- Prospecting and Follow-up
If your existing economy has slowed down it is likely that your existing customers will be doing their decision making for a longer period of time. Knowing this, prospecting and following-up with your existing customers is now more important than ever.
Building stronger relationships with your existing customers, who already have the confidence to do business with you, will prove more profitable today and in the future.
Here is an example:
Real Example (Estimated repurchase cycle up from 24 to 30 months)
Customers that have bought from you in the past 5 years
The average number of months a customer will repurchase
This month you have this many customers ready to purchase
Staying focused on your existing customers should be a top priority for success.
- Forecasting Inventory/Supply Properly
You need to use a measurement tool to make sure you maintain the right number of days of inventory/supply available at all times. In difficult times it is even more critical to have the necessary inventory/supply available when a customer arrives so as not to lose those most valuable sales opportunities to your competition.
- Increase Your Marketing Effort
The key word here is marketing effort, not expense. Your marketing expense still needs to be based on a realistic sales plan. As discussed in Item 1, good follow-up through phone calls, e-mails, and personal visits directly to your existing customers and potential target markets are actions that will create the greatest results when there are fewer customers visiting your dealership.
- Management Focus On The Sale
The top priority for a sales manager is “If am working with a salesperson or customer I am doing my job”. Every other task I am supposed to do is a second priority. Make sure you are completely focused on selling during regular business hours. While it is important to do other administrative work; just make sure you allocate the time to do it after hours if necessary.
- Measuring and Managing Sales Activity
To better manage and coach your sales team, it is now more critical to know how your sales team is performing to generate sales. Understanding things like closing ratios, presentation percentages, and the speed in which your respond to an internet lead will help you as a manager take the necessary actions to create success instead of failure. You can no longer afford to hope that more customers walking through the door to produce your success. Focusing on Sales Activity will help you coach and improve results.
- Stay Positive
Keep the news paper and news on television out of your business and do not engage in conversations with anyone on your team about the economy or about how bad things are. Everyday focus on what can be done and not what cannot be done.
- Short Term Focus – Long Term Planning
It is absolutely critical to focus on the current situation and make sure we optimize as much business as we can now. However it is also important to remember that this difficult economic situation is temporary, much like the great economy was, as a result never forget the fundamentals of selling Value and Creating Clients to develop customer loyalty for the future.
- Keep The Store Perfect
More than ever the competition is going to be tougher and clients will be able to take more care in their decision of what to buy, where they buy, and from whom.
- Take amazing care of your business appearance every day.
- Make sure your display is impeccably clean.
- Rotate your displays at least every 2 days.
- Make sure you team comes to work well presented and groomed.
- Keep your work areas tidy.
- Product Knowledge
More demanding customers will have more time to research what you sell, make sure your team is prepared.
- Plan weekly training for all of your sales team around everything you sell.
- Make sure your sales team reviews competitive information on a weekly basis.
- Make sure each sales team member has updated marketing and sales information.
- Using Your Website
When was the last time you updated the information on your website? Most businesses report that more than half of customers are using the internet as a means to help them make their purchase decisions.
- How quickly do you respond to your leads that come from your website? The most important key performance indicator for success with an internet lead is response time. The goal is to respond to a customer inquiry while your lead is still at their computer.
- Make sure your current advertising promotions show up on your website.
- On every form of marketing material you use, clearly list your website address. You want to drive more traffic to your website!