Leading an Appointment Culture – Part 6

Leading an Appointment Culture – Part 6

TRANSCRIPT: Okay, so, you’ve got your management team. They’re ready. They’re working hard in the CRM throughout the day. They are doing all the things they need to do at the beginning of the day. They are doing all the things they should be doing in the CRM throughout the day. Now, we’re getting close to closing time. Let’s say we’re about an hour and a half before closing time. There are some specific things we need to do in our CRM, through our CRM, with our team to make sure that we truly are leading an appointment culture.

The first thing you need to do is look for potential past due activities and you need to address these with time to spare. See, so many managers in car dealerships today will look at their team floundering and they’ll say, “Heh, heh, that guy’s not going to make it.” That’s not how we lead people. How we lead people is we see that guy floundering and we throw him a line. We say, “Hey, we’re here to help you.”

So, it’s 90 minutes before we close and Joe has two calls he hasn’t made. How about we call Joe over to the sales desk and we say, “Joe, just a quick reminder, you’ve got two calls you still haven’t made today. You know our rules: if you don’t make all your calls today, you won’t get to catch any UPs tomorrow. So, why don’t you go and make those calls now?”

See, we want to address any potential past due activities with time to spare. Our goal is not to catch someone with past due activities. Our goal is to eliminate past due activities, and we can do that by helping our team.

Finally, I want to look at today’s appointments. I’ve gotten the past due activities taken care of, so, now I want to make sure that all of today’s appointments have some status. Everything up until now has had some status attached to it. Now, you say, “Well, Steve, it’s an hour and a half before we close, don’t we have more appointments today?” My answer is, “I hope not.” How long does it take for you to sell a car? If your team can truly sell a car in an hour, beginning to end, F&I, and do a good job and get a perfect CSI score for that, then, great. You go ahead and set appointments this late in the day but, if you close at 9:00 and someone wants to schedule an appointment with you, your team needs to be very clear on this and say, “Well, we’re open till 9:00 but my last appointment for tonight is 7:45”. See, that s an hour and fifteen minutes. If your team can do the whole car deal in an hour and fifteen minutes, then go ahead and schedule that appointment for 7:45. For me, I’m probably not going to schedule any appointments after 7:15 because most car deals, even with the perfect appointment, are going to take about 90 minutes, beginning to end.

So, I shouldn’t have any appointments left for today but about an hour and a half before we close I’m going to look at today’s appointments. Have they all been closed? Are any of them still open? Obviously, the ones that should still be open are customers who are still on the lot, but, even then, they should be out of the appointment log and only in the showroom and the desk log. So, I want to attach statuses to all of the appointments scheduled today and that means calling the salespeople over to the desk and asking. “Where’s Barbara Jones? You show her to be here at 6:15 and it’s now 7:45, she’s not here yet, so where is she?”, and getting statuses on those.

Now, I want to look at tomorrow’s appointments. I want to look at the first 90 minutes of the day and make sure I’ve confirmed all of those appointments. See, even if I’m not the guy opening tomorrow, I want to see that those appointments get confirmed because I don’t want to leave him hanging, having to confirm a bunch of appointments. What if he gets in at 8:30, we open at 9:00 and there a 9:15 appointment? When is he going to confirm that appointment? At 8:45, 8:50, 9:00? There are things he has to do in the morning to get ready before he has a chance to look at his CRM tool.

So, I’m going to look ahead to tomorrow. I’m going to look at the first 90 minutes of appointments, make sure they are all confirmed, and, where it makes sense, I’m going to get those vehicles prepped. At least do as much as I can. My lot porter is probably doing very little right now, and, I hope you’ve kept your lot porter this late (or whoever is going to prep vehicles), because when we live in an appointment culture, that job is almost 24/7. They are certainly there the entire time we are open.

Then I’m going to look at my desk log. I want to make sure it’s accurate. Does my CRM log equal my paper log? Listen if you don’t have a paper log, great, but I’m not against having a paper log today. However, it must support the CRM log. Right? The electronic log. If your paper log is where you live, then you’re in trouble because that data needs to be in the CRM. The CRM needs to be king. It needs to be the ‘bible’, if you will, for your dealership. So, does your paper log equal your CRM log and vice- versa? Does your CRM log equal the DMS (dealer management system)? What do I mean by that? I mean, if in your DMS you show you sold seven vehicles today, but your CRM shows you only sold two, then you have a problem. Your CRM needs to be as accurate as your DMS. In fact, probably more so because it’s going to have more notes; it’s going to have more things that happened throughout the day. And, so, if your DMS is showing that you sold a vehicle, that same vehicle should be sold in the CRM.

Finally, are there any open visits? As you start to get ready to close, are there any open visits still in my showroom log? Remember, I need to be able to look at my showroom log and if it says there are five people in my showroom, there ought to be five people on the showroom floor. If I look out and my team is doing nothing but joking and drinking coffee, then I’ve got a problem. I’ve got to make sure I close any open visits now. I don’t want to show someone in my CRM for 14 – 18 hours because that skews all of my numbers. It makes it harder for me to manage through data.

So, that is what you make sure your managers do in the CRM before closing time. Remember, it starts about 90 minutes before you close and you want to make sure these are all done to make the job easier for the manager opening tomorrow.