Leading an Appointment Culture – Part 7
TRANSCRIPT: Let’s say you’re a dealership owner or maybe you work for a large dealership corporation, a group that owns a few dealerships, 20, 30 or 90, whatever, across the country and you can’t be in the dealerships all the time but you want to know if they’re truly holding to an appointment culture, right? What does an appointment culture look like? How can I make a visit and in fifteen or twenty minutes really know that my dealerships, the ones I own or the ones that I am in charge of, are living within an appointment culture?
The first sign is everyone is at the new point. They aren’t outside, waiting for the UP bucks. There aren’t seven guys out smoking and joking in your gazebo. In fact, there may not even be one because everyone is inside, at the new point, on the phone. At their desk, on the phone, working in the CRM tool. You look at your managers. There’s lots of MBWA. What’s MBWA? That’s Management by Walking Around. This is not a new concept, but it is new to some dealerships. I don’t want to see my managers hiding in the tower or hiding at the sales desk. I want to see them walking about, meeting and greeting customers. More than that, I want to see them engaging the sales reps at the new point to make sure they are doing the activities.
If your team is living in an appointment culture you actually hear the managers saying words like, “Show me”, right? “So, Bob, do you have all your phone calls done for the day?” “I sure do, boss.” “Show me.” You’ll hear that, you’ll see that happening all the time. If your team is living in an appointment culture, your CRM is accurate to within five minutes. If there are five people in your showroom, there’s five people in your showroom log in your CRM. There is a buzz of activity. If your team is living in an appointment culture, there is a lot of activity. Tuesdays start to feel like Saturdays. I mean there’s lots of people there because we’ve set lots of great appointments, but even if there aren’t people there, our team is on the phone, right? They’re working on the phone.
That’s what an appointment culture looks like. Remember, we talked about this when we talked about creating an appointment culture. This is what working looks like in an appointment culture. People aren’t typing away on their desktops and they certainly aren’t outside, waiting on the UP buck. There’s this buzz of activity.
If you’re truly living in an appointment culture, you have a staging area for vehicles, right? For appointments that are scheduled, and that staging area is accurate and uncluttered. It doesn’t have any of the vehicles left over from yesterday. There are no vendor cars parked there. There are no sales manager demos parked there. There is not a trade from yesterday still sitting there. The vehicles in your staging area are for appointments that are coming in within the next 45 minutes. It’s accurate. It’s uncluttered.
Here’s another way to tell if you’re truly living in an appointment culture, customers are on time for their appointments. Just like at the dentist’s office. See, dentists live off an appointment culture. People are on time for their appointments. Are they on time for appointments at your business? If they’re not; if they are arriving excessively early, say 30 minutes or more, or excessively late, again 30 minutes or more, you don’t have an appointment culture. You are lucky these people showed up at all because they don’t feel like they HAD an appointment. So, in an appointment culture, people show up on time for their appointments.
The final way you can tell if you truly have an appointment culture is you understand appointments are ‘plus’ business. This is additional business. This is incremental sales that you’re making to the appointments. If your team says they have an appointment culture but you are selling the same number of vehicles that you sold last month or last year, then there is not an appointment culture.
See, there are some key things you can do very quickly. Remember, just 5, 10, 25 minutes and you can tell if your team is truly living in an appointment culture.