Simple Strategy #3: Stricter Rules Drive Higher Sales
TRANSCRIPT: Simple strategy #3 for closing more internet deals today is that stricter rules drive higher sales. Simple strategy, right?
Well, here’s the problem: In an attempt to reduce skating and give your team the proper credit for their contact efforts (or their use of the CRM) in your dealership, you created something called the “72-hour rule”. See, the reality of your 72-hour rule is that you’re going to guarantee zero phone calls. You’re going to guarantee soft appointment setting, information vomiting and cherry-picking by anyone handling internet leads and phones.
You don’t believe me? Let me give you a real-world example. I worked with a dealership recently that had a 30 car a month internet salesperson. Now, this internet salesperson did, indeed, sell 30 or more units each and every month. Now, you might say, “Steve, that’s great! I want one of those! How can I get one?” Well, let’s talk about that. I watched this internet salesperson for three days and he made zero phone calls over three days, yet he sold four cars. I thought that was weird since it usually takes phone calls (if you’re an internet salesperson) to be able to close deals.
But, this dealership had a 72-hour rule in place. Provided he showed he had “meaningful contact” within 72 hours and someone showed up at the dealership, he would get that deal. So we did a deep-dive into the CRM and guess what we discovered. We discovered that he got 450 leads each month and he sold 30 deals. That’s a 6.7% closing percentage. “Yeah, but Steve, he still sold 30, right?”
I could give those 450 leads to two good BDC agents. Those two good (not great) BDC agents would get you a minimum 115 or 120 appointments that showed in your dealership each and every month. Now, if you had a good (not great) floor team, they would sell about 60 of those internet appointments each month so this dealership was giving up about 30 units a month because this internet salesperson was just vomiting information on 450 leads.
See, when we did the deep-dive into the CRM and saw that he was getting 450 leads, we also read his emails. His emails, basically, vomited the absolute lowest price, and then, in big bold letters, said “Must print this email and ask for (insert name here) in order to get this price”. And, so, about 30 people every month would walk in with that paperwork and he would get the deal.
So, what’s the solution? For this dealership, one of the things they needed to work on was their past-due activities. I watched that salesperson make zero phone calls in the three days I was there, but, guess what? In the CRM tool it showed that he made plenty of calls. All he had to do was ‘click’ the call. He ‘clicked’ that he made a phone call and he didn’t actually make one. Now, all of your dealerships should be set up with something called CTI. That’s Computer Telephony Integration. All it means is that your phone system talks to your CRM and vise-versa. What it would mean is if this dealership allowed zero past due activities, and that all calls be CTI calls, that would force this salesperson to, at least, pick up the phone and dial in order to mark that call as made. Had this dealership had that rule in place, alone, they would have realized that this person had too many leads, right? He couldn’t have made all the phone calls required for those 450 leads he was getting each month.
The next solution is to create the “protected prospect rule”. That’s where I’m going to protect any prospect that arrives within a 45 minute window, each way, of an appointment. For our 30 car a month salesperson, that means he can no longer just send off an email that says, “Bring this in”, because if I have an open floor and I’m only protecting appointments, I have to physically set an appointment with that prospect, or it’s an open floor and anybody can sell them.
Now, I am going to protect same day be-backs without an appointment, because it just makes sense, right? If I catch an Up on a Saturday at 9:15 in the morning and work with them for a couple of hours, and they gotta go, they got a hungry kid, and they leave at 11:30, or so and they come back at 12:15, and I’m on a test drive with another Up, I should still get partial credit for that deal.
So, I’ll protect same day be-backs. I’ll protect prospects that arrive within a 45 minute window of their appointment but I won’t protect prior customers. “Steve, what if someone shows up at the dealership who bought a car from us three years ago. Aren’t we going to give them to the same salesperson?” No. Not unless they ask for that salesperson, by name, within earshot of a manager. If your salespeople are doing their jobs, if your internet teams are doing their jobs, if your BDC agents are doing their jobs, they are setting appointments not only with their internet prospects, not only with the phone-ups, not only with be-backs but also with their prior customers.