How Your Dealership Should Handle The “I Already Bought” Phone Call

So a few days ago I was sitting in the showroom of a dealership waiting to talk to the GM about and I happened to overhear a salesperson talking to a customer on his cell phone.

“Oh, you did.” the salesperson’s shoulders and demeanor immediately changed.

“What did you buy?” he asked, hoping they bought a different brand because at least this way he didn’t really lose the customer to something he did.

“How much did you pay?” wanting to know so he could go tell his sales manager how HE missed the deal as not to put any blame on himself.

Then here’s what got me laughing…

He told this person who did not buy from him “Ok, I’ll follow up with you in a few years.”

I wanted to jump up from my chair and scold him but I was there for a greater purpose and in this instant it gave me a great “close” for the GM who I was about to see.

Every dealer loses deals, sometimes you know why other times you don’t… it’s a part of doing business.

Let’s go through the process so you’ll know how this all relates to referrals.

  • You buy a lead or get an up at your dealership
  • You set an appointment
  • You demo the vehicle
  • You give the customer numbers
  • The customer gives you an objection
  • The customer goes home
  • You follow up and find out they bought somewhere else

Let me ask you this. How many “man hours” are involved in this process?

5 hours, 10 hours, 15 hours, 20 hours?

How much have you spent to “go through the motions”… $200, $500, $1000?

Now most dealers, would quit here and write it off to missing a car deal and tell themselves…

“We’ll try harder next time”

“We’ll talk about it in the meeting”

…Or some other self serving statement so they can get on to the next customer.

But what you should be doing is getting these lost and missed customers signed up for your referral program.

When that dreaded phone call comes later today or tomorrow instead of letting your salespeople sulk the rest of the day try this:

“I’m sorry we missed you this time but hopefully you had a great experience here at ABC Motors.”

“What I’d like to do is get you signed up for our Referral Program because you can earn up to $300 for sending your family and friends down to see us when they are in the market for a vehicle.”

“What I’ll do is get you signed up and send out all of the information to your house would that be OK?”

Most customers, even lost one’s will be ok with this and now you have a way to monetize all of the hard work your staff has already put in because once they sign up for your referral program they’ve given you permission to send marketing messages to them.

Plus, it should be an easy sign up because you already have their information in your CRM.

Getting as many people signed up for your referral program is the goal and you should use every opportunity to do so…

Learn how to “restart” the referral program at your dealership — watch my 15 minute FREE Webcast.

There’s nothing to buy… just content, strategies and actionable ideas.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece! And if you enjoyed, please scroll down and click the “recommend” button.

With over 17,000 car deals under his belt Gus Skarlis’ experience has led him to be considered the World’s Leader For Auto Dealer Referral Marketing.

Gus has been featured on Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC and Yahoo for his referral marketing strategies and has worked with some of the largest dealer groups helping them dominate their markets.