I receive many questions from my 20 Group and consulting clients about various issues in their dealerships. One that is frequently asked is, “How do I overcome a low vehicle sales volume?” Many clients continue with, “Do we need to do more advertising?” “Do we need more inventory?” “Should we change our personnel?” The answer isn’t as complicated as you might think …
There is a simple mantra I like to impart whenever I’m asked these questions:
Come to work to work. Don’t come to work to wait.
As a practical application of this mantra, I’ve outlined my version of a typical, disciplined day in a sales department. For this example, the dealership opens at 9:00 AM. Take a look and pinpoint where your dealership is checking off these to-dos and where you might be falling short.
9:00 AM Daily Sales Meeting (15-20 minutes)
- Hold this in a meeting room, not in the sales manager’s office. All managers should rotate as leader of the meeting.
- Management should be in the meeting room, ready to start the meeting, at 9:00 AM sharp!
- All on-shift sales department employees, including F&I and internet, should attend.
- A few thought-starters for agenda items:
- Roll call
- Current sales programs and product news (e.g. new models, technical changes)
- A quick follow-up on pending dealer trades
- Scheduled deliveries
- Update the sales board with yesterday’s deliveries and review progress vs. objectives
- Individual recognition of appropriate, positive behaviors. (This is not a daily beat-up session; address negative behavior at a different, appropriate time.)
- Improvements to be started
- Urgent changes
- A 5-minute group training session. (Learning how to use a professional greeting is great for your first meeting.)
- Good examples of following the process
Recommendation on meeting culture: Switch off your mobile phones in order to make your meetings more effective!
9:30 AM General Manager’s Daily Trade Walk/Stock Walk
- The general manager conducts this meeting to symbolize its importance. How many millions of dollars of inventory do you carry?
- All on-shift sales department employees, including F&I and internet, as well as a service department representative, should attend.
- Trade Walk: To on-board each trade-in vehicle or acquisition into the system.
- Stock Walk: To help manage the vehicles as they age, not when they age. Review the bucket jumpers.
10:00 AM General Manager’s Daily Make-a-Deal/Save-a-Deal Meeting
- This is the most important meeting of the day!
- It should be conducted in a meeting room showing the CRM on a screen for all to view, not in the sales manager’s office.
- All on-shift sales department management personnel, especially F&I, should attend.
- Discuss the previous day’s and month-to-date sales activities and determine the re-contact strategies to turn all unclosed deals into sales.
- Review approved deals that are not delivered. Don’t let them fall through the cracks. Get a schedule from your controller listing all customer deposits and determine if there is an issue with vehicles that are sold but not delivered.
Questions to Ask: We don’t need more Opportunities to do Business (OTDBs)! We need to do a better job with the opportunities that we already have.
- Do all OTDBs get entered into the CRM?
- Is a Daily Work Plan (on paper) produced for each salesperson, and do they have a predetermined work plan each day?
- Is the Daily Work Plan process being well-controlled by sales management?
If management comes to work each day, with the above plan in hand, and executes that plan while encouraging their team, the entire dealership will be ready to handle any task that might come their way. Other necessary items that need to occur throughout the day include training sessions to further employee growth and one-on-one meetings with salespeople to discuss goals.
Don’t come to work and wait for your team to do great things. Work with them, lead them, give them a plan, and help them work their plan. It might sound simple, but execution is the key to success.
Learn more about how NCM 20 Groups and in-dealership consulting can diagnose the struggles in your business and find solutions to help you profit. Give us a call at 800-756-2620 to discuss, or complete our interest form for more information!