The car sales takeover can used to describe a number of different situations you may encounter in the car sales process. The T.O. or takeover a customer hand-off. The car salesman to the sales manager hand-off. The salesperson is filling in for a salesman off or on vacation. Or the BDC rep handing off their appointment to a floor salesperson. All of these scenarios are a takeover or turnover. I have seen these car sales hand-off processes be smooth as silk or, on the other end, done so poorly that the customer walks before they ever see a car (red flag). There are plenty of times in the car sales process when the hand-off is essential. A proper and professional takeover when selling a car will make the deal. A poor takeover will kill any chance of making a deal.

sales takeover or turnover


Who, What, and When of the Car Sales Takeover

Takeover or T.O. Scenario: We know too well that this is the only way to go when the car salesperson has hit the wall. Whether it is personalities or there is no longer any forward movement in the deal. Either a sales manager takes over the customer, or another salesperson comes in and does the turnover. This depends on the process you have at your dealership. However, the most common is when the Sales Manager takes over to do what they can to close the sale. The proper car sales takeover can go a long way to making the sale. However, it can put up a red flag, shut down the customer, and send them on their way.

Proper T.O. or Takeover – There is no rocket science here; good old common sense will usually do the job. The current salesperson introduces the sales manager both respectfully and professionally. Then, the salesperson leaves and lets the sales manager do their thing. (No whispering under your breath or sarcastic comments; act like a professional and move on.) Let a second salesperson or the sales manager close a deal is better than losing every chance of a sale (car salesman tips). No secret formula, but I have seen salesmen get pulled out of a deal and set off the customer to the point of no return. Which can get ugly…and everybody loses.

Fill In Car Sales Takeover

Sometimes, a customer comes in looking for a particular car salesperson, and that person is already with a customer. Or they are off for the day (car salesman tribute)or on vacation, and the customer needs to be helped. If the person requested is present, but with another customer, the customer should be greeted and handed off to an available salesperson. That is, as long as they do not object to working with someone other than the person they came to see. I am not talking about skating or snaking your coworker’s customers; I am talking about helping your fellow car salesperson.

Sometimes, this can be an arrangement between salespeople to help each other out, or sometimes, it can happen unexpectedly. Either way, the customer needs to be handled professionally and hopefully with the blessing of the requested salesperson. In this type of car sales takeover scenario, many dealerships will split a sold deal between the requested salesperson and the car salesperson who sold the customer. It seems fair, but not everyone agrees, and some absolutely refuse to work for half a deal or at least work them like a car sales professional should work with a customer. Too often, the salesperson that is doing the fill in car sales hand-off is less that enthusiastic and professional.

Proper Fill In Car Sales Takeover

If you work closely with some of your coworkers and help each other in the above scenario, that’s great. But it doesn’t work that way at every dealership. When you are the fill-in-hand-off car salesperson, you must treat them as your customers. That’s right, even if you only get half the deal. Be prepared whenever possible and try to get any information you can to treat them as special rather than a stranger. Half a deal is better than no deal.

Just remember that car buyers who come through the door asking for a particular car salesperson close at a much higher rate. Usually higher than a fresh up and with higher grosses. Often times that close rate is anywhere from 50 to 90 percent. That certainly beats the chances of closing a fresh up. So would you rather wait for a fresh up or roll the dice and take half a sale through a hand-off? Which is about the closest thing to a safe bet in the car business you will find? Do the math, and you will discover that hand-offs can be a nice way to pick up a deal. Or at least half a deal and usually with a higher front-end gross.

BDC or Internet Car Sales Hand-Off

Every dealership handles the Internet in different ways. Some dealerships have a designated department that only works Internet leads.  Plus, they take care of the customers from lead to delivery, called cradle to grave. Then some dealers pass the leads out to their sales staff and let them work them as they see fit (usually the least effective method). Then you have what some might call the Hybrid Internet Department and/or BDC department that works leads takes sales calls, and sets appointments (usually the most effective). Because of the higher efficiency and the staff specialization, this is becoming more popular in some areas and at larger dealerships.

bdc takeover

In this type of Internet/BDC arrangement, the customer who comes through the door usually looks for the person who worked their lead or took their phone call. However, the car salesman on the floor is the person who actually does the walk-around, demo, and selling.  This is where the BDC or Internet car sales takeover is especially important but often lacks proper execution, which will often be a red flag for the customer. How well the hand-off is done in this situation often determines the outcome of the customer’s visit.

Proper BDC or Internet Car Sales Hand-Off

When the customer walks through the door looking for a BDC or Internet representative, they will likely be greeted by a floor salesperson. At this point, the salesperson should get their name and ask them to have a seat. Then, go into the sales office and determine the reason for the customers’ visit. Discover the vehicle they came to see, any prices quoted, and any other pertinent information. They return to the customer and tell them they got tied up with a customer longer than expected. They asked that you (the greeting floor salesperson) show them the specific vehicle they came to see. The customer realizes you know why they are there, and they assume you were asked by their contact to help them. The rest should go smoothly as long as the customer is handled professionally.

If the car salesman tells the customer that the person they came to see does nothing more than set appointments, the customer sees a red flag. They think they lied to me before I even looked at a car, so what else will they lie about? That’s strike one within minutes of entering the dealership. Now, they are questioning everything said throughout the process. Of course, it’s also up to the BDC or Internet Department rep to ensure the customer knows they sometimes get tied up. And may have their partner help them when they arrive.

No Red Flags and Lost Car Sales

Proper setup and execution of the car sales takeover in the above scenarios is critical to selling more cars. Turning a car buyer into a car shopper or be-back can only take one word or a red flag. Trust and rapport are what keep customers coming back and Internet customers coming to visit your showroom. Most importantly, all of these customers have a much higher closing ratio than fresh-ups.

Later, Fresh Up on the Lot



1 Comment

Mercy · September 24 at 4:38 am

I have been hired by a local Company, I am exited and nervous. I have 30 years experience in sales. I am bilingual and I was told that this is a big plus. Any advise for me is appreciated. I have sold just about everything except cars. I was a loan officer in a bank therefore I feel I have an idea of the paperwork involved but never sold a car in my life.


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