How To Sell Cars Online or Offline (PART 26)

How To Sell Cars Online or Offline (PART 26)

TRANSCRIPT: Now, we’ll talk about the perfect appointment. Executed perfectly, the perfect appointment gets dealers 80% plus show rates and 80% plus close rates. There are four steps to the perfect appointment. The first two are strong appointment setting, which we’re not going to do today and appropriate appointment confirmation, which we’re not going to do today.

You can visit to learn how to complete those, steps one and two. Right now, we’re dealing with the in-store experience associated with the online/offline hybrids. When you want to do the whole perfect appointment, go to Again, 100% free video series. Appointment-driven communication or creating appointment culture or leading appointment culture or all three.

Why the perfect appointment? Car and Driver tells us that consumers want one hour or less. The perfect appointment does this. Infosys says 86% of car buyers want personalization. The perfect appointment, when done correctly, is the pinnacle of personalization. It really is. Of course, there are the closing ratios. That’s why we want it to be perfect, the 80% close.

Given the online/offline hybrid nature, we’re going to have appointments show at different stages of the deal. There are four rules for all perfect appointments because we don’t know. Some people are going to show up. They want to sign or they want to inspect a couple of things first and then they’ll sign. That’s an online/offline hybrid. Some people maybe have just submitted a credit application or a trade-in application.

We need to have four rules for all perfect appointments. One, we are always prepared for them. Okay, they’re scheduled for 1:45. We’re ready to go by 12:45, one o’clock. Number two, we never make anyone start over. That’s a key here. We can’t make people start the paperwork over. We can’t make them start the process over. We’re going to keep them engaged. One of the things the perfect appointment does is it keeps the sales rep with the customer the entire time. We’re going to assume the sale. The perfect appointment assumes that everybody is here to buy, that every appointment is a delivery. We talked about steps one and two. You can do those online.

Let’s jump to step three. Step three of the perfect appointment is the pre-appointment preparation. This is where some dealers start to fall apart. Believe it or not, they’re not willing to do the work but this is where we’re going to get the vehicle cleaned, gassed, and parked in a designated area in at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes prior to the time of the appointment. The reason we’re going to do it in advance is we’re going to be putting on a show in the fourth step of the perfect appointment. We don’t want anybody to see the behind the scenes stuff. We’ve got to be prepared in case they show up early.

We’re going to create the deal jacket in advance with VIP in large letters. We’re going to have the keys with the deal jacket. The reason we need the keys with the deal jacket is when the customer arrives, we need to walk them over and let them see the deal jacket. This is not for us. These deal jackets, these VIP customer folders. These aren’t for us. These are for the customer to see. Don’t overthink these things but they can’t see it if this is sitting at the sales desk and the sales person has the keys in his pocket. We need to walk them over to the deal jacket. We’ll get to that later.

All right. The jacket, by the way, is up to the minute with accurate information. Your managers and the reps, whoever is going to take care of this customer should memorize as many details as possible before the customer arrives for their appointment. We’ve got the vehicle parked in the sold vehicles only parking area. We’ll talk about what that means in a second. It’s cleaned, it’s gassed, it’s parked, it’s backed in. We’ve get the VIP folder ready. The customer arrives for step four of the perfect appointment.

This is the in-store VIP treatment. This is where we’re going to treat the customer. We’re going to greet him and treat him like a VIP by a manager. We’re not going to ask him any road to the sale questions. We don’t care if they want the Camry for business or pleasure. It doesn’t matter. It’s a done-deal attitude. We’re going to treat every appointment like it’s a delivery. We’re going to start where they left off online. If all we have is a trade, we don’t know what vehicle they want yet.

Then, we’re going to start with a trade. If we know what vehicle they want but we don’t know if they have a trade, than, we’re going to start with trade again. Whatever we’re going to do, it’s going to be right where they left off online. They’re not going to have to rehash anything with us. For most, by the way, this means that the test drive is ready to go in five minutes.

Now, the sold vehicles only area and the VIP folder, that makes the customer take ownership. They start to think they’ve bought that vehicle before they’ve ever even started the test drive. Don’t overthink those things. Appraisals again, just like our offline experience are going to happen during the test drive but we must keep the customer busy and engaged at all times. It makes the time seem to fly by.

We don’t want them getting buyers’ remorse before they complete the purchase. Within minutes of the test drive, the deal or an iPad is presented. If they’re going to do self-desking, right after the test drive, we’ve got the deal all loaded up. All they have to do is select their lender and move forward and we’re done.

We have to make sure that all the numbers that we talk about support everything that we’ve discussed up to this point. There cannot be any surprises. Plus, the numbers that we present have to be defensible. That means we’ve already defended our addendum. That means we’ve already taken them to a kiosk and shown them the wholesale Black Book of their vehicle. We’re going to offer them something that’s maybe a little better than a wholesale Black Book. They’re going to be thrilled if we can do this, if the numbers are defensible. Then, it all comes down to terms.

According to Google, 82% of your consumers will use their mobile device as an in-store purchase assistant. I want to make sure you understand this. When you make me wait, if I’m at your dealership and I’m sitting at a table and my sales rep just went up to talk to the desk, 82% of consumers are going to use their mobile device, their iPhone as an in-store purchase assistant. What that means is I’m going to go look at your competitor’s vehicles. I’m going to go look at Kelley Blue Book. I’m going to go do all of these things that can talk me out of the deal.

So it’s important to understand, if you’re doing old school F & I and you have to wait, you’ve got to incorporate some education or some pre-sell of F & I products. I’m not saying get rid of F & I managers but I’m saying we’ve got to incorporate something that keeps them engaged. With an AutoFi, we can show them the F & I products. We can educate them in advance and that 45 minutes will seem less long. We keep them engaged the entire time.