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Ask Joe

“Question: We want our managers to talk to every
customer before they leave without buying. When is
the best time to get managers involved?”
“Make sure you ‘touch the desk’ before they walk.”
Isn’t this just saying: ‘Torch the deal completely, then see if a manager can rebuild it from the ashes’?
Maybe 1 out of 5 actually talk to a manager on a good day. Unfortunately, that’s usually only after the salesperson has completely lost any chance of making the sale.
I completely agree that every prospect on your lot should be talking to a manager before they leave. But in real life, this doesn’t always happen and you need to fix it.
This question keeps coming up. It’s management’s responsibility to make sure they talk to a customer, not the salesperson’s. So the rule should be that salespeople need to touch the desk before the sale is lost and the prospect blows out. Correctly stated…
“Managers should touch every prospect early in the process!”
Stop waiting for salespeople to touch the desk when they’re about to lose a sale and start getting involved earlier in every deal, unless you’d mess up a done deal or unless you can’t stop talking about making a deal. Just introduce yourself.
Meeting prospects early on has a ton of benefits…
• By introducing yourself sooner than later, you’ll know the people, get a chance to build rapport and make friends before you need to get involved later to help close the sale.
• You can easily get people to take demonstrations who didn’t really plan to drive the vehicle.
• Meeting you gives the prospect another person to like at your dealership and that alone helps close more deals.
• Your management title helps reassure them, especially with our more cautious buyers in today’s market.
• If price comes up, your salesperson can hand it off to you on the spot and you can easily bypass it with, “Don’t worry about the price, I’ll put all of that together for you later when you guys find the right car. You just find the perfect vehicle and we’ll find a way to help you fit it in your budget.”
• Now you’ve already changed any price objection to budget, and now you’ll be working terms instead of dropping the price.
• Because you know them, it’s easy to step in and nudge the sale back on track if there’s a problem.
This is so much more effective than waiting until your 6-car guy has blown the deal, negotiated price and tells you to hurry because his customer is ‘walking’.
Don’t think about talking to them just to save a deal. Get out there and meet people early, so you can make more deals.