Failure Analysis in Sales (Analyzing a Bad Conversation)

Failure Analysis in Sales (Analyzing a Bad Conversation)

In time, we all get comfortable and complacent at our jobs. After the initial learning curve, we can begin to coast, using the same tools for years. As our confidence in our work grows, arrogance can creep in. This insidious trait can numb us to the feedback from others. As long as our paychecks keep coming in, we ignore our process falling apart and rely on the momentum that we built to carry us through our jobs. When your process falls apart, it’s critical to conduct a failure analysis of what’s going wrong.

It can take a particular “wake up call” incident to alert us to this process. That’s what happened to me this week.

For context, I’ve been selling cars for around seven years now. In less than six years I had grossed (before tax) over a million dollars in income, an amount of money that has profoundly changed my life. Of the four thousand salespeople in my brand, I was top 200 by year one, top 50 by year two, and top 10 by year three.

It was a steep climb to the top of the car sales food chain, bolstered by a successful partnership and supportive managers (plus a strong bull market). I’ve published an ebook and have a second one about to launch.

Life is good. Things have gone my way.

That is, until last week. 

That’s when I realized that I was dropping the ball. 

Here is my failure analysis.

Failure Analysis of My Conversation with Tio

Tio’s lead came on Monday morning, with a clear message:

“Shopping around for this exact car with the exact same features. Another dealer is offering this Q7 for 56k but doesn’t want to have to drive that far to get it. Can you offer a better deal? If so, I’ll go with you to save me the trouble of driving to the far East Bay.”

When I saw this, I was happy- what a great lead to get Monday morning! 

I was excited to close up this deal. Not only was I confident that I would close this deal within the hour, but I also figured that I would be able to merely match the competitor’s offer (instead of beating it) since I could offer value outside of just price. 

When I responded to the lead, Tio was at work and asked me to have our conversation via text, which worked for me since I could multi-task and answer other leads while closing the deal.

Our conversation began easily enough:

failure analysis

Tio sent me a picture of the invoice of the car that the other dealership had offered him and the price that they had provided. At this point in the conversation, my goal is to close the deal for as close to that number as possible as soon as possible to get him off the market.

failure analysis

He almost immediately relents on pricing, telling me that “to be honest I’m ok w exactly what they offered open to any color but black or brown.” I patted myself on the back, relishing in how easy it was not to lose extra money to sell him a car. 

Failure Analysis: Problems Emerging

The problems then emerged. I took things one step further, attaching my offer of matching their quote with a requirement (that Tio comes today). In my experience when I say this, customers will respond with the day they are free, and I will agree to honor the price on that day. This adds a little finality to the conversation. 

Things are about to turn.

failure analysis

The conversation changes when Tio brings back his desire to “see if you can do less than 56k that’s what the other dealer is offering”.

At this point in the conversation, I have two choices:

  1. Confirm that I’m listening to his desires and offer a compromise.
  2. Double down on the original offer matching, stating the ways that I provide value (instead of just discount)

Failure Analysis: Making the Wrong Choice

Retrospectively, it seems that I decided to do #2 (poorly).

While I was confident that I could close this deal quickly and get a quick start to the week, I was blind to the facts- namely that I don’t know anything about this customer (and he doesn’t know anything about me!). I know that he is in the market for a Q7, he lives relatively close to my dealership, and he is flip-flopping a bit on what he wants. 

I should have seen the warning flags in the short conversation. He started by saying that a “to be honest I’m ok w exactly what they offered” and then responded to my offer to match with a repeated request for me to beat it. 

His change of heart speaks to the point that he is uncomfortable in this type of conversation. When he said that he was “ok w exactly what they offered,” deep down he wasn’t sure if this was a good deal. Since I agreed to the match so quickly, his insecurity in the deal crept back in. He worried that everything was too easy.

He feared that he was being taken advantage of.

If I were smarter at the time, I would have looked at the facts and decided to take a softer touch in my response. I could have explained in a few sentences why I didn’t want to offer more discount, and I could have said everything more graciously. Instead, I was very direct, which ended up not going over (as you will see below).

failure analysis

He immediately responds to my offer to match the other dealership with “Thanks Andrei. Gonna pass. Appreciate your time”. This response was my next warning that things had gone astray in this conversation. Something I had said had made him feel uncomfortable.

Failure Analysis: Doubling Down on the Wrong Path

At this point, I should have given him some space, perhaps calling him with a fresh, better offer around lunch time. That way I would have saved face. 

Instead, the conversation got worse. I doubled down on a relatively straightforward close, asking him what it would take to “get this wrapped up efficiently.” The underlying message there was that so far this conversation had not been efficient. 

Although this type of straightforward close will work with many people, it is liable to insult someone who has a bad impression of you.

The deal is about to fall apart.

failure analysis

Looking back at this conversation, it’s apparent that I should not have continued this conversation to this point. When the customer says “Just tell me the best deal you can offer w the info provided” it’s a clear message that he was not happy with how things had progressed so far. 

Again, instead of taking a moment to recoup, I forged on ahead. In retrospect, the very best thing I could have done was to turn the deal at this point. I could easily have had an associate or manager reach out with an offer and a fresh face. 

I didn’t. Instead of seeing Tio’s responses as a sign of his frustration, I saw them as ineptness. At the time I just shook my head in bewilderment, confused how this customer can change his stories so quickly.

I was entirely lost by this point in the conversation. The reigns were out of my hands, and my autopilot took over.

I questioned why we were having this conversation in the first place (if he hadn’t yet decided on the vehicle), instead of seeing his deflection as a sign of something else. 

failure analysis

I’m sure you saw this coming. When Tio says, clear as day, that he “don’t appreciate your tone,” I finally realize consciously how badly this conversation has gone. I try to recoup by saying “No tone guaranteed,” but it was far too little too late.

Failure Analysis: Nail in the Coffin

failure analysis

I have to say, my performance in this conversation was amateurish. Upon re-reading the thread, I can see the times where I missed his underlying messaging. 

Failure Analysis: Conversations Matter

I get paid the way I do because I am typically good at closing a large volume of car deals. Much of that is process-based, but people skills are no less critical. We are not computer engineers, or surgeons, or architects. We are salespeople, and conversation is our programming language.

I find it incredibly useful to analyze conversations that go poorly since we can all learn so much from our failures. Failures give us an excellent opportunity to identify weaknesses and address them. Few things sting like losing an easy car deal.

Failure Analysis: Other Failures

In January and February of 2019, my sales surveys have been below the national average. This simple failure has cost me around eight thousand dollars in bonuses so far and will continue to cost me if I don’t address it.

In the car business, many dealerships attach survey clauses to their pay plans. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to review your pay plan and keep track of how your actions line up with the pay plans goals. I find it useful to pay attention to how much money you are losing by not aligning your actions. Your pay plan is your real boss!

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

What you are about to read is a preview chapter from my upcoming second book, “How to Sell Cars on the Internet”

If you are interested in the first book in the series click on this link: The Automotive BDC Manifesto

In the Automotive BDC Manifesto, I spent a significant amount of time reviewing effective internet sales follow up. In that book, I offered a number of email templates that readers all over the world have started to use to great success.

So, what are the components of a great email template? What makes a great phone call script? How about some examples? Let’s get started.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Process and “Making Your Own Luck”

If your emails are ending up in spam, your phone calls will save you. If you can get your customer enticed on the phone, you can have them find your emails in order to retrieve information. This allows you to work around the problems of spam filtering since the customer will actively find your emails in the spam filters and bring them back to life. This act will also help your email reputation since Google is always watching!

So what do you say on the phone?

Here are some basics for every outbound phone call:

  1. You must identify yourself and your dealership
  2. You need to speak slowly (the older the customer, the slower you talk!)
  3. You need to stay calm (regardless of their attitude)
  4. You need to remember the mission (get the appointment!)

In my mind, phone calls are about information gathering, deal sharing, and serendipity. Your calls are the best way to get an immediate update on the customer’s status. If a customer picks up, they will generally answer at least a question or two before wanting to go. The phone call also reinforces your dealer name and your name, so when the customer is ready to come in, they will think of you first.

At the start of the call, make sure to identify yourself and your dealership, every time.

“Hi! This is Andrei Smith from Audi North Michigan”

That’s a great start to ping the customer’s brain. Hopefully, they will remember an email that they’ve seen from you recently. As soon as you say that, they will respond, and from this response, you will know how much of their time you have. If they say:

            “Uh… ok, yes?” 

Then you probably don’t have much of their time. Get to the point right away:

“Thanks for jumping on the phone! I had seen your inquiry on stock #4123 and I wanted to let you know that this specific vehicle is still available and has a discounted e-price right now. Did you have a minute to review?”

As I mentioned in the Automotive BDC Manifesto (Chapter 4: Inbound Phone Calls), it’s critical to create a back and forth of information as quickly as possible on the phone. You need the customer to be hooked and to desire the information that you have. If you give your customer all of the information right away, without having them participate in the call, you have lost your value. Your information is what you trade for their time and attention. By mentioning an “e-price” and then immediately asking if they have a “minute to review” you have set up a conversational trade. I give you information if you opt into our conversation.

At the end of the day, the point of the call is to set the appointment. Deals happen, in almost all cases, in person at the dealer (exceptions include out of state deals and some corporate deals). Buying a car is halfway between buying a house and buying a TV- it’s a balance between practicality, finances, and emotions. Generally, practicality and finances win on the phone, emotions win in person.

The most exciting part of calling customers (and follow up in general) is what I call the “discovery of serendipity”. Serendipity is defined as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Over my career so far, there have been countless times where customers tell me this when I get them on the phone:

“Wow that’s funny you called…”

At that point, the customer will say that they are “just about to go visit dealers” or that they “were just talking about new cars.” These are the best moments!

When I say that car purchasing is partly emotional, I’m not referring to color preference. I’m more speaking to the fact that, when a customer feels like everything is coming together serendipitously, they tend to close deals. If you’re constantly doing high value, professional follow up, you are giving yourself more opportunities to be in the right place at the right time. You are actively “creating your own luck.”

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

I’ll restate what I’ve said elsewhere, I think that phone scripts are just for when you are starting out. They can inspire you to have more dynamic conversations, with better value propositions, but they should not be used as a long term crutch. Try to get yourself (and the rest of the people that sell cars on the internet) to a point where phone calls are natural, without the use of any script. As you progress you will develop scripts that you can call from at any point, lodged deep in your brain by repetition.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Standard Outbound Call with Price Offer:

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I had seen your inquiry on stock #X and I wanted to let you know that this specific vehicle is still available and has a discounted e-price right now. Did you have a minute to review?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I don’t have time to talk right now

THEN REP SAYS: No problem, I’ll send you over an email with the pricing. Is [email protected] your correct email address?

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, I have a few minutes, what was the pricing?

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I’ll be sending this quote via email as well, can I confirm that [email protected] is your correct email?

CUS: Yes/No

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Ok, sounds great. So for this stock #X, with an MSRP of $XXk, we are having our SPECIAL REASON sale right now, that reduces the price down by $Xk. This offer can be combined with extra incentives that you might also qualify for.

CUS: Oh ok, what are the incentives?

REP: We have incentives for customers that currently have QUALIFIER 1 and QUALIFIER 2. This sale price will be running until the end of this weekend- did you have time tomorrow at 11am to swing by and check it out?


Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Vehicle Availability Confirmation:

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I had seen your inquiry on stock #X, the COLOR MODEL at DEALER. Did you have a minute to review?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I don’t have time to talk right now

THEN REP SAYS: No problem, I’ll send you over an email. Is [email protected] your correct email address?

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, I have a few minutes.

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I’ll be sending this information via email as well, can I confirm that [email protected] is your correct email?

CUS: Yes/No

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Ok, sounds great. Stock #X is currently available at our dealership. As you can imagine, because of UNIQUE THING ABOUT CAR, I doubt that this specific vehicle will last on the lot a long time. Was this Stock #X the exact fit you were looking for?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I just clicked on a car on your site at random (etc)

THEN REP SAYS: Oh no problem! We have X number of MODELS in stock. We have some specials running on some cars right now, what were the specifics you were looking for?

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, that is the exact car.

THEN REP SAYS (Excited!): Wow! Generally, the customer has to make a ton of compromises when buying a new car, that is so serendipitous/great/fantastic that we have the exact car you are looking for! Let’s not miss this chance, did you have time to come by tonight to come check it out? I have some time around XXXpm.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Lease End Call

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I work with MANUFACTUROR directly as a lease end representative. It’s my job to keep MANUFACTUROR up to date with your lease end plans and to walk you through your options. Have you an idea of what you want to do with your lease end?

OPTION 1 – IF CUS SAYS: Yes, I plan to drop off the car and will not be purchasing a new BRAND car.

THEN REP SAYS: *Explain lease end drop off process for your dealer, but ask if there was anything that would entice them to stay with brand*

OPTION 2 – IF CUS SAYS: No, I haven’t decided yet.

THEN REP SAYS: No problem. MANUFACTUROR would like us to set up a time to discuss your options, did you have time tomorrow at XXXpm?

For lease end calls, I’ve found that I have the greatest success when I frame the conversation as a requirement of their lease end. Although the lease end is a fantastic opportunity to sell the customer a car, the fact that they have a lease coming due means that you don’t ever need to hard sell. They have to make a decision; you need to sell yourself as the frictionless route.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Appointment Follow Up

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! We had met last Sunday, where we demo’d the MODEL. You had mentioned that you were still shopping brands. We actually have some new incentives to tell you about, I was wondering if you were still in the market?

CUS: Yes, I am still in the market.

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I’ll be sending this quote via email as well, can I confirm that [email protected] is your correct email?

CUS: Yes/No

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Ok, sounds great. When we met we had driven the COLOR MODEL with PACKAGE OPTION. You had mentioned that this was a good fit, is that still the case? 

If CUS says: No, that car won’t work for us.

Then REP says: No problem, we have X MODEL in stock. What was it that you were looking for instead?

If CUS says: Yes, that car still works for us.                           

Then REP says: Wow! Generally, the customer has to make a ton of compromises when buying a new car, that is so serendipitous/great/fantastic that we have the exact car you are looking for! Let’s not miss this chance, especially since we SPECIAL OFFER running for SPECIAL EVENT. Can you make it in at XXXpm tomorrow?

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Car in Service

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone! I’m the service liaison here at DEALER. We have your CAR here at DEALER in service. There are some things we need to chat about with your vehicle. Do you have a few minutes?

CUS: Yes, I have a few minutes… what’s going on?

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: During the inspection on your vehicle, they discovered that your car needs PROBLEM THAT CAR HAS. The price to get this fixed is $Xk. Since your vehicle is outside of the warranty period, this would be a customer pay option. That being said I do have an option that might be more attractive than fixing this problem. 

If CUS says: Ok? What’s the alternative?

Then REP says: I’ve got my management involved on this one, and they have agreed to take your vehicle in on trade with this problem as is. If we get you swapped into a new model year MODEL, your payment would go from CURRENT PAYMENT to NEW PAYMENT. OPTIONAL: We are able to waive your down payment, so nothing would be due today.

Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts: Just Sent Quote:

Dealer Representative: “Hi! This is REP from DEALER”

Customer: RESPONSE

REP: Thanks for jumping on the phone. I wanted to review the lease quote that I sent over via email a few minutes ago. I can offer an extra incentive on top of that quote if you have a minute to review. Did you have some time now?

Cus: Yes, I have a few minutes, what was the pricing?

THEN REP SAYS: Great! I sent over the quote a few minutes ago. Just to review, this car that you had expressed interest in is the COLOR MODEL with FEATURES. Does that sound right?

CUS: Yes.

EITHER WAY REP SAYS: Perfect. The lease quote I sent over is $XXX per month with $Xk due at signing. I’m able to offer you an extra $XXX off of your drive off on top of that quote if you are able to come in today. Did you have some time after work to come by?

What Makes Up a Great Follow Up Email

There a few common threads that run through all of the best follow up email templates:

  1. They don’t look like templates (short and targeted)
  2. They are easy to add personalization (spaces to put in details of the specific customer’s situation)
  3. They don’t end up in spam (very few if any images, very few hyperlinks, no spam phrases)
  4. They provide value (the customer is happy they opened them)

I believe in a relentless email follow up. It’s not an opinion that is shared with everyone, but I think that it’s your job when selling cars online to be consistently appearing in your potential customer’s email inbox until they are out of the market. That means that you need to have a reason to email a customer, every day, for at least the first ten days after they submit an inquiry.

The Spam Trap         

Do you know what doesn’t work? Sending the same email every single day. As soon as a customer sees a duplicate of an email you’ve sent, the gig is up. They mentally categorize you as spam. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if every time a customer opens an email from you they find something different, they mentally categorize you as valuable.

It’s not just the customers who are categorizing you. Email clients, such as Gmail (which has 26%+ of the market share) will categorize your emails into spam automatically if you abuse customer’s inboxes. Gmail is always learning, and saying things like “YOU WON’T BELIEVE THE DEALS!!” or “INCREDIBLE SaVinGS!!!” is going to get you flagged very quickly by the algorithms.

 Here are some basic rules to follow if you want to avoid being filtered into spam automatically:

  1. Be short and direct
  2. Do NOT use shortened URLs (Google punishes these heavily!)
  3. Include the customer’s name using “merge tags” into your template builder
  4. Write the template to mirror a traditional “letter” format

Speaking of spam filters, there are a number of reasons that dealership emails end up in spam. Frankly, I think all dealers will have some of their emails end up automatically sorted into spam. That’s pretty common. The issue arises when all of your dealership’s first response emails always get filtered into spam. The reason for this can be multifaceted, and Google is intentionally vague on the issue. You can even be punished because of your sender reputation (your “SMTP server” and your IP addresses can have the negative rep), your email service provider.

For now, it’s critical you find out if your emails are being filtered. Set up a secret shop and test your own internet department. Do your emails end up in the “spam” folder? That’s pretty catastrophic if they do!

If your dealership is having all of its emails sent directly to spam, it’s time to change up your processes. First thing, turn off all automated emails. Next, strip all templates of all images and hyperlinks. Then, double down on the phones- texting and calling your customers just became your dealership’s bread and butter.

Long term, this isn’t sustainable at scale. Sending every email by hand takes too much time, and it sets you at a severe disadvantage to your competitors. You need to work with your management and your point of contact at your CRM’s company to solve this issue right away!

Spam flagging is a massive topic that I may dive into more if requested to by my readers. For now, just know that your email reputation can have huge effects on your internet departments conversion rates. If your customers don’t see your emails you can assume that they won’t set an appointment.

Review: Internet Car Sales Phone Scripts

Your dealership’s internet department is defined by its follow-up. Ineffective templates, spam filtering, and bad phone voice can all hold back your closing rate.

A good place to start? Secret shop your own dealer. Set up a fake Gmail and send in a lead to your store. See what your automated emails look like in Gmail and on your phone’s email client. When you are on the receiving end of your own follow up you may find some problems glaringly obvious!

Video Message from a Reader

Video Message from a Reader

One of the most satisfying things of building out Car Sales Story and the “Automotive BDC Manifesto” has been the interactions I’ve started having with my readers.

There is the growing Facebook group, in which readers are getting together to tackle the challenges that they face in the Automotive industry. Although early days still, this group is growing into a fantastic resource for Automotive Sales Managers, Internet Managers, and BDC Representatives. 

Yesterday morning I received this video message from one of my readers, Steve, from Canada. 

Check out how professionally he comes across:

In less than a minute, Steve conveyed his professionalism and his dedication to building a business relationship.

I’ve dismissed video messaging before, advocating my readers to use less time-consuming methods. This message, recorded directly into Youtube, is a convincing counter-argument.

Steve’s message is clear and concise. His suit and the framing of the shot speak to his professionalism. His voice is loud and clear, easy for anyone to understand.

Please respond to this email with your thoughts on video messaging for customer follow-up. Do you think that video messaging is a productive way to build relationships with your customers?

Continue the conversation in the Facebook Group!

How to Close Every Car Deal | Saturday Guide

How to Close Every Car Deal | Saturday Guide

Saturday is a day, unlike any other in the car business. Saturday is the day that embodies the sacrifice of the car sales career and the day that most of us make the bulk of our income. Over the last six-plus years, I’ve spent just about every Saturday selling cars.

Some Saturdays feel great and are full of success, while others make me question my career choice.

So what makes a successful Saturday? The things that make a successful Saturday overlap with the things that make a successful salesman.

In this article, I’ll start by reviewing the foundation for a successful Saturday. I’ll follow that up with strategies for the morning, a time when you can build momentum that sets the tone for your day. The article will finish with the physical and mental tricks that will teach you how to close every car deal (on your Saturday) as the day progresses.

If you are looking for more tips, consider my breakdown of my favorite car salesman tips!

How To Close Every Car Deal: Friday Preparation

Saturday comes around every single week without fail, and yet salespeople still fail to prepare. At my store, Saturday is an 11-hour shift for everyone in the sales department. Often our store will sell half of the week’s cars on Saturday. If you think you can dominate your sales on Saturday without proper preparation, you are wrong.

Family Preparation

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. There are a few key things you need to get done before Saturday rolls around to make the best of your day.

First thing? Set expectations with your family. Often I see salespeople handling family business on Saturday, fielding phone calls and texts throughout the day. It’s natural for your family to want to spend time with you, but they need to be on the same page. Saturday is the day that pays the bills. I’ll often see salespeople trying to leave early or sneak away because they feel guilty for not spending more family time.

Here is the reality: You work in car sales. Until you stop selling (or you negotiate a different schedule), you are going to be working on Saturday. Expect it. Since you can expect it, act on it before disappointment happens! Take your kids to the movies on a different night. Cook dinner and spend time with loved ones on the days leading up to Saturday. Many jobs require people to work on Saturdays, and plenty of people have successful relationships in those roles.

If you don’t get ahead of this first and foremost, you are going to have a bad time. I know, because I’ve been there. In past relationships, I’ve dealt with the constant struggle of guilt that comes with working all day on other’s day off. The only way I could fix the problem was through effort. I get ahead of the problem now, spending quality time with loved ones on the days that I can. I make time work for me; I don’t let it dictate my life.

Eight Hours

Tired salespeople don’t have charisma. Charisma sells cars.

It’s that simple. I still see my fellow salespeople that are self-proclaimed “night-owls” come into the dealer on Saturday morning looking like a train wreck, even though they’ve been in the car business for years. Although they know that Saturday is a big day, they still stay up until one in the morning the night before. Some are party animals, some just like Netflix. Regardless, it’s not going to work if you are looking to be the best and make lots of money.

So get your eight hours of sleep. Seven hours should be the minimum. Try and wake up with an hour to spare, so that you have time to get ready. When you rush, you will not be your best. Give yourself the time you need to prepare.

Quick tips for a better nights rest:

  • Don’t have your phone in your bedroom
  • Take a walk outside before bed (it’s easier to fall asleep if your body temperature is a bit cold)
  • Don’t eat late
  • Try to cut out all the light from your bedroom

Appointments: The Saturday Schedule

This tip came from our Facebook Group (thanks to Trent!):

“If a done deal delivery must come on Saturday to finish the deal, try to book them for the moment you open so you don’t have any wait for F&I and you can give the most amount of time to your Sat unsold appointments. Being busy on a Sat and seeing lots of deals working is infectious and a great environment for unsold customers to be a part of. (We are closed on Sundays in our local market so Sat is very booming)”

  • Trent N.

Some salespeople will congratulate themselves (myself included) for a successful Saturday if they sell two or three cars, even when those cars were sold before the day started. Plenty of times customers that order cars from the factory will choose to come Saturday. Although it’s not optimal, it is understandable from the customer’s perspective, and as such, you need to prepare.

Set all Saturday pickups for early in the day. If you can, have the deal printed before Saturday. Have the customer send you drivers license, insurance, credit application, and trade registration the day before, so you can get a deal jacket prepped. Set F&I’s expectations so everyone is on time.

Lastly, I always avoid setting 1pm-2pm appointments on Saturdays and Sundays. Those are big times for a customer to drop in. If you schedule people to come, you are going to miss out on the business that walks in the door. You want your appointments at 10 am and 4 pm.

how to sell every car - don't set 2pm appointments

Non-Specific Appointments

Just because a customer hasn’t picked out a stock number before their appointment for you to prepare, doesn’t mean that you can’t be ready to take care of them.

If a customer has selected a car before they come in, have that car ready. One superstar strategy is to gas it up the night before, and while at the gas station, send a text photo to the customer with the message “preparing for our appointment tomorrow!” That type of message confirms the appointment in a friendly way and builds anticipation.

For customers with leases coming due, have a car prepped that is going to be similar to their current vehicle. That way, you have a smooth transition car if their needs haven’t changed.

How To Close Every Car Deal: Saturday Execution

Saturday is the day to make it happen. If you have followed the Friday preparation, you should be 80% of the way to having a good Saturday. There are a few things to keep in mind on Saturday if you want to maintain your momentum throughout the day.

Walk-in Happy and Early

Assuming you’ve laid the groundwork on Saturday, you should have no problem walking into your store happy and early. Walking into your store with a smile on your face, well dressed, and ready for work, is a great feeling. That feeling of positivity can carry you for hours, and your customers will feed off of it.

We are all reflections of the people around us. You can build “good-attitude momentum at your store” if you walk in with a smile on your face and say hello to everyone. Be a happy person when you walk in, and others will absorb your positivity.

Having a positive outlook is also essential for your relationship with your managers. If your baseline is happy and ready to work, then your sales managers will be able to tell when you aren’t having a good day. That’s a good thing. When a manager knows that someone is having a rough day, they can step in and help.

If instead, you walk in every Saturday late and tired, your manager expects that of you. If you are having a bad day, your boss won’t know, since you always look terrible on Saturday mornings. As such, they won’t realize when you need support.

Diets for Success

I’m not talking about successful diets here. What you eat on Saturday can affect your wallet and your waistline. The foods that unprepared people eat tend to be “easy foods” like cereal, toast, and sweets. These simple carbs will through quickly, and you will be hungry by 11 am. That’s not going to work.

Two strategies that I have found work are high-protein breakfasts and fasting.

For high-protein breakfasts, think eggs. Scrambles, omelets, and the like are delicious and will keep you satiated for hours. I’ve also found success with Soylent, which is a high-protein meal replacement.

Fasting is a more advanced strategy. If you do pursue it, keep an eye on your mood. If you find yourself getting grumpy while you wait for your hunger to subside, this strategy probably isn’t for you. I have seen success fasting in the morning until 1 pm, at which point I eat a nice lunch that carries me through the rest of the day.

How to Close Every Car Deal: Review

Having a successful Saturday in the car business requires preparation above all else. Mastering your Saturday will have a significant effect on your income, as much of the car business is done on this stressful day.

I’d love to chat more about car sales, so I’d like to invite you over to our Facebook Group to talk more!

How to Sell More Cars on the Internet

How to Sell More Cars on the Internet

How can you maximize your internet car sales lead closing rate? In this article, I will address how to sell more cars on the internet.

I’ve been an Internet Manager at one of the largest Audi dealerships in the world for four of my six years, and I’ve sold over 2,000 cars in that time. I’ve developed a set of processes, skills, and strategies that have helped me dominate the hyper-competitive market. On top of my experience doing the job, I’ve been doing extensive research into the topic for the last eight months. 

The amount of quality content written about selling cars on the internet is pretty low, with a catch. If you realize that selling cars online is a lot like selling any other physical product online, the world opens up.

I’ve been loading up on some of that content via Jeff Walker’s “Product Launch Formula.” I signed up for a copy of his book on his website, and I received it a few days ago. Jeff Walker began his career selling things online with a stock market email list for which he charged a subscription. He has since branched into helping other people sell items online with his online courses.

Since I just released my book, his content has been incredibly useful.

What does this have to do with “how to sell more cars on the internet?” Well, in my reading of his content, I came upon his list of eight “mental triggers” that can help you sell things online. The more I thought about those triggers, the more I came back to how applicable this stuff was to my fellow Internet Sales managers and BDC reps. Anyone that sells stuff online can leverage these eight triggers to achieve better conversion rates.

In this article I’ll break down all eight triggers:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Event-Based
  3. Anticipation 
  4. Social Proof
  5. Proof
  6. Community
  7. Interaction/Conversation
  8. Scarcity

Not a bad list! You may already be thinking about how these eight triggers tie into your emails. If so, consider joining our Facebook group to share your thoughts!


BDC Manifesto and More…

BDC Manifesto and More…

If you’ve been around this site at all in the last month, you may have seen some hints that I have a brand new book coming out next week.

Now Available! Click Here to See It!

The book, “The BDC Manifesto,” is a start to finish career guide for automotive BDC representatives. It’s meant to be a comprehensive manual for representatives and managers that work in the BDC (also called “Internet Department” at some dealers).