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Follow-up with the customer is key to closing the sale: NADA

November 24, 2010

When a customer leaves the showroom without buying, what can be done? Chances are, information on the customer gets filed, then attention shifts to the next prospect. In other words, chances are good that nothing is done. Statistics show that 90 percent of customers who do not buy a vehicle before they leave a dealership are not subject to follow-up. Why not? A few more statistics: 
• 85 percent of customers decide to purchase a vehicle before they leave home. 
• 88 percent consider three or fewer vehicle makes. 
• 74 percent who visit a dealership go equipped with product knowledge learned from a third party. 
• 88 percent of shoppers visit at least five dealers. 
• 88 percent take an average 14 days after their first dealer visit to purchase.

 Consumers do not visit dealerships just to spend time. Statistics show they make their visits armed with specific wants, needs and desires. They have narrowed their choices, they've researched the products, and they've decided to visit a limited number of stores. Most customers take a few weeks to buy. But most times, there is no follow-up after they leave a showroom without buying. Concentrating on follow-up can increase sales even without an increase in ups.

Follow-up calls are acts of courtesy. Prospective customers took time to visit the dealer. Thank them for the opportunity to speak to them. Ask if they have questions. Questions lead to conversations. If there are no questions, ask where a consumer is in the process and if anything can be done to help her. Comments are opportunities.

Emphasize the dealership's commitment to the customer and offer to call again. Customers will consent to that because they also are courteous and are impressed that an effort has been made to win them over. Chances are good that no one else has. Article adapted from "Winning the Race," a quarterly newsletter of NADA Salesperson Certification for NADA-certified sales professionals. Learn more about the certification at 703-827- 7412.