Leading an Appointment Culture – Part 13
TRANSCRIPT: For Leading an Appointment Culture, we’re not going to look at a recap of what we went through but, I do want to talk about the next steps. What are the next steps for you in being able to lead an appointment culture and being able to change the culture in your dealership?
Number 1: you need to teach and preach the non-negotiables. The things that “I don’t care what else happens, these are the things that are not going to change. These are not negotiable.” Number one non- negotiable is everybody sings from the same hymnal, right? All of the managers need to be on the same page at the same time. We all need to be working out of the same playbook. This is the way we are going to run our business, and, you can’t go back to the old fashioned way. If you do, it doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means you can’t work here. Right?
All of our appointments should become ‘plus’ business. This means we should be selling more cars, at higher grosses and getting better CSI. If we’re not, that’s not negotiable. It means we don’t really have an appointment culture if it doesn’t equal plus business. If we spent all this time and all this money to put all this into place- we hire a BDC, we do the talk tracks, we’re allegedly doing all this stuff and we’re selling the same number of cars we sold last year, or our market share isn’t growing? That’s not plus business. Your market share should be growing because your neighbors, the other dealers in your market, are not able to put an appointment culture in place. This is a tough thing to do.
We need to have ‘sustainable pay plans’. What does that mean? Well, it means if you’re going to put a BDC in place, you’ve got to pay for that somehow. If you’re going to put a Business Development Center, a call center, in to, say, call orphan owners and get them in on trade appointments, or to call your internet leads that come in; if you’re putting in a BDC that does that but they aren’t selling more vehicles, you can’t pay a full commission to the floor. You simply can’t, because it’s not sustainable. Even if you take money from one pocket and put it into another, that’s silly – it won’t pay for the BDC. It’s not sustainable. You need to have sustainable pay plans and that’s where you pay your floor a half commission and, maybe, a full mark towards their volume bonus for appointments set by others. By the way, that’s completely fair, because if they are doing the perfect appointment, they are going to close them 80% of the time in 90 minutes or less.
Now, you need to have enforceable processes and rules. What do I mean by that? I mean do not put any rule in place that you are not willing to enforce. A rule that I really, really like is that if you have past due activities from yesterday, and you worked yesterday, you can’t take any UPs today. I love that rule and I don’t care if it’s my top sales guy. I don’t care if he’s a 30 car a month guy. He doesn’t catch any UPs today. All he gets to do is work the phones, or, if he had any appointments scheduled, he can work those. Now, if you’re not willing to enforce that rule, please, do yourself a favor and don’t put it into place. The minute you capitulate on any rule you’ve put into place; the minute you go back on any rule you’ve created, it means none of the rules matter. So, it’s non-negotiable to not have enforceable rules and processes.
How about another non-negotiable? A 100% data collection of all your UPs, all of your prospects, all of your be-backs. How about if we had a 100% data collection? We talked about that. What if we had started this three years ago? How easy would our business be today if we had all of that; if we had all of the information on everybody who bought elsewhere? We need to make this a non-negotiable. I want to see data on everybody who walked on my lot. Even if it’s ‘guy in blue shirt’, right? The guy was an asshole. He wouldn’t give me his name, he wouldn’t give me his number. He came in, he left, he didn’t test drive anything, and I couldn’t get any information from him. Well, guess what I do have. I’ve got guy in blue shirt, driving a 2008 Taurus and here’s his license plate number. Put it in the CRM. Maybe he’ll come back, right? We’ve got this mystery John Doe in our CRM and we can start matching things up. At least, if we do that, we are getting closer to 100% data collection.
I need an accurate CRM. That’s another non-negotiable. If you’re the owner and you are sitting in a twenty group, 2000 miles away in Naples, Florida, or you’re in the Bahama’s, whatever, you should be able to log into your CRM and know what’s happening in your dealership at any given moment. If you are not able to do that, your team is letting you down. It is non-negotiable. You must have an accurate CRM and I mean accurate to within five minutes of what’s happening in a dealership.
Another non-negotiable is the perfect appointment and not just step one and step four, but, all four steps of the perfect appointment. If you want to have an 80% +++ show ratio, and you want to close those shows at 80%, then you need to have the perfect appointment. All four steps. It’s non-negotiable. We can’t say, “Well Steve, we want to do a little bit of this but not…” You’ve got to do it all. It’s non-negotiable. If it’s not, it’s not perfect anymore, right? There’s four steps to the perfect appointment.
You’ve got to do all four.
And, finally, I can’t stress this enough because I go into dealerships all the time who say, “Steve, we are so on top of past due activities. We don’t let them happen.” I open up the CRM and they have 40, 50 past due activities from yesterday, 500, 1000 past due activities from the past month. You cannot allow past due activities. Past due activities are the enemy of process. Now, this doesn’t mean fire everybody. Maybe it means your CRM tool is generating more activities than it should. See, every call (we’ll talk about this when we talk about a talk track class that’s coming up later) that your team makes should be a money activity, a money call, and if your CRM is asking them to do activities that provide no value (goalless activities), you need to pull these out of the CRM because your team is not going to make them. They will either falsify them, which you don’t want; you don’t want falsification in the CRM, or they’re just not going to do them. Again, now you’ve got to hold people accountable for doing activities they didn’t really need to do at all.
Alright, so those are the next steps. This is how you lead an appointment culture. If you need to, come back again and again and review this material. It’s not going to change. It is all up to you. This, as I said, is a top down proposition.