I recently visited a dealership, and while I was in their meeting room, I noticed on their dry erase board an analysis of the previous months UPS. It looked like this:

Total UPS 204

Demos 61 29.9%

Write-ups 49 24.0%

Units Sold 31 15.2%

Customers just wanting information 135 66.2%


We MUST assume that EVERY customer that comes in wants information, and further, they are there for a REASON; they are looking for someone to sell them a CAR or TRUCK. How lame is it for this dealer and his management team to accept these EXCUSES from their salespeople? Who is running this asylum, the inmates?

The very first thing that came to my mind was, “How accurate are these numbers to begin with”? If the sales management accepts this hogwash, then they will accept anything. There is a reason for keeping track of one’s traffic.

Every OPPORTUNITY that walks through the door needs to be logged. What is an OPPORTUNITY? Anyone who represents the opportunity to sell an automobile to (parts and service inquiries need to be further qualified). If a person comes in TODAY, they are an OPPORTUNITY. If we are not successful today at selling them something, and they come in tomorrow, they represent a NEW opportunity, or a BE-BACK. Each time this customer comes back, they represent a new opportunity (depending upon length of time between visits).

Once we have a legitimate OPPORTUNITY, certain activities must be tracked to ascertain the performance of the salesperson and management team. Those activities should include the following:

Interview/Discovery/Qualification Goal 100%

Product Selection with manager Goal 100%

Killer Presentation Goal 80%

Planned Demonstration Goal 75%

Write-up and Negotiations Goal 50%

Sold (customer says YES, I’ll buy) Goal 25%

Delivery Goal 20%


If you are not accurately logging and tracking your traffic, how in the world do you truly know how many opportunities you could have SOLD, and how many have SLIPPED AWAY?

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Replies to This Discussion

Ok, so what were the other 69 people in the dealership for? Perhaps they were looking for windows? lol.
They didn't come to the store to buy a sandwich. Most people are scared to talk to a stranger. Even more folks "hate" the idea of buying a car. They didn't come by to "look" they came to be sold. I have always trained my guys when told by a customer that they are "just looking" to discuss the above (in friendlier terms of course). Ask: what questions do you have, then ask when are you going to be ready? We do not keep track of ups we track apps.
Another little "trick of the trade" we use when a customer says they are just looking is to use any vehicle of choice (the salesman has one already picked out) and say "You see this Vw Cabrio we just got in with only 26,000 miles, it has the neatest ?????" They have control of the customer and they are looking at a car they probally would have just overlooked, they notice the car next to it, they ask about maybe financing, etc.... If we have exhausted all means and still can't get the customer sold the salesman walks out with the customer and says "Well, if I can't sell you a car today at least let me give you $100.00", he puts his hand in his pocket and pulls out a little stack of his business cards and continues "for every customer you refer who buys a car I will pay you $100.00, make sure you write your name on the card, have them ask for me". The customers have been very responsive to this, we have quite a bit of referrals by customers who have not yet purchased a vehicle but have been back to check new inventory and keep the relationship going.
People drive in to your lot for a reason, to check out a new purchase, get a value on thier present one, get thiers repaired, or just use the bathroom. The car market has a deplorable reputaion because the industry has designed a boiler plate sales tactic used in many high pressure stores. People feel like a piece of meat in a dog pound as they walk in thier defences are immediatelty up. Get them in grind them up & make them sign and away they go. this is unfortuneate for the industry. Tracking the traffic is important data, where they came from are they looking for someting newer or older & for who. was it an ad, a referral, brand, color, etc. IF you understand your customer/client base you will sell alot more than you realize. The socioeconmoic make up is your key. if its the tv, web, newspaper, throw away books, or the backs of the local little league team shirts then thats where you spend the $$$ .
I love it!!! Something I say just about every day to my sales team!!! The day of the "tire kickers" are just about over. Time creates obligation, If someone spent the time to come all the way down to the dealership they are going to buy a car. If not from me then someone. I don't want to give them any reason to go anywhere else.
And if you accurately log your traffic you'll get your balls busted for poor closing percentage. I still can't believe people actually try to run their business based on this erroneous information. So who logs the most "UPS?" The green pea who doesn't know any better.

The more ball busting over closing percentage the fewer "UPS" get logged. That means there are fewer names and addresses for our sophisticated CRM systems to follow up with snail and email, etc. Many stores STILL aren't getting email addresses. The world has changed. I'm not giving anyone my home number or address.... but you can have my email address. The word "UP" is quite impersonal. It would make the customer feel like an impersonal piece of meat.

I've seen stores with 60% closing percentages but poor delivery percentages. Why? They were in markets where the average credit score was poor. Example, parts of Oklahoma in the late 80's. More than half the population had gone BK in the previous 18 months, and another large percentage were heading that way. I could go on and on about how undependable log statistics are.

In this day of the Internet, how many times do you count a customer as an "UP?" Frequently, our desk operations are competing with our own internet department. Who is an "UP" and who isn't? Is your dealership using a rotation system? If not, you can be assured you aren't getting accurate records. How many consumers will even give up contact info these days? Many give phony information.

Less and less of our business is being done in the showrooms these days. How does that fit in to a discussion on log statistics? I don't have all of the answers. This book is still being written. Dealers will be bidding against each other for a consumer's business while the consumer sits in front of their PC. The Internet has given buyers the control whether we like it or not.

The last vehicle I purchased myself was a vAuto case in point. The dealer didn't even know my name until we had agreed on a price, pending my arrival to drive the vehicle. I found the car using CARS.COM search tools. The dealership was either going to do things my way, or not at all.

The BHPH business is a different animal. Dealerships specializing in blemished credit can also achieve a level of control. But while there are still traditional buyers that we can sell using the old tactics, the trend is downward. I wish I knew where all this is going to lead.


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