July 26, 2004 – Why log sales prospects?

I was recently asked by a salesperson if I were still on the floor selling motorcycles would I want to waste my time filling out a Guest Register? My answer was that over the years I have become way to lazy to even consider for a moment trying to sell without using a Guest Register.
Here are just a few of the reasons why anyone wanting to close as many deals as possible would NEVER consider working without an accurate Guest Register.

Are we properly staffed?
If ALL prospects are logged correctly, I can show management at a glance if the current sales staff is able to effectively handle 100% of the available prospects.
If the sales staff is handling 100% of the available prospects correctly, I would have two comments for my manager.
n You do not need to hire any more sales staff to dilute the existing staff’s opportunity.
n You can with confidence increase the dealership’s promotions and advertising since the staff is handling 100% of the prospects correctly.
However, if the sales staff is so busy that it cannot properly greet guests/prospects; diagnose their wants, needs, desires, and motivations; show them the product available that best suits their needs; promote your facility and staff as an answer to their needs, and then ask for the order, management has to make changes.
These might include adding staff and limiting additional activities that would drive more prospects through the door. If you are not properly handling existing traffic, why generate more traffic that would not be properly handled and would likely go to the competition? Or, worse yet, what if they never made a powersports purchase and consequently never became part of our industry?

Do we have the right products?
I can tell 95% of the dealerships in this country what they are going to sell in the coming months with only two documents. Their current inventory and pending orders.
Unlike the auto industry, which can readily dispose of buying or trade-in mistakes through auctions and professional wholesalers, the powersports dealer for the most part must retail what he has purchased.
Without a Guest Register to show what his guests really wanted to purchase, he probably will ponder last year’s sales and make the same mistakes all over again.
So, as a salesperson I want to show my boss what it is that our guests really want to buy because I know I will sell more if we have the right products, new or used.

Are we selling at the right price?
Without a good Guest Register and a solid sales system, we have no way of really knowing if we are selling at the right price. What do I mean by that?
If I have no way of knowing how many prospects were “written up” (who made a firm committed offer to buy at any price acceptable or not to management), compared to how many vehicles we actually sold, I truly have no way of knowing the market value of our products.
With an accurate Guest Register it would not be uncommon to have a conversation something like this:
“You know what, boss? I didn’t get paid much this pay period and you say it is because I didn’t sell much! Well I’m here to show you that it was not because I didn’t sell, It was because you didn’t say, Yes. According to our Guest Register, I was able to write up 45% of the people I spoke to. But you only said Yes to less than half of those and our finance department was only able to provide financing for 30% of those you said Yes to.
“See boss, I did my job; I took care of the prospects you brought in the door. Maybe the problem is not me, but maybe it lies with the kind of prospects you are advertising to.
“Maybe you need to look closer at the market value of what we are selling and say Yes more often.
Also, if the average PowerHouse Top Gun is financing 57% of what they deliver and we are only financing 30% maybe the reason I did not sell much was because of our weak F&I department. Really, boss, now that I see it so plainly here on the Guest Register I think you owe me some commissions for the units I “sold” but you did not “deliver.”
Like I shared with that salesperson, there are many more reasons to have an accurate Guest Register, but if it were only these three that would be more than enough for me if I were a salesperson today.
Without a solid Guest Register it is impossible to know how to most efficiently promote and grow your dealership. psb

Bill Shenk may be reached toll free at 866.896.3759 or email Bill@phdservices.com.

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