Leading an Appointment Culture – Part 11
TRANSCRIPT: Alright, so, we’ve managed the first two steps of the perfect appointment, right? Strong appointment setting and appropriate appointment confirmation. How do we get our managers to manage the pre-appointment preparation? Well, there’s a lot of things we can do. Remember, we’re going to have this designated parking area where we’re going to have cars clean, gassed, parked out front and ready to go before the prospect arrives. So, we want to be able to look outside at that designated parking area. Is it free of employee cars, is it free of vendor cars, right? Have all the vehicles from past due appointments or from yesterday been cleared out? Is that parking area accurate and uncluttered?
That’s what the managers need to do throughout the day and make sure that it’s happening. Then they need to make sure there is a 100% vehicle preparation happening. That means that every vehicle, 30 to 45 minutes before the customer arrives, is cleaned, gassed and staged, right? Clean, gassed, parked out front, ready to go and, I mean, delivery clean. See, we see a little bit of dust on a vehicle and we know it’s no big deal but this customer is about to drop $45,000 on a car at our dealership. It has to be perfect. Now that doesn’t mean to take the Maroney sticker off. Leave that on. It does mean everything about the vehicle should be ready to go. Nothing, not a smudge on the window; it should be as clean as if you were delivering the vehicle.
Part of managing the pre-appointment preparation is making sure the deal jackets are at the desk. The managers need to know if I have a car outside that’s clean, gassed, parked out front and ready to go for an appointment that is arriving in, say, 30 minutes, I should be able to look at the desk and see the deal jacket there. The keys, also, should be with the deal jacket and not with the sales person. I need to meet this person when they come in, if I’m the manager, and if the keys aren’t here, the chances of them introducing the customer to me have been greatly reduced. So, I want the jacket. I want to be able to put on the show, right? The deal jacket has VIP in big letters; it’s looking great. I want to be able to put on the show when the customer arrives and I can’t do that if I don’t have the jacket and the keys at the desk.
Now, here’s a big one for you if you’re the general manager. If you want to make sure that your managers are truly inspecting and taking care of the pre-appointment prep start to quiz them on the next appointment. They should have already memorized the details. We’re going to put on a show in the next step. We’re going to make sure that the customer feels so excited that they are here; that’s it’s a different experience for them. This is the only way we’re going to close them at 80%. It has to be a true in-store VIP treatment and it can’t be a VIP treatment if we act as if we’ve never heard of this customer before.
So, if we expect Barbara Jones at 2:45, she’s driving a 2008 Taurus and she’s buying a 2014 Camry, when some woman drives up in an old Taurus, I’ve got to be able to walk out there and say, “Are you Barbara Jones? Oh my gosh, I’m Steve Stauning. We’re so glad you’re here. C’mon, let’s go get the keys to your Camry”. I cannot do that if we don’t know she’s coming, and, so, you need to quiz your managers on the next appointment and the next appointment after that and the one after that. They should know as much about an appointment who’s not here yet as they do about someone they sold a car to yesterday.