10 May Alan Ram’s “Why Aren’t Your Customers Coming Back?”
Why Aren’t Your Customers Coming Back?
By: Alan Ram
I want to talk to you about the importance of having someone in addition to your sales staff following up with each and every unsold client. Not instead of, but in addition to! I would also encourage you to do it internally versus farming it out and having someone do it for you. I’ll get to why in a minute. So, I get it, someone comes into your dealership, and you obviously expect the salesperson to follow up with that individual. Here’s one problem with that: studies have shown that 39% of customers that visit a dealership won’t return to that dealership because they don’t like the salesperson. Why don’t they like the salesperson? Could be anything: personality differences, they thought the salesperson was too tall, too short, smelled like smoke, made an inappropriate comment, whatever the reason, they have decided that they just don’t like the salesperson. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to sell them a car. Of course you do!
Here’s the problem-
Based on my experience with salespeople, if the salesperson wasn’t necessarily feeling the love with a specific client, they’re probably not going to make that big of an effort to get back in touch. Even if they do reach the client, that person will rarely tell the salesperson “we didn’t like you”. What will they typically say if the salesperson can in fact even reach them?
“We decided to hold off.”
“We’re not going to buy anything right now.”
“We already bought something.”
…even if they didn’t! They won’t tell the salesperson they didn’t like him or her, but they will tell someone else. That’s why we want someone in addition to the salesperson following up each and every guest to your showroom.
Let’s do the math—
Let’s say you get 600 floor ups per month. Let’s say that 300 either do buy or can’t buy for whatever reason right off the bat. That leaves you 300 be back opportunities. Or does it? If 39% of those 300 don’t like the salesperson for whatever reason, the salesperson has zero chance of getting about 120 of those people back in.
Now let’s say a well-trained client service specialist or BDC agent calls those clients. Of 120, they should be able to get about 25-35% of them back in. That would be about 35 people showing back up at your dealership that would not have shown up otherwise. Of those 35, you should have a much higher closing percentage than you would on any regular be back. Why? Because when they come back in, in many cases they buy out of spite. 35 be backs could very easily translate into 20 plus deals. Those are deals you would not have had otherwise.
The point is this—
I’m sure that many people have found either a new or pre-owned vehicle at your dealership but then they were turned off by the salesperson to the point where they said, “while I like the vehicle, I’m not buying anything from that guy”. That’s why it’s critical to have someone in addition to salespeople follow-up each and every customer. Many of you will tell me that your managers are the ones making these calls and that’s great in theory, but not quite as good in reality. Most managers will make one attempt to get someone, leave a message, and then move on. I’ve found that a well-trained business development center representative or Client Service Specialist can be much more persistent and get just as good of results (if they’re trained properly).
That’s always the key, training!
Also, many times it’s a manager the client didn’t like. I realize there are outside services that will make these calls for you. In many cases they make a warm fuzzy call that identifies the objection and then relies on management to call these clients back. This is why my training has a fool proof process that will teach your BDC representatives or Client Service Specialists how to handle the call from A to Z, Z being when the buyer shows up at your dealership. There are less moving parts this way and there tends to be much better communication with management when this role is handled internally. You absolutely need someone in addition to salespeople following up each and every unsold client to ensure that 39% of your possible deals aren’t being mishandled.