2,157,876 reasons to measure everything.
If you’re a regular to the back page of Canadian AutoJournal, you know I spent a lot of 2018 squawking about process and accountability. I also brought to light a lot of data in the hopes that through being accountable to you, the reader, I was practising what I preached.
So, to wrap up all my musings (rants) from 2018 I want to give you 2,157,876 reasons to measure everything this year. Think of this as the reason to stick to one of the many resolutions the management team has made for the dealership. I should also add that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fizzle out by the second week of February. I’m sure if you look hard enough the large promise of planning meetings late last year are already starting to perform poorly.
Honesty and accountability
If your dealership makes one resolution, make it this: measure everything with honesty and accountability. If this market continues to slow it may just be the hardest thing you did that kept you ahead of your peers.
I had my COO, Timm Cuzzo, pull all Nextup’s 2018 data so that I could support EVERYTHING I wrote last year in the hopes that it will be enough to help your dealership understand the importance of being honest with your data and how it can drastically, eventually, help you be more profitable.
1) Anyone Say Hello to That Guest? Across dealerships in Canada, Australia and the U.S. we recorded 2,157,876 total opportunities in 2018. Appointments, Be-Backs and Walk-ins. What did your dealership record today? Many dealers I talk to always say “we don’t have 100 percent coverage” at the store. It’s so critical to set this as a foundational measurement. Without it I feel that everything else falls apart and you’ll never get true data on your business performance and profitability.
2) Manager Intros Matter. How many times this past month did a manager intro occur on the floor for a sales associate? The reason I ask is because in 2018 when a Manager Intro didn’t happen Nextup’s data showed that our clients’ closing ratios were a paltry 16%. However, when managers got involved with their team on the floor the closing ratios more than doubled at 35%. The most intriguing piece of data here is when the dealers logging this data had Manager Intros and a test drive occur with their showroom opportunities the closing ratios increased to 57%!
3) The Feel of The Wheel Seals the Deal. We recorded a solid 1,287,521 test drives on the platform last year. It’s a good number, but here’s why you want to keep improving it, year over year. ONLY 1% of showroom prospects that DID NOT go on a test drive purchased a vehicle. I have shared that nugget before, here in the magazine and on stage. Why? BECAUSE IT NEVER CHANGES, EVER. Your store’s mandate for an increase in test drive numbers should be a resolution that absolutely must happen.
4) Love the One You’re With. We constantly debate and discuss the need to get people through the sales process faster because “that’s what buyers want.” Has anyone ever recorded the people that want a dealership to take their time with them during their visit? Ensured they listened to them and delivered what they were looking for in an efficient and timely manner? No? It’s okay, we did. The AVERAGE TIME with SOLD APPOINTMENTS on those 2 million plus opportunities was 2 Hours and 41 Minutes. AVERAGE TIME with a SOLD WALK-IN? 2 Hours and 16 Minutes. Don’t let your salespeople, who are working with showroom customers, have one eye on the door for the next opportunity. They’ll close more deals being attentive staying “with their guests.”
5) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Finance Wait Times. Here’s the Good: on all of that recorded data we saw this year, the dealers that were measuring wait times FOR FINANCE clock in at an average of 10 MINUTES. The Bad (okay it’s not terrible, but it can always improve): guests were spending almost an hour—57 MINUTES—in Finance. We know the longer they’re in Finance, the lower the CSI Scores get. Where I spoke of taking our time with guests in the earlier data, this is an area that needs a cleaner measurement of time because the UGLY is when you hear of guests waiting for hours to get into Finance or spending hours haggling with them. Just check your surveys and online reviews, it’s there.
I hope you can take all of this and download it to the rest of your staff or management team. Remember your resolution, and measure everything with honesty and accountability. There’s longer-term damage to your dealership’s customer experience and profitability if you choose to ignore it. I wish you new successes this year. You got this.