Tag Archives: sales

Automotive Sales: 4 Means to a More Efficient CRM

It’s a new year, and the automotive marketplace is now more data-centric than ever before. Customer Relationship Management is one of the most essential tools you and your dealership can use to organize, track and store this data and ultimately close more deals. Regardless of the size of your store, or how many rooftops there are in your group, the implementation of a CRM has been shown to increase productivity by as much as 30% when used efficiently.

The only way to ensure effective CRM use and increased productivity is to insist on standardization, accuracy and consistency. You must gain your entire team’s “buy in” first. Once you have established these attributes amongst your team, you may utilize the four points below to streamline your efficiency in its use. In turn, this will increase your closings, and improve your rate on return, specifically as it pertains to your investment in the CRM.

1.  Using CRMSuite ActivityFocus or a Lead Scoring System:

For More About ActivityFocus

For More About ActivityFocus

CRMSuite takes the guess work out of creating an effective algorithm, which will determine which leads are the “hottest”, within your CRM’s database. How often are your salespeople interacting with an individual? How frequently is that prospect engaging with your store? What time of day do they appear to engage with you more often? What medium (email, phone, text) do they respond to best? These are just some of the factors which the system takes into consideration when scoring leads.

A lead score is nothing but a score which is assigned to every lead entered in your CRM database. The higher the score, which is based on a proprietary algorithm that defines your ideal customer, the “hotter” the lead. By utilizing this feature of the CRM, the leads which are most likely to convert, are bubbled to the top, in real-time, for your sales people to contact. Giving sales people the deals which they will most likely be able to close, right now.

No need to fumble through hundreds of leads and make ill received calls. Most sales professionals spend nearly a quarter of their time simply searching for information. With a lead scoring system in place, they are able to target those leads, which are most likely conversions, with little to no effort. In turn you will see your number of closed deals increase each month. You’re not just closing more deals in less time. You are engaging those leads at the time that they are most likely to be willing to hear your message.

2.  Current Lead Social Data:

Social Data in Real Time

Social Media is here to stay. Now more than ever, people are sharing every aspect of their lives online. Though 45% of your customers interact with brands on social platforms; this isn’t as much about having a presence for your brand on social media, as it is about collecting your prospects social data for your own purposes.

CRMSuite “scrapes” all of the publicly available social data from your prospects profiles to aid your sales team in their efforts to close potential customers. Social Media data is an excellent source of up to the minute information… and it’s free of cost to you. This includes profile pictures and most recent updates which help you to better understand, and ultimately pitch prospects.

CRMSuite is “thee” most Social CRM on the market today. It collects everything from the leads most recent tweet to their alternate phone numbers as they have provided them to various social platforms throughout the years. It not only pulls all social data on your customer when the lead is created, but also automatically refreshes this information to keep the lead social data current. This means never missing the latest Updates and Profiles images on your customer. The proper implementation of a Social CRM system, such as this, has been shown to increase sales productivity by as much as 12% over time.

3.  Updating Lead Data in One Place: 

Desk the deal from anywhere

The background systems in CRMSuite can refresh social data automatically, sure, but interactions, contacts made, meeting notes and preferred phone numbers and addresses etc. are all manually input by your sales people. Inputting this data in a timely fashion, keeping it accurate and all in one place, is vital to the system and it’s ability to score leads. As well as being essential to your staff, for their future appointments and contact with this lead.

Most CRMs today are wonderfully equipped to allow all the relevant information to be input into the system, no matter what device you use to input it. CRMSuite is not to be out done with a user interface which lend itself incredibly well to Mobile devices as well as Mobile applications designed specifically to allow Sales People the freedom to conduct deals and engage with prospects anywhere. While keeping their data as up-to-date in the system as possible.

You can type the meeting notes, appointments, or other vital information in your tablet or mobile phone, and your CRM system will sync it across all devices instantly. This means no repetitive data entry, and tons of time saved, which can then be used to make that next contact due and schedule future appointments.

Management also greatly benefits from these features. Updating this information in the CRM provides visibility of work from each member of your team and management. Imagine never having to ask your rep the date of their next appointment, or how many calls they have made today. Imagine never having to deal with the nightmare of transferring leads and accounts with incomplete information to a new rep.

The ability to access and update data anywhere, anytime means reps are more likely to do it… which saves everyone time in the end.

4.  Smart Dashboards and Analysis:

Reporting and Analytics possibilities are limitless with CRMSuite

Limitless Analytics

Most CRMs come with a package of predefined reports. The way your store works and the way you measure your successes may not be the same as the dealership across the street. With truly customizable reporting, on a dashboard which is updated in real time, CRMSuite gives you all the tools you need to track and measure the metrics which matter to you most.

A top performer’s report can be a sales driver across the dealer group. A daily appointment report can be a productivity tool for management. A sales rep’s performance report can be a motivator. Custom reports can be a powerful tools to motivate and push sales people to close more deals. They provide the individual reps with a way to measure their own goals and for management to measure daily, weekly and monthly sales goals without pestering or micro-managing subordinates. At the executive level reporting can be more broad and provide the big picture store-by-store for the group, and month over month while assessing annual sales numbers.

The MyDay page has the ability to create multiple pages, with various customizable Apps, which can be tailored to suit any individual in the store. Smart reporting and real time analysis of the numbers, gives the entire team the power to model behaviors after what works. The better you define what is working at your store, or for a certain rep, the more efficient they (and you) ultimately become.

In Conclusion

It’s estimated that with proper CRM implementation throughout an organization there is the potential to gain as much as $6 in revenue for every $1 spent on CRM.

Are you utilizing your Customer Relationship Management tools to their fullest potential within your dealer group? What CRM efficiency tips do you implement within your team?

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 

5 Ways to Create Happy Automotive Customers

In an age when you understand that your customer can price shop you in the five minutes you walked away to talk to the desk manager, simply by pulling out their mobile phone, how do you set your store and yourself apart? When price and availability of the vehicles on your lot can be so easily matched or beaten how will you set up not only repeat purchases but referrals from future prospects?

CRMSuite can Help:

  1. Excellent Customer Support –

    You already have the sincere enthusiasm, firm handshake and winning smile locked up. Use CRMSuite to help you respond to Leads, Follow up with Prospects and Make contact with each sold customer long after the vehicle has been driven off the lot.

  2. Transparency & Responsibility –

    You already own your sold customers and make sure that your store is with them from the initial receipt of the lead, through the sale and service, and back to their next vehicle. AutoPencil allows for total transparency during the desking process. Give your customer all of the numbers up front and in a clearly formatted, beautiful template which automatically calculates the payments etc. during the negotiating process. Never leave your customers side to go to the desk, and have your customer sign the deal right from the driver’s seat of the vehicle they love.

  3. Incentives & Rewards –

    OEM Incentives are great, but you want to give your customers a little something extra. Offer rewards for referral leads and use CRMSuite to track the lead sources and note customer rewards.

  4. Engage & Personalize –

    CRMSuite is thee most Social CRM on the Market. Using proprietary algorithms and public information we match customer profiles with your customer records within CRMSuite. View your customer latest activities and recent profile photo right on their record. Link back to customer profiles so you can be prepared to greet them with your common interests and useful information to build value once you’ve set that all important appointment.

  5. Measure & Analyze Satisfaction –

    Make goals for your team and implement ways to measure your customers satisfaction with them. Use the wide variety of reporting and MyDay modules to see all your numbers at a glance, updated in real time and drill down for detail right from your dashboard.

Happy Customer Infographic

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…

++ Click Image to Enlarge ++
Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?
Source: Why do Companies with Great Customer Service Succeed?

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.

four-figures

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.

group-of-figures

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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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.

Client

  • 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?

fskside

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?