think about that.

Your cousin casually mentions that they are looking for a new car, or a new wireless carrier or a new dry cleaner for that matter. Is there a company that you are so passionate about, that you would speak up and say “Hey, I know just the folks you need to call to take care of you!” I was HAPPY with my customer service experience, by the end of the interaction. However, I can honestly say that if someone I cared about, asked me if they should go to this corporation for their products and services, I’d be on the fence with regards to recommending them.

What does this mean?

This means you can have customers who leave your store happy. They feel like they received a fair deal and they love their new car. They received adequate service and overall they were pleased with the way they were treated. But when their Mom mentions that she is looking for a new car, they could NOT recommend you or your store to her. Their mother may even bring it up herself, “Didn’t you just buy a new car? Where did you go to get yours?” Your customer could even name your store and still their Mother won’t be convinced that that is the place for her to purchase her new vehicle.

How do you set your store apart, and set yourself up for referral business?

There is absolutely no substitute for sincerity and passion about your brand. You can’t just say “Thank you” or “We appreciate your business” or “We care about your experience with us today.” In fact, if you say it and don’t mean it, you’re actually doing damage. I recently had a CSR answer the phone with “Thank you for calling <XYZ Company>, where we appreciate our customers” and I almost laughed out loud… the woman on the other end of the phone sounded less than enthusiastic to help me and just the tone of her voice convinced me otherwise.

You can’t make people care about your brand or store. You have to find, and hire people who are passionate about helping your customers. If you are the salesperson in this case, and you are passionate about helping your customers, as well as sincere when you thank them for their business. I promise you’ll be more successful at gaining referrals than your less enthusiastic counterparts.

Learn how to create relationships that will stand the test of time

Your enthusiasm in contagious. If you are in management, this will trickle down to your reps. And if you are a rep this will be passed on to your customers. Have you ever had a day that was just like six mondays smashed together? We all have, right? Do you remember having an interaction with a stranger, on a day such as that, and it turning your whole day around? It could have been the grocery store or buying a new pair of shoes. Whatever the case, that person had a positive impact on your day, and subsequently you. This may have changed your perception of their Brand as well. In the same way that a negative experience would change your perception of a particular Brand.

The difference is that, to create a real impact with a positive experience, you have to work a LOT harder. The experience must be truly exceptional, and above and beyond the call of duty of your basic job requirements. within the company. There is a saying “People never remember a clean house, but they always remember a dirty one.” And the same can be said for Customer Service. People will remember the bad over the good nearly 1000 to 1. Your job is to figure out how to make your customer service excellent, exceptional and consistently awesome. And therefore how to create lasting relationships with your customers. Fostering a sense of brand loyalty and going to extra mile to ensure future business via referral.

The attached infographic has some tips on what makes for excellent customer service. How realistic do you think are these customer expectations or your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?
Source: Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?

6 Stereotypical Boss Profiles

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Does anyone truly like their boss?  Is your boss typical or not so much?  I have been working since I was 13 years old and have encountered many different types of bosses.  I have my favorites and then I have those who I wish I could forget.  I have bosses I still speak to and go to for advice.  Bosses, what a love/hate relationship!  Can you relate to the five types of bosses below?

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1. Best Friend-Ever
Have you worked for that person who wanted to be your best friend?  I have, sometimes a good thing but usually terrible!  With this person, you have an edge.  You can get that day off to hang out and shop or go do something fun.  You get preferential treatment, no crappy duties for you!  However, since this is your boss, you can’t say no!  You feel like you have to go to lunch with them.  You have to accept that invite to their weird house party.  You also feel like you have to do more for them than anyone else, like run errands or plan parties.  Best friend as your boss, maybe not so great!

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2. Invisible Boss
I love and hate the bosses who are never at work!  What is to love, you might ask?  Easy!  The fact that they are never at work checking in on you and making you nervous with their micromanaging and heavy breathing down the back of your neck.  What is to hate?  Agonizing all day on the days they do show up, wondering if you did something wrong, or if there is some big change happening which will affect you negatively.  What happened to make then suddenly show themselves and the unknown regarding how that affects you can make all those carefree days not quite worth it.

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3. Over-achiever
Ever have that boss who tries to do everything, all the time!?  It is great when you have a big thinker who likes to try new things but it can get out of hand.  I had a manager who would try to close deals, complete follow up, demo cars, and help in finance.  He was completely incapable of delegating.  It was nice that he tried a bit of everything but in some cases, it is best to do what you do best, and let others do their jobs.  This person tended to convolute things more than help them.  It may have cost me a couple of deals in the end, to be honest. But it was also nice to know that he kept the Sales Process fresh in his mind and had real experience of how deals went down at that store in order to make management decisions for the rest of the team.

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4. Jerk
I think a good portion of my dealership bosses were total jerks.  Main reason for me, they didn’t remember the time prior to being a boss.  They didn’t remember what it was like to test drive 5 cars, to sit through negotiations, to dig out 6 cars for an appointment to find the people cancelled or didn’t show up.  The jerk that didn’t step in to help you but once your client left, had nothing but crap to say about you and your lack of performance.  Jerky bosses can be frustrating because you feel like it’s you against them instead of the reality which is that you are both part of the same team.  Some bosses have yet to realize that the Football Coach management style doesn’t quite work on everyone.  These Bosses need to learn the best way to motivate all of their team members.

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5. Effortless
I have had maybe two bosses who made it look easy.  They’re born leaders!  They show their employees respect.  They listen to the staff and try to implement any recommendations which made sense for the store.  They genuinely show an interest in their team members lives by not just making small talk by the coffee pot or water cooler.  This is the boss who you want to invite to your home for dinner or out to watch the game.  This is the person within the company who you go to for advice.  Usually, these bosses remain friendly after they are no longer your boss.  You feel that they truly have your best interests, and that of the store’s, at heart.  If they all could be this way, the employment world would be so much more enjoyable!

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6. Micro Manager
We all know and Love… to Hate this Boss. They’re the one who checks on you constantly. Managing your every minute, of every day, like you’re an incompetent kindergartener who needs to be told when to go to the bathroom or eat your meals or smoke your cigarettes… Not that Kindergarteners are smoking cigarettes (nor should anyone be, for that matter) but for the sake of argument. These bosses will make you feel like you have to justify your every effort and decision. In fact you spend more time justifying your actions to them than you do actually Working a Deal. Honestly, with proper CRM implementation most of these bosses wouldn’t need to even chat with you about your efforts on an hourly basis. They could see where you are and what you are doing or have done with a few clicks… That might not make them so terrible after all.

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These are just a few examples of typical boss types that I have encountered over the years.  Do you have any examples you want to share? Which was your Favorite and which was your Least Favorite? Or what type of Boss are you?  Let us know your thoughts on Bosses or how proper CRM use has helped cure your store of a Terrible Boss.

iMagicLab CRM – Training & Support

Are you seeking Training for DealerCRM from iMagicLab
but you seem to have arrived at our Blog instead?

Have no fear!  
We have just the place for you to find the answers you need.

Check out the DealerCRM Support Center from iMagicLab

Link to DealerCRM Support Center

DealerCRM Support Center

You can also find all the Training materials you need right inside DealerCRM. Check out the iML University via the button on the right hand side of your MyDay Screen. All of the Trainings relevant to your position within your store will be right there and we even track your progress through the training for you so you can pick right up where you left off. If you still have questions once you’ve reviewed the training hit us up via the DealerCRM Support Center for one on one assistance with your concerns. View this quick video for tips on how to use the DealerCRM Support Center.

What could be more important than your greeting?

AgreementThe Greeting, most people think nothing of it.  A simple “Hi, how are you?”  Or maybe something more structured like, “Welcome to ABC Motors, my name is Jenn Brockway.  Your name is?”  Or, better still “What’s up?”  Salespeople spend so much time on the Demo, the negotiations, the close, that they forget the all important Greeting.  These first few seconds can make or break your deal!

A greeting is supposed to introduce yourself, first and foremost.  You don’t want it to be too simple, as it may go ignored, however you don’t want it to be too wordy either.  You want them to know (and Remember) your name but you also want their full name in response.  Ever get this?
You:  “Welcome!  My name is Jenn Brockway, and you are?”
Them:  “Bob” (while walking away.)
How effective do you think this is?  Do you believe that Bob will remember your name?  I don’t think so.  First impression, down the drain.  Sale, possibly lost!

A good greeting has just a couple elements.  Its quick, it provides your info, and you get their info.  You don’t want it to be too quick nor do you want to take up an hour to tell someone your name.  I used various greetings over the years, depending on how I was first meeting my clients.  A few examples are provided below:

  • Email Greeting:  You can have a greeting in an email.  Let’s face it, many people never walk into the dealership until they are finalizing their deal which makes a good email greeting extremely important.  Mine went something like this:

    Good Morning Bob,  Thank you for your inquiry on (vehicle.)  My name is Jenn Brockway and I will be guiding you through your purchase adventure.  If you should have any questions along the way, stop me and ask them!  I have included the information on the vehicle you requested below.  I would like to speak to you to provide more information, what number and time works best for you?  Please let me know.  Thanks so much!

  • Phone Greeting:  Ever bomb that phone call on that used car?  We all have.  The best thing to do is to have a script like greeting in front of you.  Something to help guide you from fumbling your words but can be easily adjusted depending on the request.  My script was as follows:

    Thank you for calling ABC Motors.  This is Jenn Brockway, who am I speaking with please? Great, what is the purpose of your call today?  Thanks, in case we get disconnected, is this the best number to reach you (read off the number from the caller ID) and verify if home or cell.  Also, just in case, what is your email address?  I promise not to bombard you with a bunch of SPAM but just in case I get your voicemail when I call back, I would like to be able to send you the same info via email, for you to review at your convenience.

Then proceed to provide them information.  You may not get all of the info right away, but a professional way to ask for it may get it for you after more info is needed.

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  • Walk in Greeting:  Of course, this one may be more difficult as your body language is a key factor.  I was always professional, with good posture, and a smile on my face.  Nothing says I want to sell you a car like a slob with their hands in their pockets and wandering eyes, right?  I used something like this:

    Hi there!  Welcome to ABC Motors!  (With hand out ready to shake) I am Jenn Brockway, your name is?  Wonderful, what brings you in today?  Perfect!  Come this way (leads to a desk to enter into DealerCRM) let’s have a seat and discuss your likes/dislikes, needs/wants, and preferences so I can pull up the car of your dreams!  Would you like some water or coffee?

Most dealerships have refreshments somewhere.  I worked in various dealerships that had these for guests but I kept my mini-fridge well stocked with cans of pop, water, tea, juice, etc.  I even went as far as purchasing a Keurig for coffee for my clients (and me of course!). Whatever methods you use, make sure you put yourself in them!  Don’t be fake and try to be someone you are not.  Be welcoming, sincere and use your abilities to read your customers response and navigate your follow up questions and comments.

Have some key pointers you’d like to share around greeting best practices?  Feel free to contribute them in the comments below.

Does your store truly behave like a team?

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When you think of Dealership Personnel, do you think of a team? I used to think Salespeople were on their own, no team, no one to help them along, until I became one. When you are new in a dealership, you rely on everyone, managers, receptionists, other sales reps, porters, service, etc. Everyone in the Dealership plays their part to help make you successful. It is how you roll with it which will make you a good salesperson, or a failure. Below are a few people who played a huge part in my career. I wouldn’t be where I am, without each of their assistance, along the way.

Porters:  Porters seem like the lowest on the totem pole.  But, they are one of the most important groups of people you will ever meet. They gas up your cars for test drives and deliveries. When that new car you have been waiting for finally comes in on the truck, they are the ones who peel back the protective covering and make sure it is ready to take your customer out in for a test drive. When that vehicle is sold, they determine how fast that vehicle gets ready. If you are rude and do not show these people some respect, your 30 minute delivery could turn into a 2 hour long fight to keep your deal together. Moral of the story: Treat these people with some respect, they may save your deal someday.

Service:  I, personally, had a love/hate relationship with service. If I needed a new car PDI’d or something corrected, they were my best friends! However, that used car I just sold that is leaking oil, after they fixed it, then I was their worst enemy. Either way, without them, I had no way to sell a car. I couldn’t sell a Certified vehicle without their inspection sheet. I couldn’t test drive a new vehicle until it was properly inspected. I couldn’t get that windshield fixed without their approval. What is worse? That person who just bought the car with the defective radio. Treat your service department terribly and watch your customers get it passed on to them in return. What can we take away from this – without total buy-in from your service department, your deal may blow up in your face.

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Managers:  There were only a couple managers whom I cared for, during my time at dealerships. They treated me like a human being (most of the time) and taught me so many things. The only reason this was the case was because I wanted to learn those things. I wanted to be a professional and do things for myself, without relying too much on anyone else. Some managers can be completely rude and holier-than-thou when it comes to the dealership but without them, what can you get done? In most dealerships, my managers provided the numbers/pencil. They had the power to make a wrong into a right. Be sure to foster a good relationship with your management while putting any personal issues aside for the greater good. If they aren’t on your side, watch your CSI (and the bonuses that go with it) fall down the drain!

Salespeople:  I would like to think I was a team player. I didn’t like EVERYONE but I would help ANYONE who showed me respect. If you ask nicely, I will help you dig up that car that is in the spare lot and 6 other cars deep. If you have the client that is on a roller coaster of a test drive, I will help you and go out and make sure cars are brought up or put away. Maybe even take a ride for you so you can shove some pizza in your face for lunch. Regardless of what you feel about every salesperson in the dealership, competing for that fresh up walking through the door, it’s important that you have a few on your side. These people will help you when you need it and you can return the favor. They can also break you and bust your whole deal if they feel slighted.

Receptionist:  This person answers EVERY call within the Dealership. They might even sit at the front door and greet EVERY customer. Why wouldn’t you want them on your side? Do you really want to anger the person who guides YOUR clients in the door? Picture this: You are waiting for that call from the customer who has been in the store 6 times, with 5 test drives in a million different vehicles, you say something to your receptionist that ticks them off and then go to lunch. Guess what? Your customer calls to tell you they are on their way and then the call is put to your voicemail. Five minutes later, your client walks in the door but you are at lunch and they are in a hurry. Woohoo for you, you just got a split deal. Why, because you didn’t respect your Receptionist, the most important person in the dealership.

Regardless of who you consider your team, you want to be sure that you treat the people you work with respectfully. You do not have to like them all the time, but you rely on these people for guidance, assistance and support, so do your best to be a part of the solution, rather than a thorn in their side. At the end of the day, your ability to be a team player may just save a deal or two when you really need your teams help.

How does your store function at a team level? In your experience, who are the most important player on YOUR team?

3 Top Tips for Successful Sales Management

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Sales Management is a tricky task to do well all 365 (or 366) days a year. It seems like there is always SOMEONE who needs SOMETHING from you, doesn’t it? Tasks you committed to doing daily, get back burnered while you put out the more urgent fires of the day. Soon days turn into weeks and you realize you’re going to have to recommit and begin the process all over again. It’s time to take back control of your time and efforts to steer your team to success.

1.) Get Organized

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Decide the Tasks you want to make Daily, Weekly and Monthly exercises for yourself and/or your team. It could be anything from reviewing your teams lead handling and phone calls, using RealityScore, to organizing and cleaning off your desk. No one knows your store’s flow like you do. Pick days you know are slower, and times that are quieter, to schedule these tasks in your calendar on your computer. Set reminders for these tasks and alarms that go off well enough in advance for you to wrap up anything you are currently doing and get ready to tick the box next to the task in that calendar alert. Then stick to it. If the time and day you pick doesn’t work, keep trying until you get into a good rhythm. Soon you’ll know that on Thursday at 9am, after you’ve handled all your emails and polished your sales trophies, it’s time to rally the troops and touch base with them before they start their day on the lot.

2.) Get Prideful

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It’s time to take a look at your store from the customer perspective. It’s easy to become blind to the flaws, when you spend the majority of your waking hours in the same environment day after day. Tomorrow morning, when you walk through the door, give your store the most critical of once overs. Chips in countertops, scuffs on floor tiles, rips in carpets, clutter, that broken chair that one of your sales reps decided to test the limits of one rainy Tuesday, they all need to go. It’s time to take pride in your environment. Plug in one of those smelly things so your store smells fresh and clean. It’s time for your team to get in gear and follow suit. Take pride in their store and keep it immaculate. Are all the cars on the lot in pristine shape, angled perfectly and lined up with uniformed spacing? There’s something energizing about working in a clean and well maintained space.

3.) Get Motivated

Your enthusiasm is contagious. How can you expect your team to be energized if you are a wet blanket? You may need to grab a Redbull energy drink or a Trenta Latte from Starbucks, drag your red Nikes out of your closet or take some extra care in getting dressed this morning. Really do your hair and get out the power tie or pair of heels, whatever it takes to make you feel like a million bucks. Now go into your store with that energy and SPREAD it. As silly as Jeremy Piven’s character in the movie “The Goods” truly is, he’s also basically a genius. If you’re enthusiastic about selling, so is your team, and if they are energetic and positive, so too are your customers. Happy people buy cars. Fact.

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While it’s easy to become complacent or get stuck in the daily grind, a gentle reminder of these three points once a month or once a quarter is going to benefit everyone on your team. Spiff up the lot, get the store in order, get your dealership life organized and go back to selling rejuvenated and fresh.

 

What are your thoughts on the above points? What works to keep you and your store on point with each of these items? Share your insights and thoughts in the comments below.

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?