A Quality T.O. has four major elements that must occur in order to be effective:
- Complete & Accurate Paperwork
- The 2-Minute Drill
- Time to Prepare
- Proper Verbiage
We, in today’s automobile industry have created what can be called a selfish environment. For the most part, all the players in the front-end operation of most dealerships are compensated based on the revenue they generate. That being the case, we can assume sales consultants are only interested in taking care of themselves. “If my customer wants to go to their credit union, that’s ok with me!” In the past, our solution to this never ending concern was to throw money at it. That concept has been diluted down to a point where the sales consultants expect it now and even see it as part of their pay plans…virtually eliminating its impact.
Knowing the potential impact of ‘Doing It The Right Way’, why do our sales consultants have difficulty introducing their customers to a business manager at point of sale? The answer is simple - lack of training. Fear management tells us that in order to motivate someone to accomplish a task, we must either threaten their income or their career path. A better and much more effective way to accomplish the same goal is to alter the perception of the business office. Research has shown that most sales consultants view their business office as the “money sucking leech that makes its living draining the blood from their customers.” In reality, the business manager should be the best friend a sales consultant has and viewed as an integral part of the delivery process. One prominent Florida dealer says, “I used to simply spiff my sales staff to turnover their customers to F&I, but then I realized the effectiveness of proper training and processes regarding F&I and my sales staff.” Let’s take a look at the many b
enefits that the sales staff derives from having a business office on premises.
First of all, none of us have ever been paid to sell a car. Nobody has ever seen a Dealer Principal pay a commission on undelivered stock. Rather, we are paid to deliver cars. The primary function of the business office is to deliver cars and create mental ownership in the customers mind. Statistics tell us that as many as 50 percent of all vehicles sold, but not delivered, were never introduced to the business office properly at point of sale. Certainly, we all know that you have delivered cars to customers who could not qualify for a loan without your help. The conclusion is simple: A quality turnover to a professional business manager doubles the odds of actually delivering the car and, thus, getting paid.
Additionally, the products that the business manager offers are a proven benefit to the sales consultant. Consider the fact that a Service Contract will make the customer’s life much easier in the event of a breakdown, but as many as 80 percent of the customers who extend their warranty coverage’s will return to the selling dealer for repair work. The point is that we have all sold cars to our past customers who were in the dealership for service. Service Contracts make for happier customers and more repeat business. GAP obviously keeps our customers in the market in the event they suffer a loss. Some GAP products even offer an incentive to bring the customer back to the selling dealer. Additionally, credit insurance protects our customer’s ability to buy from us. That same Florida dealer adds, “Being sure that every customer is introduced to F&I has enhanced C.S.I. at my dealerships, bringing more repeat and referral business, as well as increased service dollars.”
We need to communicate this information to our sales consultants in the form of structured, formal training sessions. Many business managers utilize the time the dealership sets aside for sales meetings to call back banks, bill deals, or read the newspaper. Take advantage of the opportunity to get in front of your sales consultants as an educator, and remember these key points when doing so.
- Always maintain a positive outlook in these sessions.
- Have these sessions on a consistent basis.
- It is okay to bring in a guest speaker or trainer to work with them.
- Utilize the WIIFM theory – ‘What’s In It For Me?’
With this year already under way, make the commitment to grow your department with the cooperation of your sales consultants. Use this information to instill processes and in no time at all the sales consultants will be wearing a path to your door.