Tracking Traffic Is Crucial to Car Dealership Sales Success
As an expert in automotive digital marketing who has helped hundreds of auto dealers sell more cars over the past 12 years, I’ve seen plenty of ways dealership sales departments struggle. Some of those struggles are incredibly difficult to remedy, while others, while requiring discipline, are relatively simple to address and fix. This recommendation falls in the latter category.
It should be obvious why every prospect who enters the showroom should be logged somewhere… The dealership can then thank them for coming in, follow-up to their visit, and then market to those prospects in the future. Statistics show that people who visit a car dealer and leave without buying are often the best prospects for future sales. I am consistently amazed at how few dealerships have a process in place that enforce floor “up” tracking rules.
Too often, people go to a dealership, spend time with a salesperson, test drive a car, leave without buying - and then never hear from the dealership again. The likelihood of that scenario happening increases EXPONENTIALLY if the prospect information never leaves the salesperson’s possession. When that happens, the dealership is wasting opportunity.
One of the most important responsibilities of automotive Sales Managers and General Sales Managers is to hold the sales staff accountable for the prospects they work with. That begins with the process of logging EVERY person who visits the showroom. When there is no consistent process in-place, it sends a subliminal signal to salespeople that management does not place top priority on maximizing EVERY opportunity that walks through their doors, and that it’s OK to not turn in every “up” sheet.
GMs and Dealer Principals can get an accurate measure of their closing percentage, and track how the dealership is performing against local, national and brand averages. They can then use that analysis to both identify areas for improvement and coaching, plus adjust their advertising mix based on actual results.
Is one ad source driving a lot of showroom traffic that’s not converting? It’s possible that the dealership needs to adjust the area in which it’s buying leads from that particular source. Is a different source doing a really good job of delivering used car prospects to the showroom? Maybe the dealership increases the budget with that source to further increase floor traffic. The only way a decision-maker can base those adjustments on actual results, rather that gut feel, is if they have the data.
The most simple, proven (stone-age-friendly) method is to number each “up” sheet (a form that EVERY dealership has), and each time a salesperson begins to work with a customer, they have to write the specific number of the sheet on a master log next to the stack of “up” sheets, which should be placed at the sales tower or in the manager’s office. By the end of the day, the salesperson should turn in a copy to the front desk, so they can enter/update the prospect info in the dealership’s CRM tool and/or on the desk log. If Joe Salesperson is on the list for taking sheet #18, he’d better turn it in by COB, or have an excellent reason why it hasn’t been handed in.