Monkey See, Monkey Do

Inspect what you expect/Monkey See, Monkey Do

Let’s talk about your dealership CRM for a moment. Because, likely, it is a tool your dealership is spending THOUSANDS of dollars on each month. Ironically, this is the tool that has the POTENTIAL to have the HIGHEST ROI of any other advertisement or resource you can pay for! Your CRM collects data and provides mining opportunities to people who have contacted you from near or far, via internet, telephone, or stepping foot in your store. Sales Managers, General Managers, Owners….how is YOUR current relationship with your CRM? Are you recording notes, keeping track of your scheduled appointments, following up on your “no shows”, thanking your unsold visitors, contacting your customers post-sale, reaching out to maturing vehicles in your market, or taking advantage of any of the other multitude of opportunities your own CRM provides — AT NO ADDITIONAL COST? Can you log on to your CRM from outside of your dealership, and know exactly how many appointments are scheduled, what customers are currently on test drives or in the write-up phase, which customers have been moved into the Finance Office, and which customers are taking delivery of their new vehicles? If your answer is “NO”, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!

More importantly, how, EXACTLY, is your front line sales force and sales managers using or not using this tool? Are your sales managers telling your salespeople to “get it in the CRM,” but not taking the actions themselves? (Nod your head, because this is the case in 98% of dealerships across the country!)

What I’m about to say may read somewhat harshly, but professional census leads me to believe this is a SIGNIFICANT and problematic issue within our industry — and the SOLUTION starts with YOU!

If you want your salespeople to use the CRM, you better be twice as proficient as they are! Don’t expect them to enter notes if you don’t, and don’t expect them to escalate the prospect process for you. Make sure they know how to schedule an appointment, then when they tell you they have “4 appointments today, boss!” They better be in the system. Learn how to escalate your prospects from lead to appointment to shown – FOLKS THIS IS WHERE YOUR $$$$ IS!!! If those appointments are no-show, you and the person who scheduled it need to be on the phone asking “how’s the traffic-you on your way?” Or rescheduling. If they walk into your showroom, they are in a different phase of the research process than if they continue to sit behind the computer –and if your system is not showing they walked in the door, you’re probably not following up the same as you would if you knew they were unsold showroom traffic. It doesn’t matter what CRM you use, if you don’t know how to use it, and enforce its use, you’re losing money! The best system is crap if it’s not used, and the worst system is gold if it is used! Get training. Train your salespeople on the CRM on a regular basis. You lose more money with inefficient CRM practices than you do taking 30 minutes out each week to train yourself and your people. But no matter what, if this isn’t your “style ” and you’re not going to be a part of it, you don’t want to make more money for yourself, your sales team, your dealership…don’t tell people how you use your system, leave notes, and work every prospect…because one day, a professional may walk into your store, as I have many times, listen to what you say, see what’s REALLY going on in your CRM, and realize you’re not the professional you claim to be. Don’t tell me you use the system, then tell me you talked to a customer before I did, when your own notes, Mr/Ms Sales Manager, don’t exist. If I schedule an appointment for your showroom and the customer walks in, mark it in the system so no one has to guess. It’s the difference between sounding professional on the phone or sounding like an idiot. It’s the difference between making money or losing money!

If you have a CRM Manager, Internet Manager, or any other soul in your dealership who has the responsibility of consolidating your CRM for duplicates and sold vehicles, you owe it to them, and to your payroll budget to ensure that EVERYONE in the dealership is PROPERLY using the dealership. The time it takes to reconcile the CRM daily, weekly, or monthly, is time better spent in other ways that produce MORE MONEY than chasing vehicles that have already been sold, or matching spouses and co-buyers to one another in the computer system.  As human nature is what it is, you will always have necessity for some amount of reconciliation, but when your teams work together to ensure prospects are properly updated in the CRM, and duplicates are not created where there is not a necessity to do so, you free up time for PROPER follow up with those prospects who will ultimately purchase vehicles from you!


If your dealership is in need of CRM process review, if you are the dealership management and need to learn how to use your CRM so you have the ability to know what is happening in your store at ALL times, reach out and Dealer Quarterback would be honored to assist you. Call us today at 310-428-3362

Dani aka The Dealer Quarterback

Dani Zandel got her start in the auto dealership world on a rainy day in January, 1998. The rest is history, which includes jumping head first into running Internet Departments before CRMs became popular (using Yahoo! Mail)...before Internet Departments existed... before Internet leads arrived from any source other than the vehicle manufacture! Dang! This bio just aged Dani way too much! Since those early days, Dani has sold vehicles, trained in the F&I office, and excelled at Internet Lead Handling, while exploring other low-cost, high ROI opportunities to sell cars to the community. Some of Dani's accomplishments include Certificates of Completion for the F&I and Internet programs at College of Automotive Management, as well as the Human Resources program at Loyola Marymount University (extension). She has rank advanced as a representative of Send Out Cards, and believes every salesperson and every car dealership should consider the benefits of showing gratitude to car buying prospects and customers. Dani has had the joy and pleasure of working with great dealerships -- most recently training the BDC team at a prominent Los Angeles Cadillac dealership, and previously implementing a BDC from non-existence to operational success for a Toyota dealership, and before that, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Ram and Fiat dual rooftop dealership. Her combined experiences in HR Management, Telephone & Internet Communications, and understanding of the technical side of CRMs, in addition to her own car dealership experiences, give Dani a leg up in the organization processes involved to create and install BDC departments, and restructure Internet departments within car dealerships. Dani professionally seeks to work with car dealerships on the specific tasks of CRM Automation, BDC installation, BDC/Internet training, and Appreciation Marketing. Dani's future personal goals include travel to the crystal blue waters of Santorini, Greece, and acclaimed success as a consultant, trainer, and speaker on the circuit of Automotive Dealership Seminars, specializing in the topics related to Internet and BDC success. Dani is the author of "How to Create Customer Loyalty" (available on Amazon) and is currently working on her 2nd book (still untitled) targeting an audience of Car Dealership Owners, GMs, and Sales Managers.