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Category Archive: Internet Sales

Emily Johnson

From the Customer: 4 Car-Buying Lessons

Couple in car

My husband and I have purchased so many cars recently that we should probably start a club for people who love to car shop. (Facebook group, anyone?) In this blog, I will summarize our past shopping experiences and explain the four internet marketing and sales techniques that got us to buy.

In the last two years, we have traded in and purchased four different cars. Throughout all the vehicle juggling, we’ve done our fair share of online research, pricing, test driving, dealership visiting, and negotiating. From a large conglomerate “no haggle” dealership, to the small store with fully commissioned sales staff who will aggressively sell you any vehicle on the lot, we have seen it all. As someone who works closely with the automotive industry, I can imagine these four lessons might prove helpful in YOUR dealership.

1. “No haggle” and “ease of access” reign supreme.

Our first and second car trades were almost identical because we used the same dealership and salesperson. We wanted to trade in our gas-guzzling “college cars” for svelte hybrid or electric vehicles.

Each purchase was as smooth, stress-free, and “no haggle” as the dealership’s advertising touted. We found our cars online, test drove the exact cars we would take home, sat down to do the paperwork, and left with smiles on our faces. The paperwork period was a tad lengthy but was tolerable overall.

While my husband enjoys haggling and negotiating (i.e. the “typical car buying process”), I prefer this easy, stress-free approach. And I’m not alone, only 17 out of 4,002 customers surveyed prefer the typical method of buying a car. That’s only 0.5%!

Given that most shoppers seem to be like me, you should evaluate how your dealership handles customers’ online experiences. Consider letting customers shop, negotiate, and sign their paperwork online, and use the online experience to lessen the pressures of the process and keep it low-key. Give your customers the power to choose, pay for, and drive away their new car on THEIR terms. To further ease the buying process, some dealerships have employed tech-savvy tactics such as a virtual document signature capture desk or test driving cars from a massive vending machine! While I don’t think it’s essential to go THAT far, a few simple digital changes could drive more business to your dealership.

Learn from our encounters …

Six months after we purchased the hybrid and electric cars, we decided the full-electric wasn’t the right vehicle for us (range anxiety, anyone?). Instead, we wanted a cheap car that we could run into the ground, a true workhorse. Like before, we used our trusty smartphones and began looking online in our area for a used vehicle that was inexpensive but would last for many years to come. After trolling many car lots trying to find the cars we had bookmarked online (or looking for cars that weren’t online), we found an SUV and a sedan at a small dealership in a “dodgy” part of town. Once we rolled onto the lot, a salesperson appeared at our window—in the rain—asking if we needed help. My husband and I looked at each other, and we braced ourselves as we got out of the car.

Not only was this buying process longer than the first two, but the dealership strung us along for DAYS before we finally crawled out with an SUV at a decent price. While this was not ideal, there are a few things the dealership got right: They had a significant and well-advertised online presence, and all vehicles were merchandised online with their best prices prominently displayed.

2. Being online matters.

My husband and I use online resources in every one of our car buying endeavors and have become car-searching powerhouses. Unsurprisingly, we’re not alone in this. On average, customers spend 14.75 hours shopping online for just one car (so for four cars, we shopped a total of 59 online hours?!), and 59% of an average customer’s car-buying research is done online as opposed to in-store, word of mouth, or in print. Shoppers tend to use smartphones when searching but also utilize desktops, laptops, and tablets, depending on where they are (home, work, out driving around). In fact, 46% of average customers use multiple devices to search online during their car buying process.

What does this mean for your dealership? Own a strong online presence. Post your best prices online to entice customers to come in and not be disappointed when they do. Utilize SEO (search engine optimization) to improve a buyer’s chance of finding YOUR dealership over another. Show your inventory online, on your site AND third-party sites. Ensure your dealership address and hours of operation are prominently displayed on your homepage, and in a Google search. Your customers are shopping online: Help them find what you want them to find.

Enter the shiny blue truck …

A year after the SUV buying experience, we (my husband) decided we needed (he wanted) a truck. So, we went truck shopping! (Note my sarcasm …) I’m pretty sure we visited every dealership in a 50-mile radius of our home over the course of three weeks.

Like before, we started by using digital devices to find the perfect truck. During our search we scoured the web, our budget rose and fell, and we test drove every truck we could. Finally, we agreed that our favorite truck model was WAY outside of our budget, so we found another option that was just the truck for us.

Our research into this chosen truck model eventually landed us at a dealership in a neighboring suburb. We arrived at the lot, saw the truck, (which had only been there for two days and was balloon-clad on the rotating pedestal out front, with a radiant light surrounding its shiny, blue physique) and asked for a test drive.

3. Test drives are not the end all, be all.

When my husband and I bought our hybrid/electric vehicles, we only test drove the cars we would purchase. This is typical, 52% of average customers only test drive one vehicle when they’re car shopping. From my research, I confirmed that “car shoppers are influenced about what to buy and who to buy from. The time to influence and convert them is online, where car buyers spend the majority of their shopping time making decisions.” This couldn’t have been truer during our truck shopping experience. We test drove many vehicles during our SUV and truck searches, but ultimately we made up our minds based on the deals and information we found online. We didn’t care who we talked to at the dealership; we just wanted to get the deal done.

My takeaway? If your sales team currently throws all its effort into making the sale during the test drive or after, perhaps utilize that selling talent on your company’s Facebook page or website instead.

4. In-store does not mean offline.

Even after my husband and I made it onto a lot in any of the above scenarios, we were still on our smartphones searching for the next best deal. When looking for the SUV and the truck, we drove through many lots, many dealerships, scouting for that one car, that diamond in the rough. We armed ourselves with statistics and features, the prices and current sales, anything we could before we spoke to a salesperson. 63% of shoppers report using their mobile device at the dealership.

To keep those customers on your lot and urge them to engage with your sales team, you need complete online transparency. What do you want shoppers to buy? The balloons and rotating pedestals are a nice touch, but invest in online advertising, social media sponsored posts, website banner ads, and third-party website top spots; THAT is where customers are looking, not in the skies above your dealership.

For more tips on internet management, check out the NCM Institute’s two courses Mastering Digital Marketing and Internet/BDC Operations Management.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2017/05/from-the-customer-4-car-buying-lessons/

Paul Potratz

What Black Friday Taught Us

Close up hands holding credit card and using mobile smart phone outdoor, Online shopping, woman happy.

Online sales for Black Friday topped out at $3.34 Billion; up 21.6% since 2015. Let that sink in for a minute. The prediction was $3.05 billion, which would have been just an 11.3% increase over 2015. This means sales were up almost 10% from what was predicted.

What does this tell you about today’s shopper?

It certainly does not say we are in a down economy or that consumers are scared to spend money. However, these Black Friday record sales provide a vital perspective that most are ignoring. In fact, I am willing to bet the majority of you reading this blog are ignoring the telltale signs of what’s happening. Don’t stress—you still have a few weeks to catch up. Yes, only a few weeks—I can assure you we are going to see a major shift very soon.

I am referring to mobile. Wal-Mart attributes mobile devices to driving 70% of its Black Friday traffic. Other retailers also received significant mobile traffic that accounted for increased sales on Black Friday. The wake-up call is that retailers saw a 33% increase in mobile traffic over last year, which is a $1 billion increase for one day!

These numbers are nothing to be ashamed of—or are they?

The fact is, the numbers could have been much higher … and when I say much, I mean much, much higher! Let’s be honest, we now live in a society in which we don’t even have the patience to wait 30 minutes for a pizza to be delivered. The same goes for mobile experience: Shoppers have no patience for a poor mobile experience.

Case in point: 55% of all 2016 Black Friday website traffic came from mobile devices. In that same amount of time, mobile conversions (or sales) were at an average of just 2.4%, while tablet conversions were at an average of 4.6% and desktop conversions were at an average of 5.5%. As you can see, a lot of opportunities and sales were lost due to poor mobile experience.

The Drunk Person Shopping Test

So my question is, what can you do as a dealer so you do not miss opportunities due to a poor mobile experience? The answer is simple. See if your mobile site will pass the “drunk person shopping test.” The next time you’re out playing golf or having a few drinks with non-automotive friends, ask them to visit your website on their mobile phone and ask them to do the following tasks:

-    Find a specific car by year, model, trim level, and color

-    Compare two models based on trim levels

-    Value a trade

-    Schedule a service appointment

-    Find used car specials and new car specials

I also encourage you to videotape them navigating your website and share that with your team.

Don’t stop with just one friend testing your mobile website—have several non-automotive friends use your site and film them all. I can assure you it will be one of the most valuable and insightful actions you take to ensure 2017 is a record year for your dealership. And remember: What you learn from your “drunk person test” must be fixed. 2017 is the year that every marketing effort should start with a mobile-first strategy.

Final thought: Apple iPhone is expected to lose market share to Google’s new Pixel phone in Q1 and Q2 of 2017, then gain it back in Q3 and Q4 with the new iPhone 8. The result will be that 75% or more of all website traffic will be mobile.

Think Mobile, My Friends!

Get more insights on how to improve sales at your dealership with NCM Associates’ 20 Groups and Training.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/12/what-black-friday-taught-us/

Lindsey Quinn

5 Reasons Why You MUST Attract Digital Car Shoppers

Headline after headline tells us that the internet is playing a huge role in new vehicle sales. But just how important is it to the bottom line? NCM staffers did the research, and the results are clear. Your dealership is missing out on profits if you are ignoring your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing InfographicDon’t miss out on online car buyers. Get even more insights on how to build a high-performing digital presence for your dealership.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/08/5-reasons-why-you-must-attract-digital-car-shoppers/

Rick Wegley

To BDC or Not to BDC: Are Business Development Centers Here to Stay or Just a Fad?

Manager Instructing Customer Service Representatives In Office

Whether you have a small or large store, you’ve heard of a BDC. The concept has exploded over the last decade, with many experts positioning the Business Development Center (BDC) as the end-all, be-all solution to our lack of accountability with our existing sales force.

I don’t doubt that there are benefits to having a BDC, but what are we genuinely trying to accomplish with additional personnel when we’ve already hired a sales team?

Where did automotive BDCs come from?

The BDC was born out of the dramatic changes in customer-dealership communication witnessed over the last decade. The adoption of digital communication options such as email and social media, plus new expectations from customers that information be easily obtained online, has led to dramatic changes in how we train our people and how they interact with our clients.

The BDC provides a way for dealerships to manage the communication strategies of our first point of contact with both sales and service customers. In effect, the BDC regulates conversations and provides a consistent message to our clients that lead to a prospective sale.

Are BDCs worth it?

I have to ask: Is a BDC a crutch for our failures as managers, coaches, and leaders to teach fundamental communication and sales training? Or are we creating a new opportunity designed to increase sales and improve closing ratios with our current leads?

Let’s be honest, well-run BDCs are expensive. I estimate that operating a truly functional and adequately staffed BDC will likely cost upwards of $150,000 per year in salaries and benefits. This cost is a conservative estimate and is limited to a single person on any given shift, covering only normal hours of operation. For dealerships that operate both a sales and service BDC, this cost would likely double.

I am not anti-BDC, but I would—again—ask you to consider the fundamental objectives and goals of your intended BDC operation. Does it generate new business? Or is the BDC just following up on the leads your dealership already has?

And, in both scenarios, does the BDC exist because you haven’t trained your current employees on the correct processes and communication strategies to handle inbound leads? Perhaps better accountability and tracking measures would ensure that sales staff is taking advantage of existing opportunities.

If you choose a BDC, create a successful one.

If you want a high-performing BDC, you must clearly define and communicate your goals and objectives, not only to your BDC personnel but also to your sales force. Best practice is to have your intended BDC staff spend some time on your sales floor or with your service department so that they have a full understanding of how your daily operations integrate.

Once that training is complete, make sure your sales and service employees spend time with the BDC on a weekly basis. This ensures that each team member better understands the different roles each department plays in the sales process, the unique challenges each face, and how their objectives and goals align. Communication between departments is a prerequisite for good performance.

Bringing it all together: A successful sales team.

The ultimate purpose of a BDC is a high-performing sales team that brings in—and closes—leads. With a well-defined strategy, aligned goals, cross training of key personnel, and regular communication between sales, BDC, and service you can support a wildly successful BDC operation.

The key elements of success or failure of any BDC operation are fully dependent on their ability to generate new business or retain/improve closing ratios on existing business opportunities. Any other method or reason for implementing a BDC would be considered only a crutch—a very expensive and likely wasteful crutch—for your current operational practices.

What do you think: Is the BDC simply a sales crutch? Or a valuable and necessary component of the modern auto dealership?

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/05/to-bdc-or-not-to-bdc-are-business-development-centers-here-to-stay-or-just-a-fad/

Jessica Kain

BDC Bad Habits: Automation & Templates

Old Habits - New Habits signpost in a desert road background

I am lucky enough to spend each week traveling across the United States helping dealers improve their internet operation and, therefore, their overall success.

Prior to each of my visits, I analyze the current processes and communication tactics leveraged by each dealership. After years of review, I’ve discovered an eye-opening truth: Unfortunately, no matter the market, unique background or size of the store, they all seem to share the same bad habits!

Over the next few months, I’m going to review these “BDC Bad Habits.” Keep an eye on the NCM blog to learn what common BDC tactics you should avoid—and why you should replace them—to improve your internet sales department!

Automation is great, but it can’t succeed on its own

Automation and templates can be great tools for small businesses. In fact, they’ve been so successful for the automotive industry, that we’ve become extremely dependent on them.

So, what’s the problem? Well, this trend becomes a bad habit when you pair it with the automotive industry’s rarely changing processes. Unless your templates and automated marketing address current customer needs and pain points, it’s not going to help you close sales. And, if your messaging is too far off the mark, it can be a recipe for low close rates, ROI and morale.

Four steps to fix the automation BDC bad habit

Knowing how to repair the automation problem can sometimes be the most confusing part. Here’s what I recommend: We are going into the summer selling season, which means this is the perfect time to do some spring-cleaning!

First, go through your CRM. Clean out any old templates that are not engaging and have reached their expiration date.

Next, replace your first two days of customer follow-up with personalized responses. Personalization is key to standing out from your competition that is sending template after template to fill a follow-up task. The only way to convince someone to come into the store and buy a car is to get a response, so make it a good one.

Personal sounds easier than it really is, so make sure your team is equipped to do a good job. Here are some great examples from Hubspot to get you started.

Third: call. I continue to see that we have an overwhelming bad habit of not calling the customer and this can play to be extremely dangerous. According to a BIA/Kelsey study, mobile searches will generate 73 billion phone calls in 2018; so phones clearly aren’t dead! In fact, I’d argue that our customers are tired of waiting for us to answer their questions, so they are reaching out directly now. We have to make sure that we are prepared to pick up the phone when that lead hits our system and have a productive conversation with our customer.

Lastly, bring your procedures out of the Dark Ages. If you are not using a proven BDC process, start right now. Every method should be based on 100% task completion but also 100% quality. And you must ensure that your team knows that the process is the connection plan.

Need help breaking your BDC bad habits? Join Jessica Kain for her NCM Institute class, Mastering Internet Sales, for even more insights on how you can improve your dealership’s BDC processes and lead generation.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/04/bdc-bad-habits-automation-templates/

NCM Associates

#askNCM: Why should I market a vehicle before reconditioning?

Marketing and detailing vehicles for resale are primary processes for any successful used vehicle department. But how should you time these activities?

The answer comes down to marketing. If you wait out the reconditioning cycle time, Robin Cunningham warns, you’ll slow down the sales process … and reduce your profits!

How do you time your reconditioning and marketing activities? Tell us below! Want to #AskNCM a question? Leave a comment below, and we’ll answer it!

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/04/askncm-why-should-i-market-a-vehicle-before-reconditioning/

Jessica Kain

Three Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing

typing

Are you spending a lot of money each month on your digital marketing and internet operation but not getting the return on investment you want? It’s a common problem.

Without the right plan, marketing investments fail

Every day, dealers spend thousands of dollars to improve their website, do search engine marketing and buy every lead source and product in the market. Sadly, though, most dealers struggle to break even on their investments— their close rate is poor and morale broken!

Understand how clients shop to improve your marketing

None of us can argue that 100% of our opportunities come from our marketing; however, all of our results come from having an effective and fail-safe process. Process and communication tactics are not always the shiny objects that dealers chase or want to talk about, but they are the only way we will meet and surpass our goals for our internet operations.

When creating your tactics, remember that the internet has changed the way we all live and operate. And, especially for auto shoppers, the wide availability of information about products has made customers extremely smart and selective buyers.

3 ways to immediately improve your digital marketing

Fortunately, you can capitalize off these trends and make an immediate improvement to your digital efforts with the right strategy.

Here’s what I recommend:

1) Go where they are. There are more than a billion websites, so discovering where your clients spend their time and putting your marketing there is key.

2) Recognize the wealth of information available to them. Buyers research—a LOT— before making a purchase. Your marketing should speak to them respectfully and give them information they need.

3) Be real. Social media plays a large role in the purchasing decision, with most people relying on their social networks to guide their choices. Don’t be afraid to include social media in your marketing mix, but be critical about choosing the right channels and voice for your dealership.

 

If you or your team members are looking to improve your internet or BDC operation for the better, then please join the NCMi and Kain Automotive for a workshop on Mastering Internet Sales. We will provide you with an understanding of today’s digital-savvy customer and how to really read the leads that hit your system. Working together, you’ll learn a proven, fail-safe process to improve digital marketing, and come home with the best communication tactics to engage your customers. The basis of this course is to set your dealership up to better connect, appoint and sell today’s internet shoppers.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/12/three-tips-to-improve-your-digital-marketing/

Lee Michaelson

What do I do with today’s bucket jumpers?

Cars

Bucket jumpers—vehicles that reach 16, 31 or 43 days in inventory—pose a huge strain on your dealership. Make certain your bucket jumpers get all the attention required to reduce inventory aging issues and improve turn.

Investigate the vehicle

A vehicle becomes a bucket jumper by sitting too long in your inventory. The first thing you need to do is check on how much interest the vehicle is generating on the internet.

Prior to the stock walk process, analyze how much prospect activity garnered attention on each vehicle. Here’s what I suggest you evaluate:

  1. The number of times the vehicle appeared on a search results page (SRP)
  2. How often prospects clicked through to the vehicle details page (VDP)
  3. The vehicle’s VDP conversion percentage (Divide VDP by SRP)
  4. Confirm the number of inbound phone calls received on each vehicle
  5. Check the number of emails received requesting information for each

Once you have a sense of how much interest the bucket jumper has generated, inspect it in person:

  1. Open all of the doors, the hood and the trunk; identify any issues that require correction.
  2. Start the vehicle. Does it operate properly? Check all systems such as climate, navigation and audio. Open the sunroof, and make certain the windows, locks and seats are in proper working order.
  3. Inspect the exterior for problems that require correction.
  4. Determine if the vehicle needs detailed again.
  5. Keep a list of the vehicles you identify that need additional reconditioning, and make certain the reconditioning is completed in a timely manner.

Involve your staff

The most important question about a bucket jumper is: Why haven’t we sold it? Ask your staff how many opportunities you’ve had on lingering inventory and how many of those opportunities went on a demonstration drive. Get their feedback about the vehicles, especially any comments they remember from customers.

Once you’ve gathered all the information—how much interest the car is generating, its condition and how many people have seen or test driven the car—it’s time to implement your action plan.

Address the problems

Typically, there are three possible resolutions to the bucket jumper problem. The vehicle needs additional reconditioning—arrange for the repairs immediately or wholesale the unit. The vehicle is priced too high—keep it, but adjust the price immediately. It’s not a good vehicle for retail—wholesale the vehicle and redeploy the cash.

Selling the bucket jumper list

Be aware that the decision to keep a bucket jumper means a commitment to more work. Not only will you likely need to adjust its price, but you’ll need to evaluate its marketing and merchandising. Once these are addressed, you should see movement; if not, it’s time to reevaluate.

Are the bucket jumpers in your inventory slowing your sales? Share your experiences below. 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/10/what-do-i-do-with-todays-bucket-jumpers/

Mark Shackelford

How Well Do You Understand the Internet Process in Your Dealership?

Snip20150806_1

As e-Commerce continues to play an ever increasingly-significant role in your dealership’s operations, how well do you understand the tools your potential clients are using in the purchase of and subsequent maintenance for their new or pre-owned vehicles?

More and more information tells us that your customers have already moved towards buying and paying online. Today, and more importantly, tomorrow’s millennial consumers are sourcing their purchases via the Internet where products are now shipped directly to their homes. These transactions are mostly generated as a result of reviews found online or through a Google search where reviews are part of the results.

What if, after doing an Internet survey of more than 200 dealership customers recently, I was to inform you that over 50 percent of the customers shopped on the Internet, the dealership did not ask the online consumers for an appointment, and over 60 percent of the shoppers did not even receive a price! Are you shaking your head in disbelief, or is this what customers are experiencing with your dealership, too?

Simply put, there are high-value customers out there looking on the Internet for products and services and they are willing to use your services, even if you’re not the cheapest price in the marketplace. That’s right…the lowest price doesn’t always get the deal. What these millennial customers are looking for is engagement from your business!

Your presence on the web is vital to that engagement (as well as to your future success in the automotive industry). Your image and reputation are a big part of that engagement strategy; so, too, is your ability to be found by the shoppers you most want to attract.

What is your marketing strategy relative to the markets around you?

Some consumers shop online within a 20-30 mile radius while others are going out as far as 500-1,000 miles out, depending on what they are looking for. Focusing on certain geographical areas for targeting your message and directing your marketing, such as Equity Alerts, have been found by many dealers in NCM 20 Groups to be very successful and quite possibly the key to your continued and future success!

Although buying third party leads may have resulted in delivering a vehicle to a consumer, many of NCM’s 20 Group member dealers are finding that by analyzing Google Analytics and having the right SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SRP (Search Results Page) and VDP (Vehicle Display Page) plan for their websites, they are able to drive more organic searches, thus minimizing or even eliminating the need to buy these types of leads.

Most of you have probably figured out that these leads are in your market already, or in your current database. Doing a better job of mining your own customer database, both in sales and service, will yield many opportunities in those departments, and the Internet can and will play an important role in helping you accomplish just that.

As business owners, we need to fine-tune our people and processes to ensure we are giving the consumers what they’re looking for. Make sure your e-Commerce strategy is incorporating those Internet management best practices that will drive the engagement your online customers want – and your dealership needs!

KAIN

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/08/how-well-do-you-understand-the-internet-process-in-your-dealership/

Alan Ram

Is Your Dealership in Conflict?

Chess

Here’s the problem at many dealerships: In our heads, we know what we want our people to be doing on a daily basis, but our actions and processes (or lack thereof) contradict what our heads are thinking, and we end up sending our staff conflicting messages. What do many of you see as you walk through your showroom? You might see five salespeople standing out on the point for three hours, waiting for one customer while discussing their upcoming fantasy football draft. As a dealer, that should make you crazy. What do you want to see? You want to see your people working the phones EFFECTIVELY and driving better quality traffic to the dealership.

Here are a couple issues I see at play at many dealerships:

First and foremost is your open floor. There is absolutely no benefit to you as a dealer in having an open floor. NONE!! All an open floor does is encourage your people to stand around and do nothing while they wait around for a floor up that was coming in anyway.

I see this happen all the time; a dealership has my training and their people are excited to work the phones. A couple salespeople, who don’t necessarily think it’s part of their job to actually follow up or generate anything, continue to stand out on the lot…and wait. Luckily for them, they don’t have to compete anymore for floor traffic with all the salespeople who are doing what you want them to do on the phones. Let’s just say that one of the salespeople standing around happens to bump into a customer that buys a car. Pretty soon the salespeople who are on the telephone, doing what you want them to do, start realizing that they’re not having a chance to even get an up. Now human nature takes over and they start the migration back to the front door. They indirectly feel that they are being punished by doing what you asked them to do. Your open floor is hurting productivity and needs to go.

Have you ever had to bribe your kids to get them to eat their candy and ice cream? “Now Billy, if you don’t eat your ice cream, you’re not going to get any candy.” I doubt that’s a conversation that happens at anyone’s house. It’s more like, “If you don’t eat your Brussels sprouts, you don’t get dessert”. You don’t need to convince them to eat their candy and ice cream. They were going to eat that anyway. To me, spiffing your salespeople for selling your floor ups is the same thing. They’re going to take your floor ups whether you spiff them or not! If a salesperson that sold 25 cars off strictly floor ups was to leave tomorrow, how many deals would you lose? Probably none. Why? Because those customers would still come in. They would just be distributed differently. What about that salesperson that sells 20 cars a month off primarily their own efforts to repeat and referral clients? If that salesperson was to leave, how many deals would you lose? I would say all of them. Therefore, a salesperson that sells repeat and referral customers is far more valuable to you than one that sells floor ups. If you’re going to have a spiff program, let’s spiff them for what you want them to do versus what they were going to do anyway! A referral spiff for example. If it really is a referral your salesperson generated through their efforts, wouldn’t it make sense to spiff them for it?

We also all want our sales staff doing a better job at working (mining) their sold customer base. What if we spiff them for selling repeat customers or for turning service customers back into sales clients. Now you have your salespeople thinking, “I make more money by selling a repeat or referral client than I do a floor up.” That’s when they’ll start focusing on those things you want them to focus on. That’s when you’re using your spiff money to change their behavior and ultimately change the culture. You will not sell one less car by eliminating a unit bonus, but you’ll sell a lot more cars by instituting a repeat and referral spiff.

The key to this coming together and getting the results you want is obviously training. Your people need to be trained on how to get results on the phone. When they’re trained it gives them confidence. When they have confidence, they’re much more likely to be successful and they gain momentum. It all starts with training and having processes in place that are consistent with, and not in conflict with, what you want to see happening on your showroom floor.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/07/dont-let-business-development-kill-your-business/

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