New and used car sales departments everywhere live and die by the “T.O.” A “T.O.” or “Turn Over” is a strategy employed in sales processes universally, to present a prospect with a fresh perspective into the buying process, particularly when the process may have stalled. To give them another point of view when they may have hit a wall.
Your General Manager, General Sales Manager, New Car Manager and Used Car Manager would not DREAM of “letting a customer walk” over the prospect of not speaking to a manager before they left the building. That’s how important the T.O. process is. I can’t imagine how many vehicles in your used and new car sales departments actually occurred simply because of the T.O. process was employed. Ask your GM!
This happens simply because customers will get to a point where the personality of the sales person involved may not be able to overcome the objections presented by the customer or really just any other small thing that may be holding the customer’s decision process for ransom. It’s a common process that results in many more sales of new and used vehicles.
So wait, what about Service Department Sales? Could we re-hash and close more sales in service simply by ASKING THE CUSTOMER ONE MORE TIME? Obviously, I’ve baited you with this question because OF COURSE WE CAN! In fact I have introduced this to a number of Dealer clients I work with and ones that have EXECUTED have had phenomenal results! Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to try this in YOUR store!
Steps to the T.O.
- Create a T.O. log to record your results and track progress. Make sure to include; The Advisor name, the RO number, the type of repair or maintenance done, the Parts amount and the Labor amount. Record the ones you CLOSE and the one’s you DON’T. Over time you can notice trends in WHAT is being sold and by WHO. One store I work with managed to sell $49K in parts & labor in ONE MONTH using this process!
- Create a T.O. basket – This is a common place the RO’s will be placed should you not be immediately available. In this way, you can call the customer back and have a conversation when you have the time to do so. Even if a day or so has transpired I recommend you still do the call back. ALSO if it’s a WAITER, devise a method to get notified at once if your not in your office so you can take a crack at the folks that are waiting when you can.
- Take a “soft sell” approach. This is a time to embrace your customer to ensure they are getting the attention they and YOU want! Building rapport is so important and here’s a perfect opportunity to do so. Start with asking how their visit was handled, how attentive their Advisor was and start a relationship with the customer.
- Offer your amenities – It may seem obvious and perhaps your Advisor already did but review your alternative transportation options and also SPECIAL FINANCING choices. Sometimes these opportunities may make your customer reconsider and take you up on a good offer. Sometimes the Advisor may have failed to offer or emphasize it enough in the original approach.
- Prioritize your offerings and give options – Be sure to give you customer information on what CAN wait and also what SHOULD NOT wait. Your candidness on WHAT CAN WAIT will give a tremendous amount of weight to your recommendations of what SHOULD NOT wait. By using this approach, you are less likely to “blow people out of the water” with a lot of services and you are providing an option that is different than ALL OR NOTHING.
Training Opportunities Abound
This process will bring you a lot of “AHA!” moments. You will get to see firsthand HOW your Advisors are setting up their estimates and pitching your customers. The very fact that you are T.O.-ing deals will force your Advisors to tighten up their methods and hopefully “up their game”. Make sure to “debrief” your Advisors and techs post T.O. so they can sharpen their techniques! Did the Advisor offer prioritized choices? Special Financing options? Has the MPI been properly executed? Did your Tech recommend legitimately needed additional services? Are your mandated policies and procedures being followed to the “T”? This will give you easy and ample evidence of real world examples so you can praise when appropriate, coach, counsel and of course, provide discipline when needed.