One of the major roadblocks that I have found to getting customers on the showroom floor via the Internet and the phone is selling the car instead of the appointment. Whether you work on the floor as a car salesman, in the BDC or in the Internet Sales Department this pertains to you. We all know the desired end result is to sell the car, but you can’t do it over the phone or through email.

Selling the Car AppointmentI am not a fan of calling it an appointment because an appointment to many people makes them thinks of the doctor, dentist or accountant which is never fun as I talked about in a previous post on car sales appointments.  However I will use the term here to make things clear. One of the biggest hurdles of getting someone with car sales experience is to get them to stop focusing on the car and start focusing on why the potential customer should come and see them.

Selling the Appointment is About Them

When you have a customer on the phone or you are communicating with them through email they are in a familiar environment and they are thinking logically and what we need to do is to get them to start feeling and thinking emotionally. When all you do is provide them with details and information you are the same as the next dealership, but when you engage their senses and make them think about how your dealership is better, how you are better and how nice it would be to have a new car you are selling the appointment, not the car. Are you talking about the ride, the feel, the handling, the visibility, your dealership and what you can provide for them that can only be experienced by setting an appointment and visiting your dealership?

If you have been selling cars for any period of time you know that we can make miracles happen, but you won’t have a chance if you don’t get them on the lot. I have seen Internet customers and phone-ups drive away with new and used cars that were three, four and five pounders that were all about price over the phone, but once they got to the dealership and were given the royal treatment they were sold. Obviously not all phone ups and Internet customers are going to get turned into big grossers, but Fresh Walk-Ins won’t either. It’s a numbers game and when you sell cars for a living you take all that you can and it works out in the end.

Car Sales Appointments – First Things First

Being just like the next dealership or the next Internet Sales Manager is not good enough today. You need to sell the appointment and when they get on the lot you can sell the car. First things first because every communication you have with a potential customer are vital.  They are not only calling or emailing you because you have the car; they are also making decisions about where to buy the car and they are giving you the chance to be their first choice.

The customer uses price because that is all they know when it comes to buying a vehicle and that is their sole line of defense until you set yourself apart from the rest. Shooting a customer a price over the phone or through email has become commonplace today, but customers also want to know that they will be dealing with a quality dealership and a person that they can connect with that will listen to them and provide them with a pleasurable car buying experience. They will set an appointment when you sell the appointment and then sell the car when they get there.

They have already chosen the car and that is why they called you or sent in an Internet lead. Now they need to know why they should come and see you so stop selling the car and start selling the appointment.

Once You Get Them to Show Then Close the Deal!

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot



Muru · May 21 at 2:47 am

Thanks for the internet selling articles. I am one of the car salesman focused on Internet sales and been benefited with the volumes. Look forward for your book on Internet selling. Muru/Malaysia

KB · February 4 at 9:36 pm

Thanks Mark

Mark · February 1 at 8:28 pm

Any car salesman needs to know what was written in this article is a statement of fact.
Customers on the phone or the internet need to have a relationship built with them, use closed ended questions to find out their needs,then build on that to get their name, number & email address. But most important of all before letting them go “when will you be coming in-this morning or this afternoon”
Percentages prove that an appointment made for ASAP is more likely to show up and BUY.

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