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Ask Joe

“Would You List A Few Ways I Can Get Some More Prospects?”

Sure. Prospecting is a piece of cake. Too many salespeople think it’s such a tough job, but in real life – it’s easy. Prospecting for sales is easy, unlike the prospectors who came to California back in the old days to find gold. They had to find the gold first. Then they had to dig it up.

In automobile sales, we already know where the gold is. Every person and family is a gold mine. There are ups and downs every day in sales and some sales are easy and some are tough and some don’t pay much even when you do make the sale. But you always have to remember each person will purchase 12 vehicles in their lifetimes and each family has about 3 vehicles – which means each family represents a 36 car account and that makes prospecting a ‘have to’ if you want to sell a lot and earn a lot of money in your career.

Some easy places to prospect…

1. Your present customers are your best prospects. These people come from two and three car families or more and it seems that they always need another vehicle. Besides, they feel more comfortable dealing with you again than having to find another salesperson.

45 / 90 … No matter what else you do, stay in touch with all of your previous customers by phone 4 times per year (every 90 days). And set up your mail out program to send a mailer (newsletter) every 45 days or so. Talk about the new models, how to “winterize” your car, or where you went on your vacation.

What you talk about in your newsletter isn’t critical, just keep it professional. Bottom line – just get your name in front of them by mail nine times a year and by phone 4 times and it’s a safe bet 71% of the time, you’ll be the only salesperson in the car business they want to deal with when it’s time to make a purchase.

2. Referrals… Ask your present customers and everyone else you know for referrals at least five times a day.

Repeat customers and referrals have a 50%+ closing ratio on their first visit. That’s much higher than stalking the lot day after day hoping for an “up” who’ll close on average just 10% of the time.

Go back and review JVTN® Series 3 and 4 on follow up and referral prospecting and phones and just start asking for referrals. And remember, 30% of the people have a family member who’ll be trading vehicles within the next 90 days. (Another gold mine.)

3. Advertise… Spend some money to get customers in to see you. The dealership does it and it works for them.

A small ad in a neighborhood paper in smaller communities is very inexpensive. Or just build your own mailing list of people you have met or talked to and get your newsletter out to them every 45 days. Especially now with email – get everyone’s email address, create an online newsletter or your own blog or your own website and maintain contact with your customers.

The Internet and email have made it so much easier for you to stay in touch with your customer base on a regular basis.

The cost is minimal compared to the extra sales you’ll make.

BIG TIP: You also have to learn how to prospect because you’ll get a referral or miss it completely by less than a dozen words in what you say when you talk to someone about a vehicle in the future.

If your dealership subscribes to JVTN®, watch Series 3 and 4 and brush up on your questioning techniques in Series 2 so you can learn how to control the conversation, the sale and just about any situation that comes up on the lot, on the phone or when you’re prospecting for new business.

Most important – just do something because when you get enough irons in the fire, you can really start cooking!