Everyone selling vehicles or managing others selling vehicles should know the meaning of "The Road to the Sale" - and you should also be aware that too many of us, all too often, know that phrase but instead follow "The Road to the NO SALE!"
I've often likened the chain of events that produces a vehicle sale to that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where the sawmill reduces a large tree down to a single toothpick - there's so much effort and waste! In our case, it's waste from neglect: Neglect of our processes, neglect of our advertising, neglect of our training, and most of all neglect of simply executing on what we already know will sell more cars.
We know that phone calls get mis-handled. We record them. We often don't listen to them. When we do listen, we don't do anything effective to correct the way they are handled.
We know our traffic is up or down, but we don't put the traffic into the CRM so it can be monitored and our advertising adjusted for results. We know our customers' information is in the CRM, but we don't pursue them for sold-to-service. We know people service at our dealership that never bought from us, so we know we're convenient to them, but we don't pursue them for a vehicle sale.
We know we need to regularly train on phone and the sales process, but we don't. Or, if we do, we don't effectively train for the results we want.
We know online pricing is important, but we can't find time to price properly. And we have Autotrader/Cars.com/etc. for our used cars, but we don't take enough pictures for our own website much less for that advertising.
We know the Internet has forever changed how our sales funnel gets filled, but we don't adjust our advertising to focus best online. And we know that reputation is the OLDEST advertising, and we know that everyone comparison shops online, but we pay no attention to the poor online reviews we get and we make no effort to get more online reviews from our happy customers. Or, we know that we have a great online reputation that shoppers have to find, and we make no effort to proactively advertise that great reputation!
And so on. Does any of this, or perhaps most of it, sound like your dealership?
If so, take action, now: Make a list of your top five items that send you wrongly down "The Road to the NO SALE", and start improvements with that. You'll sell more cars and make more money. In many cases, almost instantly.
But, then, you already knew that, didn't you?
(Many thanks to Jim Ziegler for his blog Is the Road to the Sale Obsolete? that inspired this article.)