• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.

shaughnessy2323

Green Pea
Dec 11, 2019
12
20
First Name
Chris
"Sir, she's in a wheelchair..."
Answer: GET HER IN

"Boss, he just filed Chapter 7, not discharged but filed"
Answer: GET HIM IN

"Boss, he's calling from Miami to buy his son in Los Angeles (here) his first car"
Answer: GET HIM IN

Reality, it's 2020 in 21 days... Let's pretend our customers realize this and serve them accordingly. Although I wouldn't be mad at running an Oldsmobile Pontiac store in 1977...

Then, once they come in, the "boss" won't talk with them! "I can't do my job if you don't do your job..." hahahahahahaha

Imagine texting back and forth with someone, establishing rapport and even a relationship by today's standards, giving them numbers, justifying those numbers and making a deal with just a few texts? THAT is the reality today. Someone is going to sell the car. We all pay the same for them.

One more, "Boss, he's 16, has no job, has no family and has no money, he's calling from anorphange"
Answer: GET HIM IN
"Boss, he's looking for a car for the parade, not a deal"
Answer: GET HIM IN
Hate Hate Hate Hate this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But how true!!!
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Chris Vitale
Learn more about DrivenData

shaughnessy2323

Green Pea
Dec 11, 2019
12
20
First Name
Chris
View attachment 4485

It still happens today. Internet managers, BDC agents, and salespeople still send "your presence is your leverage" emails & texts to customers. Someone just showed me one.

A customer goes onto the dealer's website and clicks the "Get Price" call to action button to receive a slew of emails asking when they can come test drive, if they prefer to communicate over text message, or that their manager is super excited to work with them. And then the customer, in frustration, replies "I just want a price!" To be responded with "your presence is your leverage. We give the best deals to people who are in the showroom."

I shit you not.

Let's give the employee of the dealership the benefit of the doubt that he does not wish to message something so 1973. What happens to drive a perfectly good employee to send that garbage?

How many times can you ask a sales manager for a price before he starts saying "just get them in?" And how many times can you hear "just get them in" before you're tired of asking the boss for a price? You need to get back to these leads quickly. You have too many to answer already. And five more just came in. Screw it! Here's an easy answer.
People can shop prices, so why bother playing games? @Chris Vitale GM'd two stores in a row that we took over together and we did what we did with volume, not with making one home run deal... Is gross important, sure it is. But not if you can't substantiate it, not if you can't do so via the web or text... Not today. And especially not if you can't drive consistent reasonable profits. It's 2020, evolve or die.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: john.quinn

Chris Vitale

Full Sticker
Jul 7, 2016
68
81
First Name
Chris
What are you, Shaughnessy two times? "I'm going to go get the papers, get the papers..."
 
Get Podium

ChrisR

Boss
Oct 12, 2015
412
381
Awards
1
First Name
Christian
People can shop prices, so why bother playing games? @Chris Vitale GM'd two stores in a row that we took over together and we did what we did with volume, not with making one home run deal... Is gross important, sure it is. But not if you can't substantiate it, not if you can't do so via the web or text... Not today. And especially not if you can't drive consistent reasonable profits. It's 2020, evolve or die.

I would rather have 100+ happy customers a month, than rip a couple faces off. More sustainable with an army of happy drivers out there.
 

Tallcool1

Boss
Mar 17, 2014
449
289
Awards
1
First Name
Clint
I am not saying that we shouldn't answer questions. I am not saying "Just Get Them In".

Where the challenge for me lies is establishing rapport, answering questions, negotiating if need be, estimating trade values, taking extra pictures, running our asses off to give the customer what they want, and then...crickets.

This week, guy offers $1,800 under what we were priced at. We answer all of his questions and fuck around for 2 hours. We accept his offer, schedule delivery, get the title information, get the vehicle cleaned up for delivery at 9:00 am the next day. We gave this asshole absolutely everything he asked for, and did it in a timely manner. We even offered to deliver the vehicle to his doorstep free of charge...200 mile round trip. Offered financing (which he declined because he was paying cash). All of this was handled through HIS preferred communication channel Facebook Messenger.

He messages at 4:30, says he got called into work, and can't make it out. No problem Don, what time do you want us there with the pickup? We got you!! Crickets. Nothing.

We call him up the next morning, and he hung up on us.

I realize it is 2020, and things have changed. I also understand why it is sure nice if a customer is sitting in front of us. I believe what happens in dealerships today is that everyone is busy! The desk manager has 5 deals in front of him and 3 hung up in finance. It is hard for some stores to get too excited about someone that MIGHT want to buy a car when they have 10 people in front of them that are actually TRYING to buy a car.

We (my store) need to get better at converting these invisible shoppers into buyers. Either that of learn to like being everyone else's pissing post.
 
Get Podium

john.quinn

Boss
Dec 2, 2009
1,023
677
Awards
1
First Name
John
Where the challenge for me lies is establishing rapport... We (my store) need to get better at converting these invisible shoppers into buyers.

This is IT, in my book.

Reality #1: EVERYONE buys cars. Dickheads included. And dickheads are the ones we talk about because they get under our skin... (BTW... "dickhead" is my wife's pet name for me... I use it here lovingly :))

Sooo... the trick is to engage with more of the "Regular" peeps, right?

Reality #2: You can't establish rapport and convert unless you get them to Reply/Answer the Phone/Return a Voicemail. You get ONE shot -- your initial response. And to set the hook, you have exactly the amount of time it takes to see an email while stopped at a traffic light, before the light turns green. If the customer isn't interested in re-examining that email when they get to the next light, or at home, or at work, you're done.

According to Jon Berna and Driven Data, we fail about 95% of the time. Much -- and sometimes most -- of the time, we never even establish there's a human being attached to these BS ADF's that keep landing in our BS CRM... We never hear back from these leads. And blame the leads... Bad Leads.

It's crazy that the following statement requires a fundamental shift in Dealership Operational Ideology:

Make a great first impression, and you talk to more people. You talk to more people, you sell more cars. That's it. No rocket science. No mystery. No skullduggery.

But Reality #3: Just get 'em in. We're still here.

[@Tallcool1 --Clint, rant not aimed at you! Your post was a good excuse to unload some of this caffeine energy this morning!!! ;)]
 
  • 2Like
Reactions: Tallcool1 and Brittany

John V.

Boss
Jan 15, 2015
177
176
Awards
1
First Name
John
Just going to throw it out there because I can and I like being the dark cloud/negative/devil's advocate guy sometimes (all the time)

  • I built an auto-responders that sent out triple net prices on new cars immediately after the customer clicked "Get Today's ePrice".........ZERO effect on closing rates
  • I paid a company STUPID money ($1,000+) to send out even fancier, responsive, zip code based pricing, with 2 new and 2 used other option with prices listed, etc. etc. super duper emails.....din' do sh#t
  • I turned all this off for 60 days and then counted all the eprice leads we sold. We sold more cars where we did not give a price than those that we did. AND....wait for it....we made more front on those deals :woot:
What does it all mean? It means that we need to train our sales agents on how to make a connection with the customer. Video, text, phone. The customers who only want a price - they are not buying.... IDC what anyone one says. they ain't buying Sh#t for at least 180 days, they are going to waste your time, and if you work in an import store with no VGP to hit - why take a looser deal if you dont have to?

There I said it...don't shoot me.
 

Tallcool1

Boss
Mar 17, 2014
449
289
Awards
1
First Name
Clint
This is IT, in my book.

Reality #1: EVERYONE buys cars. Dickheads included. And dickheads are the ones we talk about because they get under our skin... (BTW... "dickhead" is my wife's pet name for me... I use it here lovingly :))

Sooo... the trick is to engage with more of the "Regular" peeps, right?

Reality #2: You can't establish rapport and convert unless you get them to Reply/Answer the Phone/Return a Voicemail. You get ONE shot -- your initial response. And to set the hook, you have exactly the amount of time it takes to see an email while stopped at a traffic light, before the light turns green. If the customer isn't interested in re-examining that email when they get to the next light, or at home, or at work, you're done.

According to Jon Berna and Driven Data, we fail about 95% of the time. Much -- and sometimes most -- of the time, we never even establish there's a human being attached to these BS ADF's that keep landing in our BS CRM... We never hear back from these leads. And blame the leads... Bad Leads.

It's crazy that the following statement requires a fundamental shift in Dealership Operational Ideology:

Make a great first impression, and you talk to more people. You talk to more people, you sell more cars. That's it. No rocket science. No mystery. No skullduggery.

But Reality #3: Just get 'em in. We're still here.

[@Tallcool1 --Clint, rant not aimed at you! Your post was a good excuse to unload some of this caffeine energy this morning!!! ;)]

@john.quinn , I appreciate your rant, and want you to know that I have absolutely no problem if you WOULD have been aiming at me. If we want to improve and learn, we better be willing to take a little beating now and then! I appreciate your opinion here.
 
Get Podium

Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
83
51
First Name
Baron
"your presence is your leverage" - what do you mean @Alex Snyder ? This is my favorite line of all time!

Sorry, Jeff. At one time "Your presence is your leverage" was effective. But now it's just a cliche. I stopped using it about 10 years ago after a customer flat out told me, and I quote, "You've got it wrong. My LACK of presence is my leverage." And he was right. If I'm a customer, and I contact 4 dealers, and all 4 of them use that same line, what use is it? Think of it like this: if you put a piece of tape on the back of your hand then pull it off, it's sticky. But if you do that 4 or 5 times, it's not sticky any anymore. The customer went online so they didn't have to go through what they perceive is a pushy experience and to put them right back in to that, and not differentiate yourself from the competition, you lose.

But we do have to have a replacement for that line. Every store I work with has online pricing and very few do not in this market. We have to be transparent. If you don't have online pricing, and your next dealer over does, you are at a disadvantage. So a customer asks, "What is your best price?", or something similar, try this line; "We gave you great pricing but we aren't unreasonable. If you have research showing you should pay less for this car, bring it in to my store and we WILL DO IT! Not a problem. We do your great price or you do ours. Either way, you win. No negotiation."

And we absolutely will do that researched price, as long as it's a legit source covering our specific market (Edmunds, KBB, a competitors Buyers Order, etc.), not a deal from CA in a NY market, or a blog, or your mother's cousins dog sitters best friend who claims to have purchased a $30k car for $12.5k. What almost always happens is that the customer brings their research and it's on a base vehicle meanwhile they are looking at a vehicle with leather and all the goodies. All you do is say that you will 100% honor the price they brought in, then add the difference in the equipment. Sign here, press hard, three copies. Move on.

I've used it for years and when done right is extraordinarily effective. One problem, however, is that experienced people weened on "Your presence is your leverage" almost always refuse to use anything else but that cliche, which is perfectly fine if they are performers but not for your regular rank and file. You would need to refrain from hiring any more experienced people, which is never a bad thing. A second problem is getting the sales floor to buy in, which shouldn't be an issue because you've removed the term "negotiate" from the vocabulary. The floor must be strong enough to present it the way I put forth. But if they do it right the gross goes up.

Anyways, this method does several things. First, it makes you stand out from the noise that is dealer competition. Second,, it puts some steel in to your pricing, and gives it credibility. By saying "your presence is your leverage" you are promising the customer a lower price through negotiation and your pricing credibility is shot. My way, I am asking the customer to prove to me that they should pay less and if they can there is no negotiation. As I mentioned earlier, "Mr. Customer, we will do your great price or you will do ours. Either way, you win". And, does it work on used cars? You bet it does, because you can always hit things like condition, miles, availability, Certification, and more.
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Alex Snyder