Every lead you receive – Web lead, phone-in or RV lot visitor – is absolutely chock full of pent up potential!
Sure, they might purchase an RV today, but have you considered the awesome worth of a lead – if – they become one your coveted “customers-for-life?”
Today, we’re pleased to bring you a Guest Post from Mike Martin, General Manager of Quantech Software, developers of Q-GPS an Internet Lead Management ILM/CRM for RV dealerships. Mike understands how to create “customers-for-life” and shares his valuable insights here.
———————- Guest Post ———————-
Post Sales Follow Up
Almost every sales manager or dealer principal I speak with wants to improve post sales follow up. They realize the financial benefit of turning the one-time customer into a lifetime customer. Unfortunately few dealerships execute solid post-sales follow up strategies.
I recently had a conversation with a new General Manager at an RV dealership. He was very disappointed that his dealership was seeing RV’s they had sold one or two years ago coming back to him wholesale from other dealerships. He was mad as hell! As far as he was concerned they were losing out on two sales opportunities. He concluded the main reason for this was lack of post-sales follow up.
Q: How many times have you received calls from sales people following up a big-ticket purchase?
Over a period of a couple of weeks I randomly asked people how many post-sale follow-up calls they’d had. All could count the number on one hand and all were limited to auto purchases. I then asked, what their response would be if they were called every once in awhile from the sales person that sold them their RV? Everyone said they’d not only be surprised, they’d welcome it. They felt the calls would be great opportunities to book early service, or possibly even to start talking about upgrading to a bigger or newer RV. They all said this (off season) was a good time to call because the previous season was still fresh in their minds, so any service or satisfaction issues would come out in the discussion.
Q: Do your sales staff routinely call their customers?
If they don’t they should. The goal of the call isn’t to sell, it’s to create rapport. These calls help ensure that you’re the first person that comes to mind next time they want to buy.
Sales staff should ask customers about:
- Their experience using their RV.
- How often they used it or what was their best experience?
- Does it meet or exceed their expectations?
You’ll be surprised what comes from these conversations. Customers will point out what they like best, and what they don’t like (great information when you’re in the thick of next year’s selling season). You’ll uncover opportunities for service, as well as opportunities for trading in what they have now for something bigger or better. Ask for a referral. Ask if you can transfer them to the service department to get that issue that’s been bugging them looked at. There’s lots of opportunity! The calls you make now may not turn into sales this month. They will set you up really well for next year’s season.
So what’s the best way to implement and execute post-sales follow up?
Most manual (post-sale) follow up systems involve a paper list of previous year’s sales acquired from a Dealer Management System, accounting, or F&I program. Sales staff are then tasked to make the calls.
This system can fall flat for many reasons:
- The list may be so large it’s unmanageable
- There’s no place for sales staff to make notes related to the calls and
- It’s a process not easily managed (by Sales Management).
A negative for me is that it puts the onus on non-sales staff to create the lists in the first place, which reduces sales staff accountability. In my opinion software is the best solution because it can automatically schedule post sales follow-up activities. It also places 100% of the accountability on sales staff; and if calls are scheduled on the anniversary of the sale it makes the number of daily calls more manageable.