Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Importance of Follow Up

In my 12+ years of selling cars, I have never seen it slower in regards to the number of "fresh ups" that come into our dealership. Nothing seems to work--advertising, bill boards, direct mail, etc.

So--what do I do to sell more cars?

Well, I follow up with everyone that I have talked to at the dealership.

I use a combination of my Car Sales Assistant 2008 program and a legal pad. The program to help me keep track of contact and the legal pad for an "overview" of the people I have talked to. When I get someone back in, I write SOLD with a big black magic marker--it kind of gives me positive reinforcement! Plus--it looks cool when the manager comes by.

Why is follow up so important?

Well, here are some truths about people that come up on your lot.

  • For the most part--they are in the market for a car.
  • For the most part--if they came to your lot, they are at least considering something that you have to offer.
  • For the most part--if they come on your lot, there is a huge chance that they will be buying something within the next few weeks. Some sales trainers have stated that most will buy within a couple of days but my experiences have stated within a few weeks.
  • For the most part--you have an 18% chance to sell someone who comes on your lot.
  • For the most part (getting tired of the "for the most parts yet?" It will be a given for now on...) That leaves 82% of the people who came on your lot who didn't buy.
  • If you do a good job following up on those 82% of the people--any one of them you get back on the lot, you will have about a 50% chance of selling them a car.
Wow--what does that mean in mathematical terms?

If you talk to 30 people in a month, you will sell about 6 on the spot. Out of the other 24, if you do a halfway decent job doing follow up, you might get a third back on the lot--so, 8 will come back. Out of those 8, you will sell 4 (on average.) Can you see where this can be important yet?

OK--I am sitting on 8 cars right now (it's slow here in Michigan--as of yesterday, I was leading the board with 8...) Out of those 8, 4 were "be-backs" that I got back up and sold. Actually, my closing ratio for be-backs is higher than 50% (you can track it with my software) so I work real hard to get people back up to the dealership.

I see people all the time who catch an up and if they don't sell them, their ego gets in the way and they assume that the people just couldn't buy, etc. Well, they are dead wrong and they are losing sales by the dozens.

OK--here are some concrete steps you can take to increase your sales IMMEDIATELY!

  • Treat everyone you talk to as a buyer. They would not be there wasting their time (for the most part--sorry) unless they were at least "thinking" about getting a car.
  • If they don't buy, give them a "great news" call. "Hey Jim--I have some great news--call me as soon as you get this message." When they call back, "Great news--I have another manager that wants to take a look at your trade. When can you bring it by--right now or later this afternoon?" Remember--if they come back--you have a 50% chance of closing them on the spot.
  • Send them a thank you letter for stopping by with a business card in yours since they probably threw yours away or added it to a pile.
  • If the don't come back--call them again from time to time but always have new information for them--such as new rebates, a great used car you just got in, a new car with the color they really wanted, etc.
  • If they don't call back after 3 calls, I assume they have bought somewhere else or do not want my product. Sorry--I don't call until they "buy or die"--there are too many others to call. I do give them a final, "Do me a favor--if you are out of the market, please call and leave me a message on my voice mail so I can quit calling you." (Mention the voice mail because that is non-confrontational--they may not have the guts to tell you live over the phone.)
  • Put them into your master database like the one on CSA 2008. Send them something once a month. I have had people come back literally years later and buy off of me. "I bought somewhere else but they treated my like crap," I hear a lot.
  • I send out postcards (easy to print with CSA2008--sorry about the plugs for my software--it really does help people sell tons of cars.) because they are easy to read and don't look like all the other junk mail we all get.
Well, just some quick tips--do some follow up on everyone (except for those who cannot buy) and you will be amazed about how many extra cars you will sell a month.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Update for Car Sales Assistant 2008

Hi everyone--just finished another update. Thanks to those who were kind enough to email me your data files so I could use real data to figure out what was causing the problems.

The newest version of CSA 2008 is now 3.0.1 and the build date on the main screen should read 9/9/08. Here are the fixes in this update... (By the way--if you already own CSA 2008, the update is free...)

Here is a link to my tutorials including the one on how to update...

  • Fixed a bug that caused a crash if it took you more than 60 seconds to type in the text for a pop up message reminder.
  • When you were viewing a customers address file--if you clicked on one of the grids (vehicles in family for example) the window would pop up and not be in the right spot. Fixed!
  • Fixed the stats where it seemed as if data (sold customers for example) were being counted twice.
  • Fixed a small bug that I just noticed. If you are typing a commission and close the window without leaving the commission box, it would not add it to your total money made. Now as you type, the total is updated on the fly.
I just want everyone to know I try to fix them as they come. Sometimes it takes a while (like the stat bug--that had been "bugging" me for months) and sometimes the fixes come in my sleep but please feel free to email if you find more.

Marv Chomer

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Attitude and why it is Important

If there is one thing that can make or break a sale, it is your attitude. Let me give you an example of what happened to me recently.

First--some back story.

I live in South Eastern Michigan in a suburb of Detroit. As of right now, we have about the highest unemployment in the country, more foreclosures that just about anyone, a customer base of people who like to lease without any leases for the most part, pollution, crime, potholes, a baseball team that is out of the running, etc.

OK--with this on my mind, I greeted a young couple the other day and showed them a few cars.

They came back today and bought a car from me. Why? Because the dealership they left me for didn't have it in stock and I did.

Whoa! They left me for another dealership? What happened?

Well, the girl told me today that when she first met me, she thought I was "mean." She said that I didn't smile at her and seemed like I hated my job. At that time, she told her husband that "she wanted to find a different dealer (salesperson.)" So, they left and shopped me at another dealership.

Thank God I got another chance! Wow! I have been on a "roll" recently and have sold a few cars in the last week so needless to say, I was smiling when they came back. We talked a little--cracked some jokes, etc. when she dropped the bombshell on me that she thought I was "mean" the other day--but that she thought I was "nice" now because I was smiling.

This has really been bothering me this evening. I'm starting to wonder how many other people that my attitude has turned into a no-sale.

Ever go to a mall and have a clerk that hates their job? You can always tell--they say, "Can I help you?" when you can tell that they just want the clock to hit 9:00 so they can get the hell out of there.

Ever order at a fast food restaurant and get someone with a total frown preparing your food? I wonder if they spit in it? Hmmm...

I can give a million more examples but how about one more.

Lets say you have been dreaming about a certain new car. You did your research on the internet, got some brochures, told your friends and family about it, saved up a good down payment--you know--your first new car. You go up to a dealership and a dude catches you with a frown on his face. "Can I help you or get someone for you?" he asks--you get the vibes that he doesn't think you can afford to buy the car because you pulled in with your old "beater." He looks tired and smells like cigarettes. What do you do?

"Just looking!" as you get the hell out of there.

OK--same scenario but the dude at the dealership is smiling like he is happy to see you. "Welcome to Biff Motors! My name is Charles--and you are...?" He extends his hand and gives you a pleasant handshake. You cannot help but to smile back and it seems like you have known this dude forever.

What this boils down to is this. If you have a bad attitude--FAKE IT! Find something to smile about--whether it is your kids, the weather, the vacation you just took or whatever! If it helps--imagine a $300 dollar bill on their forehead right between their eyes. See if that helps.

I would have lost the sale today if it weren't for the inventory situation here in Michigan. I am very sure of that. The people I sold did not like me, trust me or believe me--at least not until the second change I miraculously got with them. They turned out to be very nice and very easy to close. I made enough to pay my phone, cable and internet bill for the month.

My goal for September is to smile at everyone, be nice to everyone, assume everyone is there to buy a car (and that they CAN buy a car) and to stay away from the negative outside influences... you know what I am talking about...

  • The "huddle"--other salespeople will never buy a car from you. They are evil--stay away from them!
  • The news--I can give a care less if Sarah Whatever's 17 year old daughter is pregnant. Gas is high--I don't need to be reminded. GM is hurting--I don't need to be reminded. McCain can't remember how many houses he has--I can care less. If I had a wife worth $100 million--neither would I!
  • Any talk about money, or lack-of thereof...
  • My managers--unless I'm working a deal.
  • The fantasy football talk--get the hell away from me! Not in it, not interested in it, can give a care less if you have Peyton Manning this year!

Want a great attitude? Think about something that makes you happy. In my case, my kids and the trip we just took to Mackinac Island, Michigan--that is Lake Huron on the right of the bridge and Lake Michigan on the left of it--pretty cool, eh?

NOTE: The camera made my gut look bigger than it is--I promise!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Huge Car Sales Assistant 2008 Update Online

Hi, everyone. Happy Labor Day. I have been spending my labor day laboring to add and fix a few things with Car Sales Assistant 2008. I am happy to say that I have a new update online. If your build date is not 9/1/08 and your version is not 3.0.0 then I would suggest updating to the newest version.

CLICK HERE to view a tutorial on how to update to the newest version of CSA 2008.

Also, I have extended my labor day 20% off sale through Friday, September 5, 2008. All you have to do is purchase stuff from my store by CLICKING HERE and enter LABORDAY as a coupon when you check out to get the savings on your total order.

Here is what has been updated/fixed in this new build.

  • I re-wrote the follow up system from the ground up. It now works right and you can make changes to your follow up schedule on the fly and they will work immediately.
  • I added a "pop up" messaging system. You can set reminders for yourself or for your customer and they will pop up at the given time that you schedule them (as long as the program is running.)
  • I fixed some problems with dates not saving.
  • The stats were not working right if you (for example) talked to a customer last month and sold them this month. That is all fixed now so the stats should be 100% correct.
If any other bugs pop up, please let me know.


New Store is Here!

My new Car Sales Assistant store is up and running!

CLICK HERE to purchase my Car Sales Assistant 2008 software!

Also, I am looking for affiliates to show around my program. Sign up at my store and you will get your unique URL to pass along to friends/co-workers and if they buy, you will get a cut.

Hope to see you there soon!