The Perfect Appointment (PART 8)
Step three. This is pre-appointment preparation. This is where most dealers fall down. I don’t know why, because it requires work I guess. I don’t know? It’s a really simple process when done right. I’m going to show you a lot of ways that dealers are not doing this right today.
This is where we’re going to get the vehicle cleaned. We’re going to get it gassed. We’re going to park it in a designated area. We’re going to do it 45 minutes before the scheduled appointment time. We’re going to get a deal jacket ready. Right? We’re going to put VIP in large letters on that jacket. We’re going to put the keys with the deal jacket and we’re going to put that whole deal jacket with its keys at the sales tower. At the desk with the sales manager. See, we want the customer to meet the sales manager in the fourth step of the perfect appointment. We cannot give them the VIP treatment if they don’t meet a manager. The best way to have them meet manager is to put all that stuff at the desk.
Now, managers, you need to go through this folder before the customer arrives. You need to memorize as much as you can about Barbara Jones coming tonight at 5:15. Once you can understand what she is coming to see, what she’s coming to drive. Maybe we have her trade information in there. Now you can start to use the right word tracks when she gets there, and do some nice trial closes that don’t sound smarmy.
Sales reps, if the BDC is setting appointments for the floor. You’re potentially the one that’s going to be helping Barbara Jones. Learn all about Barbara Jones before she gets there. She’s already been through everything. Remember, she did all these hours of research before she ever called us. We told her the vehicle would be clean, gassed, parked out front, ready to go, so that when she arrives she can be in and out and on her test drive within five minutes.
If she shows up and you take her back to step one of the road of the sale and you start to do a needs analysis and product selection, and feature presentation. You do a silly old school meet and greet, you are going to close her at 20%. I’ve seen it. On the preappointment preparation. Read the folder, learn all about it. Learn everything that we’re doing.
Now when I talk about clean and gassed. I want to be clear. Okay. The gas warning light should never go on during the test drive. That’s the litmus test. Okay? We’re going to make sure that the warning light never goes on during the test drive. It doesn’t have to be a full tank of gas. We don’t want any warning lights on during the test drive, or actually believe it or not the customer is less likely to buy that vehicle.
Now, clean means ready to drive home. Okay? We have to keep the labels on by law. I’m not talking about dealer clean. Let me show you a dealer clean vehicle that I saw recently when I was inspecting the perfect appointment. The picture all the way on the left, that’s the mirror. You can see the water spots on the mirror. It’s usually hard to see in pictures, but that’s how dirty this vehicle was.
Now, to us at the dealership, it looks great. Right? That’s what we call it dealer clean. It’s not delivery ready. I’m not ready to drive it home. By the way, those water spots weren’t just on the mirror. That was water and dust spots all over. The second picture over, you can see the floor mats in the bag. Pick those up. Put them behind the seat. The customer doesn’t need to see this.
Also, you can see the floor is filthy. It’s a little hard to see. All those little white spots. That was trash on the floor. That was dirt, and grime, and trash, and little torn pieces of paper. You can see that we left factory labels on the air conditioning consul in the back seat. On the back window. We left these things everywhere.
Then also, even on the back window, we left all that grease paint. All that window paint. Why? Because we thought it was clean enough. It was dealer clean. It’s not ready to drive home. You want to close people at 40% show them this vehicle. You want to close them 80%, treat it like they already bought the car. That’s how you’re going to get ready for it. Okay? Except we’re going to leave the labels on that are required by law, but everything else goes.
We’re going to hide things like the floor mats. We’re going to put them in the trunk. We’re going to put them behind the back seat. We’re going to do something with those so that they’re not just thrown out on the floor.
When I say parked in a designated area. Dealers fall apart on this. It has to be 45 minutes or more before. The reason for this is what if they’re early. I’ve seen this happen, right? We’re getting ready for an appointment, and the customer shows up early. All right, 30 minutes early. We haven’t gotten the car ready yet.
We’re over by the car with a jumper box. Hey, Mrs. Jones, we’re jumping your Camry over here. She now believes that she’s going to buy a lemon. She won’t buy it. She’s picturing herself stuck on the freeway in your car, and she won’t buy it. It doesn’t matter that we know that any car that sat for 30 days on the dealer’s lot probably needs to be jumped. She doesn’t want to see it.
See, we’re going to be putting on a show in the fourth step of the perfect appointment. In store VIP treatment. We need to make sure that no one, no prospect sees the behind the scenes of our show. That’s why we’re going to get it ready early.
Now, when I say in a designated area, I need this Camry to be away from all of the other vehicles. All of the other Camry’s, because otherwise they’re going to get car drunk. See, we’re going to treat this like it’s a delivery when they get here. We’re going to act like they bought this car. Again, it’s got to be ready to drive home. That means, I don’t have to pull out six vehicles to get it. It’s backed into a sold vehicles only sign. It’s got a hang tag that says, reserved for Barbara Jones, VIP.
Those work great, but don’t overthink this stuff. It’s important. This is where dealers start to fall apart. They start to overthink simple things like this. I have shown you a sign that says, sold vehicles only. I’ve shown, I don’t know hundreds of dealers this sign. Most of them won’t put the sign in place. They don’t think it’s that important, great.
If you don’t understand the dynamic of the customer walking up to this car. She sees her name, Barbara Jones in the hang tag reserved for her. She looks up, she sees sold vehicles only in the spot that it’s parked in. You what she thinks? She thinks she bought the car. She will buy the car, unless you lied to her at this point. She really will. This is how you close at 80%.
If you don’t think you need the sold vehicles only sign, no problem. Don’t put up a sold vehicles only sign. Close at 60%, 55% instead of at 80%. It’s called the perfect appointment for a reason.
Now, I said sold vehicles only. Guess what some of the people I trained on this sign sold vehicles only. Guess what they put up? They put up signs that said things like sold delivery area. What does that mean?
Somebody will think like, Steve, that’s the same thing as sold vehicles only. To you it is. To me it is. To the customer it’s not. They don’t know what delivery area means. Sold delivery area. Sold vehicles only.
I’ve also seen VIP appointment parking. Yet they park the customer’s new car in that spot. It’s not reserved parking for the VIP appointment customer. It’s where they’re putting the car that the customer’s going to buy. It’s not a car that’s been sold, it’s a car that’s waiting for someone to take out on the test drive on the appointment. There’s no commitment on the part of the prospect. They don’t look at VIP appointment parking and go, oh my God. I think I bought that car. They don’t even think about it.
Here’s another one that I’ve seen a dealer do. That I taught them, sold vehicles only. They did VIP delivery area. Why? Why? Well, it says VIP, Steve. Makes the customer feel like … No it doesn’t. They don’t know what any of that means.
Sold vehicles only. Makes them think they bought the car, that you put there so no one else takes it. End of story. Stop overthinking this. We want to treat this like a done deal in the next stage. We want to treat this customer when they show up on that fourth step in VIP treatment as if they’ve already bought the car.