The managers in your dealership must have a written job description with clearly defined responsibilities and expectations.
Having specific goals for the department is required. Daily action plans for selling, training, appointments, one-on-one coaching, save-a deal meetings, deal structuring, follow-up, etc will increase sales by 20 percent without spending more for advertising.
If you read biographies of successful people or businesses, one common thread always seems to be a strong sense of passion fueled by big goals. When you write specific goals down on paper, you are committing yourself mentally, emotionally and physically to the attainment of those goals. Do your dealership and your employees set the long and short-term goals? As the dealer, have you committed your dreams to paper for the month, six months, a year, five years, 10 years, 20 years? Speed of the boss, speed of the crew, if you make the commitment, your employees will, too.
Once you have set your goals, plan your specific actions to reach them. Write a specific action plan for when to train, what to train on, who will conduct the training, how long the training will last and your expected goal of improvement for that area. Post a training schedule for the month and make it a monthly priority. Training is not a sometimes activity. It’s an everyday requirement.
Set goals for appointments and make action plans to reach those goals as a dealership. This requires goals and action plans for each sales person as to their activities to set daily appointments. Strive for and monitor appointments and watch your sales increase.
Every sales person should be coached daily in a one-on-one session. Set a game plan for who does this, when they do it and the expected results. Items covered in those sessions should be their sales pace in relation to their goals and their percentage of success for total seen contacts, demos, write-ups, closed and deliveries. Those items should be monitored for both yesterday’s traffic and month-to-date totals. Each sales person should have a day planner. The sales people should be required to have a plan for their day that is broken down into an hourly focus. To-do lists and follow-up systems should be reviewed for both sold and unsold customers. Review yesterday’s traffic for each sales person, walk back through what happened and listen for clues that would show breakdowns in their sale process. These activities alone can increase your dealership’s sales 20 percent.
To make more money, each morning the managers hold a save-a-deal meeting in the F&I office to review yesterday’s sold and unsold traffic. All deals in F&I should be reviewed. Review approvals to see if they have been delivered and if not, why? If delivered, have they been booked out and turned to the office? Review finance turndowns for reasons why and any possibilities to approve those deals. Review dealer trades and the status of those deals. Review heat sheets and contracts in transit for deals not funded and deals that have missing items, such as titles, etc.
It takes increased effort and focus to improve your sales 20 percent. Many dealers just increase their advertising in hopes of increasing sales, and in turn, make their sales people traffic junkies. The percentage of gain in bottom line and long-term benefits is what you are seeking, not short-term fixes. The first step is to get rid of the notion, that there are good and bad months. You either have good or bad goals, game plans, actions and reviews of actions. Good or bad months are directly attributed to those items and are not luck.