As written by Owner of Rush4th Consulting, Timothy Rushforth
In this blog we’re looking at two of the new roles dealerships should be employing to meet the ever-increasing demands of the connected and well-informed consumer.
1. Dedicated Handover Specialist (DHS)
Having worked on this topic in over 300 operational dealerships, in many regions around the globe, it is clear that in most cases dealerships focus on how many vehicles have been delivered in a period rather than when they were delivered. When studied it is ‘the norm’ that vehicle deliveries peak considerably towards the end of that period. In a recent volume/luxury brand this accounted for 70-80% of deliveries being done in the last 5-7 working days of each month.
But this is logical you might think, as the sales are made throughout said period and so they build as the month progresses, which is true. Unfortunately, many of those delivered towards the end of the month are done so, not because of the usual delay factors such as waiting finance approval, the customer to pay outstanding cash balances and so on, but because of a lack of organisational structure and focus on the financial requirements of the business.
Consider also the carryover each month; these are order intakes and completed deals from the previous trading period that could not be delivered at that time. Unfortunately, many of these also get batched with the current deals and roll-on towards the end of this new trading period.
Vehicle deliveries equal cash flow for the business and earnings (think motivation) for the sales consultant. So spreading these out across the trading period not only evens out the workload, but makes better financial sense for the business as a whole. To accomplish this, a dealership organisation needs to address vehicle deliveries as a discipline; project management if you will.
To administer this practice, a dealer delivering more than 30 units a month – yes one-a-day – should seriously consider having a dedicated vehicle handover specialist to take charge of all sold units from order intake to vehicle delivery. More expense? Not really. It depends on how you structure the payments. An example in use is the sales consultants pay the DHS from their own commission; in said case it’s US$10 per delivery for each of their circa 50 units per month. In another case, a separate commission scheme is structured to pay the DHS and accounted for within the overall business plan. There are many variations available to you.
Added to the obvious financial benefits is the increase in customer satisfaction. Delays and unfilled promises due to excuses such as “sorry the cars not ready to hand over yet, there’s a delay in…” and so on (typical excuses made by unorganised sales operations) are one of the biggest killers of a happy and trusting relationship. Also consider the impact of the PDI and vehicle registration processes when they’re hit with a large quantity of vehicles to process. How much better would it be for everyone – sale consultants, finance, after-sales, admin etc. – if this was a structured and controllable discipline?
With aureso, the vehicle delivery process has its own dedicated delivery funnel, not unlike the sales funnel we all know and love. With this tool the DHS cannot only schedule your deliveries daily but review progress live. Learn more about it – here.
In many markets, this is both an essential and normal requirement of the business. In other markets, the import / duty costs of registering the car has a massive impact on the business financials. However, without exception, every OEM requires their dealers to run demonstrators because, in most cases, it’s recognised as the single most effective selling tool in the sales funnel.
I’m not going to get into the various ways vehicles are actually used – as the disparity across regions and markets is vast – but let’s just say, whatever solution is found to put a consumer into a vehicle for a test drive, it is the management of that process and that asset we’re going to look at.
I’ve seen boxes of keys thrown under the reception desk, keys spread across different locations, organised locked key boxes, boards with coloured tags, and “has anyone got the keys to…” on my journeys. I’ve also seen blank demo log books only filled in when the OEM or Importer regional team is visiting, incomplete log books, missing ‘legally required’ authorisation and agreement forms, and then there’s the demo vehicles themselves. I’ve seen demo vehicles covered in weeks of bird droppings, dust, rain marks and basically unclean, inside and out. Then again I’ve seen clean cars come back from one demo and, without any checks or preparation, go out for the next one. Neither scenario is satisfactory, I’m sure you would agree, and there’s a very simple way to fix this; the DCC.
Whilst actually doing demos is perhaps not a frequent as many theorists would like – many prospects/customers purchase cars without wanting a demo. However, this fact alone makes those that do, or are prepared to take one, even more important. Somethings to consider: how many deals do you close from doing test drives? What’s the failure to close a deal rate for these people and what are the reasons? How many deals do you do from not doing test drives at all, and again, why?
If you can’t answer these questions, aureso does it for you and it enables your business practices to represent your brand. You can write me directly for more information – here.