The New Definition of Closing - The Rikess Group The New Definition of Closing - The Rikess Group

The New Definition of Closing

by / Monday, 03 October 2016 / Published in One Price Selling, Used Cars

According to Call Source, 80% of prospects contact a dealership before coming in—by phone, email, lead form, text or chat.  So when do you really close a sale? I believe the real close today starts before the prospect even visits your dealership; it begins with those initial telephone and Internet contacts.

Because the close begins during those initial contacts, I contend that a BDC—whose purpose is to withhold information in order to set appointments—is among the most counter-productive strategies a sales department could use. No prospect asks, “May I set an appointment to see a salesperson?” They call for specific information that can only be provided by a salesperson, not a BDC agent. If you won’t give it to them, the next dealership will.

So, a new definition of closing should be: The initial interaction with today’s prospect determines where they will set their appointment, so beginning the close requires providing accurate and complete information in a high-quality manner that will earn the appointment. To fulfil this requirement means relying not on BDC reps but on Apple Store Genius-type salespeople providing the knowledge and transparency earning them the right to request an appointment.   Some Data Points:

  • According to J.D. Power, 74% of prospects will drive 20 miles or more to receive what they perceive to be a great experience at a dealership. How do they determine whether they’ll receive a great experience? That first interaction and what customers report on review sites.
  • Driving Sales data says that 39% of prospects won’t consider a dealership unless they can easily receive a competitive price in advance of a visit. Dealerships with BDCs and “old school” management unwilling to quote prices risk losing almost 4 in 10 sales opportunities. Why turn away potential customers? To protect grosses?
  • According to DrivingSales’ 2015 Customer Experience Study, 80% of vehicle buyers visit only one or two dealerships before buying. This data underscores the need to have a very positive initial interaction with a highly knowledgeable salesperson on the first contact.
  • According to Accenture, 75% of consumers said they would “buy a car online” if given the opportunity. If you truly believe in giving customers what they want, you can take a step toward online buying by offering remote delivery. This is clearly a trend from progressive dealers I know. All the new entrants to used-vehicle sales (Carvana, Beepi, Vroom, etc.) basically only offer home delivery, and they are thriving. By aggressively offering “remote delivery” you expand your sales “footprint” and take market share from your competitors.

Another reason for enabling prospects to gather as much accurate information as they wish from your dealership in advance of a store visit is it saves everyone—customers and dealership employees alike—time and aggravation when they’re at the store.  Often, the “elusive” one-hour sales process can actually be achieved and you get more of those 5-star online ratings that will generate leads for your store.

Does your dealership want to close more sales? Seems like a silly question…but, if you’re not handling the initial contact correctly and giving prospects more of what they want, you’re costing yourself appointments, leads, and sales.

If you would like more information about this strategy I’d be pleased to run a webinar for you. Just let me know if you’re interested and we’ll set up a time to visit. You can reach me at:

  • C) 916-715-8129



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