Creating an Appointment Culture – Part 13
TRANSCRIPT: From an internet standpoint, it is important to understand that your store really is just one of nine that is competing for a prospect’s business. Prospects will submit multiple leads on multiple sites. Or, in some cases the aggregators, the people who aggregate leads then sell them to you or to your OEM that sells them to you, will get information about the prospect. Let’s say they are looking for a Camry for example. The website will give them three to five Toyota dealers that will compete for their business. The prospect might choose three dealers from the list. Guess what? Those aggregators will come back and try to entice the prospect to consider other brands that are similar to the Camry as well. They may get the prospect to submit requests to these other brands, so they will end up with nine dealers competing for their business. Only one dealer gets to sell the prospect a car. Your store needs to understand that.
When you are dealing with an internet prospect, you have to assume that you are one of nine. If you have an appointment driven culture, you are going to increase the chances that that prospect buys from you. One thing about appointment driven cultures is that they don’t pay for passive sales. They pay for appointments. What do I mean by passive sales? I mean when your team says things like, “Be sure and ask for me.” This happens often in end-to-end stores. You may have an internet team that handles the prospect from lead to close. They say things on the phone like, “Be sure and ask for me” or in the email it says this and gives the hours of the store. What happens is that they have shown lots of back and forth with the prospect. When the prospect comes in and someone else sells them a car, the other salesperson is screaming that they were skated. When in fact, they weren’t skated at all because they only have one job which is an appointment that shows, right? Another thing that happens is what we call ‘reconciliation’.
This is where your team at the end of the month or the end of the day will see that someone came in and bought a car and notice that the name matches someone who was an internet lead a couple weeks prior; therefore, it becomes an internet deal. See, your BDC may do that, especially if your BDC typically does not take half the deal. If you pay your floor a full deal for an internet appointment that shows and the BDC knows this, they are going to call all of these instances internet sales even though they never did set an appointment. That’s called ‘reconciliation’. Stores with true appointment cultures don’t pay for passive sales, and they don’t pay for reconciled deals where the appointment wasn’t created.
You need to create a definition of an internet sale in your store, and it needs to be very firm. My definition is, “An internet sale represents a unit sold to a pre-scheduled, kept appointment that initiated from an internet source, whether it comes from an internet phone call, chat, or email lead.” That is an internet sale. What if you have this prospect that you are working with for a long time, and they come in on your day off and buy a car? Shouldn’t you get a piece of that? You built the rapport? The answer is no. You get zero from that deal. Your job is to set an appointment that shows. That’s it. If they show up without an appointment and buy a car, your dealership got lucky. See, without a confirmed appointment, you are lucky to sell a car.
Let me give you some quick math. Let’s assume we have two average competitors selling the same brand that we do. Both of them set an appointment with an internet prospect. What are our chances that the prospect will come by and see us after their two internet appointments? It is very low. If they are average, the first one is going to sell them fifty percent of the time. There is only half a chance that they are going to show up at the second dealership, and that one is going to sell them at fifty percent if they do show up. This means that there is only a twenty-five percent chance that they will even show up at our dealership. When they do, because they are a traditional up, we are only going to close them an average of nine to twenty percent of the time. That means out of every hundred prospects that show up at Dealership A, fifty of them make it to Dealership B. Only twenty-five of them make it to see us, and we only sell to five of them.