5 Quick and Easy Rules To Grow Your Sales


Sometimes it’s easy to overthink this whole sales thing. Confusing concepts ranging from multi-touch attribution to your VDP strategy can boggle the average sales manager’s mind, all while seemingly moving no more metal than the confusing concepts that came before.

The truth is that Ups are down and discounting is up; inventories are bulging, sales team turnover is growing and the market is probably done routinely delivering year-over-year increases.

For the average dealer working to profitably grow sales today and into the future, now is not the time to learn new ROI metrics that take you further away from the sale.

Instead, dealers and their sales management teams would be better served focusing on running their business and employing a few simple rules that, when enforced, will help grow sales by creating a culture of accountability that drives that business.

#1: No Appointment, No Protection

In an effort to be “fair,” most dealerships protect lazy salespeople who fail to keep in contact with customers. They do this by awarding the deal to the lazy salesperson if their prior customer shows up and buys a vehicle.

This is not only not fair, it’s a fool’s bet that the customer will ever return on their own.

Once today’s consumer catches new car fever, there are just too many choices to expect they’ll remain loyal to you. Only about 50 percent of new car customers are brand loyal; how many are also dealership loyal?

Your salespeople should active market to and set appointments with their sold database. They should greet them when they service with you and follow a robust post-sale phone strategy to gain real customer loyalty.

If you want your sales team making calls to their sold database, remove the unfair protection you provide just because they sold someone a car in the past. The rule is “no appointment, no protection.” It works like it sounds. If your prior customer arrives without an appointment, salespeople are free to sell them a vehicle and retain full credit.

#2: All Calls Must Be Tracked Calls

Virtually all dealers have the necessary technology in place to track all outbound phone activity in their CRM; few actually make full use of this feature. There are usually two reasons: 1) The dealership didn’t know this was available; and/or 2) The dealership didn’t understand how valuable tracked calls can help them reach their goals.

Depending on your CRM provider, tracked outbound calls are sometimes referred to as recorded calls or CTI Calls (Computer Telephony Integration). The CRM and the phone system talk to each other so that the CRM knows when a person has called a specific customer from your database.)

Because you likely already have this capability, a call to your CRM provider will get your CRM to begin tracking outbound calls. Tracking doesn’t have to mean recording. Many dealers only use CTI to track that an actual phone call has been made, who made it, and how long they spoke.

Knowing that actual calls are being made versus hoping that your sales teams aren’t just checking off their phone activities (which they probably are) helps dealers drive higher sales with existing leads, customer base and be-backs.

Given this, the rule is “all calls must be tracked calls.” If a phone activity is marked as being completed, it never happened; only properly tracked phone calls in the CRM count as a valid completion.

#3: Zero Past Due Activities

Dealers pay thousands for their CRM for a reason; yet most salespeople have past due activities piling up in their To Do lists. Many of these same dealers even have “rules” in place that require salespeople to successfully complete all of the activities assigned by the CRM.

If you want salespeople to complete CRM assigned activities, then the “zero past due activities” rule accomplishes this. If you have past due activities this morning, and you worked yesterday, you don’t get to catch any Ups today. Feel free to ride your desk, your CRM and especially your phone, and generate some appointments.

#4: Miss an Up, Lose One

Every dealer has a rule similar to “all Ups must be logged in the CRM.” The problem is almost no one enforces this. The “miss an Up, lose one” rule addresses this and means that if you catch an Up that you failed to put in the CRM, you lose your next spot in the Up rotation. Go generate some business from your database.

Today’s Ups are more ready-to-buy and, thus, much more valuable than in the past. Given this, no dealer can afford to have prospects visit their lots anonymously or without some interaction by a sales manager.

#5: Miss a T.O., Lose Two

Just as every dealer has a rule requiring the logging of every Up, every dealer has a “100 percent T.O.” rule. Again, almost no one enforces this.

A properly executed T.O. (or management turnover) gives managers or closers the opportunity to calm or close a difficult prospect. Without a T.O., most new salespeople would sell few customers; with a T.O., they can and enjoy better than average close rates.

When appropriately applied, the “miss a T.O., lose two” rule puts the right amount of emphasis on the need for 100 percent turnovers. If your Up leaves the lot without a T.O., you miss your next two spots in the Up rotation. Grab a phone and call your be-backs – likely for the rest of the day.

But, These Rules Are Too Drastic!

Rules matter. If any of these rules sound too harsh, learn to be happy with mediocrity and continue to ride market waves. Great people love structure and good performers need rules to keep them on track.

If nothing else, ask yourself what make more sense in the current market conditions: To continue chasing confusing concepts or to create a culture of accountability grounded in rules that help drive your business forward?

The choice should be easy.

Good selling!