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Sales-boosting tips from US retailers

One of the most popular management workshops at the annual NADA Convention in the USA is the one where NADA officials run through some of the best tips received through the ’20 Group’ system – where liked-minded dealer principals get together, for two or three days in some cases, to share best practice and new ideas.
Here’s a selection of some that could be useful for UK dealerships too.
Product evaluation Sales staff should spend the first hour of each day talking to customers in the service department.
But where the customer needs to be driven home or dropped off at work, get your execs to take them in a car that you’ve identified they might be interested in buying and ask them to do a product evaluation. Allow them to drive part of the way.
Sales write-up
Task one of your sales execs with going through your repair orders to identify the cars coming through your workshop that would make an ideal partexchange.
They then call to let them know their car is on your ‘most wanted’ list. Put together a package in a glossy folder with a short letter, a business card and three options for the customer to consider – trading in their car against a new car, a nearly new car and an older one – plus a projection of what their car will be worth in a year’s time. Leave it in their vehicle, and then follow them up.
Delivery photo
Take a simple digital photo of customers taking delivery, alongside the salesperson and service advisor, and then email it to them immediately so they see it when they get back home. It’s a good way of collecting email addresses, as well as promoting the dealership because sometimes people will forward the photo to family and friends, and the photo shows where the vehicle was bought. Customer handover photos and testimonials also look good on a noticeboard in the showroom. It’s a point of interest for visitors.
B2B referrals
Get somebody out on the streets visiting small businesses, with five or ten employees. Offer to enroll the owner in your VIP Club, which means they get a free car wash any time they want. They, and their staff, also get some discounts at the dealership. In return, your employees get a discount on what their company sells. Aim to get around 50 to 75 businesses on board initially.
Last chance before auction A sign saying ‘last chance before auction’ is a powerful advertising message that doesn’t just grab the attention of customers – it can motivate your sales staff to take a renewed interest in the vehicle too.

Your action plan
* Invite selected customers to take part in a ‘product evaluation’
* Assign a sales exec to look through your repair orders
* Sponsor a ‘teacher of the month’ competition
* Enrol local small business owners in your VIP Club
* Put up a ‘last chance before auction’ sign on selected vehicle

Read more:

How to increase your finance qualification rate


Four ways to fire up your used car sales