Article

Customer Follow-Up

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Darin B. George - Also by this author

I remember being told by my sales manager to follow up on my sold customers. I was always reluctant and procrastinated for as long as I could. He always said my future sales and income depended on it, but I was young and unfocused on my long term success. Wake up and smell the coffee for me literally meant smell the coffee. It took me my first year in the business to realize how the “good” senior sales people made $100,000 plus per year. It wasn’t because they were better than me. It was because they had a great follow up system which, of course, means lots of repeat business. It’s not rock science. Do the math.

Something to think about ??????

If you have an average job that pays $35,000 a year, then what will your potential income be in 6 years? $ ______________. Your calculation should be done with an average yearly raise, i.e.: 2 to 5 percent. Also determine your employment stability with this average company, i.e. secured, fair, unsecured.

Now what is your income potential in a Car Dealership

Example Only (These numbers are all plus/minus):
1st year $35,000
2nd year $45,000
4th year $70,000
6th year $80,000 plus

What is your employment security with a dealer when you are selling 200 plus units per year? i.e. secured, fair, unsecured.

How do these huge yearly increases happen? Could it be MLM (Multi-level marketing) or maybe a pyramid system? Or is it just good old fashion customer follow-up and repeat business?

You may have heard this before, but the best position at a new car dealership is sales person. Why? Because if and when you have a client base and have been at the same dealership for 3 or more years, then you are making as much or more money than the management. Guess what you also do not have? The same stress level as management. Look around your dealership today and look at the top sales people. They always have this great smile and glide in their walk.

In today’s sales meeting, I have outlined what you can do with your sold customer’s and how to increase your not sold customer base.

Sold Customers

There is an old saying; the easiest customer to sell to is one that you have already sold to. The sold customer follow-up is the single-most important aspect for long term success of a sales representative and the dealership they work for. When times are good, almost all the sales representatives will produce consistently. The reps that do follow-up will have a base of customers that refer people and purchase new vehicles themselves. The advantage is that the customer follow-up sales representative has a number of customers per month that are exclusively theirs (above their allocation of the walk-in traffic everyone else receives). This added base of customers per month makes the difference between a good sales representative and exceptional ones, with the higher incomes to match. When the economy slows down, sold customer follow-up contact gives the sales person a base of “pre-sold” customers that are theirs. The other reps. will have to rely on walk-in potential customers that have no allegiances to anyone. When calling the customer, all that is discussed is whether they are enjoying their vehicle and if they have heard of a family member or co-worker that may be interested in a new or used vehicle. The call is meant to be short and sincere in manner. If the customer has just been sold, then they should be contacted the next day, then the next month and then every three to six months thereafter. Have your own system of tracking existing customers birth dates, holidays, etc… and “DO IT” religiously. Set up a mailing list. If you feel you can not organize your follow up program, then get your husband or wife to organize a system for you at home and make sure it is being done. You could even use your significant other as a tax write off, nice.

YOUR REPEAT CUSTOMER’S ARE THE KEY TO YOUR LONG TERM SUCCESS.

Not Sold Customers

Who are your best and hottest prospects to buy a new vehicle? That’s right, the people you haven’t sold to, yet. You have to work these leads daily. The key to any follow-up program is to keep on top of it; it must be a daily exercise. Always call the customer you saw today, the same day, even just to say thanks for visiting ABC Motors. If the customer is an active prospect, then they will be put in the next calling day. Following up on your “not sold” customers is like prospecting. These potential customers are your best leads. When you call these customers, make sure you have something new to discuss with them. This call is meant to build more customer rapport and it also shows them you are working hard for them.

Example Call:
 
“Hello Steve this is Darin calling from ABC Motors. I was wondering if another color on the vehicle would be ok with you? Great! I would also like to know if we could get together tonight to discuss the new car further?”

This call also determines if the customer is still in the market and were they are in the buying cycle.

For some salespeople, repeatedly calling a customer begins to have no value and is ineffective. The following three outlines can be used to increase your not sold customer sales.

Team Sales Follow Up Programs

PROGRAM 1 - Spouse, Friend or Partner

Make a list of 10 of the most recent customers you have seen at your dealership, obviously not sold customers. Put their name, phone number, date they visited your dealership, vehicle they are interested in and any additional comments.

Give this list to your spouse, friend or partner and get them to make the follow-up calls. They can tell the customer that they are your assistant or customer follow-up person. This call can be made from your home.

Example Call:

“Hello Mr. George this is Darin calling from ABC Motors on behalf of Bob Del Bianco. I’m calling to see if everything was ok with your visit to the dealership and if Bob was helpful?”

Get them to get as much information from the customer as possible and then you would make the next call

PROGRAM 2 - Co-Worker

Same as Program 1 but get a co-worker to make the calls for you and you can make calls for them. Pay each other a sales follow spiff i.e. $20, dinner, a round of golf etc. Have fun at work with your not sold follow-up customers.

Example Call:

“Hello Mr. George, this is Darin calling from ABC Motors on behalf of Bryan Goudy. I’m calling to see if everything was ok with your visit to the dealership and if Darin was helpful?”

Then you make the next call and set an appointment.

PROGRAM 3 - Sales Manager

Same as program 1 and 2 but ask your manger to make the follow up calls for you.

The benefit to your sales manager will be increased sales for the entire dealership.

Remember its part of your manager’s job to help you sell more vehicles. Your managers wants you to get them to help, so ask them.

Example Call:

“Hello Mr. George this is Darin calling from ABC Motors on behalf of Bryan Goudy. I’m calling to see if everything was ok with your visit to the dealership and if Darin was helpful? Great! I would like to know if there is anything I could do to further assist you?

Get an appointment or even close the sales over the phone.

Your goal to any of the three programs is to get the customer back to the dealership. If you can not get them back, then try and close the sale over the phone.

NOT SOLD CUSTOMER SALES FOLLOW UP DOES INCREASE YOUR SALES.

70 percent OF PEOPLE WILL BUY WITHIN 3 DAYS OF VISITING YOUR DEALERSHIP.

Darin’s Wrap-up

If you want to stay in the car business and see the six figure income happen, then you have to have repeat business and sales follow-up is the only way it will happen. If you have been in the business for 10 or more years and are not earning around 100k per year, then you can always start today. The past does not equal the future. Have fun and keep your eye on the ball.

Comment

  1. 1. Scott Essman [ April 03, 2015 @ 03:51PM ]

    This was a great article! If anybody interested in setup a follow up program email me at [email protected] We drive VSCs, service drive, and car sale back to the dealers revenue.

 

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