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Before the pandemic, most dealers would define an appointment as a planned showroom visit customers made to view a specific product with a sales professional they had already met, either in the showroom, over the phone, or digitally.
Traditionally, sales teams have engaged their customers with a service promise, giving them just enough information to entice them into making an appointment at the showroom.
The Value of Portfolio Thinking.
You can tell a true sales professional by the number of repeat and referral customers they sell each month. It’s one thing to sell a customer one car, but to follow up regularly and earn repeat purchases, that takes portfolio thinking.
Portfolio thinking looks beyond today’s potential commission, and instead looks at the potential of the customer and their referrals over multiple purchases.
The Value of Process – the systems and steps that we take each day to intentionally create appointment success.
In the past, success in the retail car business was often a result of the showroom skills and the personalities of the sales team. Today, that’s not enough to create success, as most customers want help before they visit the dealer’s showroom.
Showroom skills and personality are most effective when they are added to great appointment making skills and to effective selling processes.
In the past, automotive sales teams were able to create success by being re-active, rather than pro-active. Sales Professionals typically came to work to wait for customers. But today, customers no longer need to go to a dealership to get information on vehicles, or in some cases even to purchase a vehicle.
Now we must be pro-active to succeed. What does this mean? It starts by coming to work, to work, not to wait.
Here are a few things that I learned from these dealers who chose to keep talking to their customers during the pandemic. Many of these dealers sold cars, in some cases quite a few. But that wasn’t their goal. They simply wanted to build goodwill with their customers.