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When Implied Permission is NOT GRANTED

When Implied Permission is NOT GRANTED

Don O'Neill

First I want to start by saying that I never hawk our wares in the articles that I write. I feel that these articles are mean to share insight, provide dealers with a definitive plan of action or at least a few action items that they can implement. The pitch, as they say, has its place ad time. But for the sake of disclosure I will say that the topic in this month’s article, deals directly within our vertical, and I have very strong opinions with regards to our space.  Being on the dealer side for a good period of time, and having run multiple points, I have had to deal with every type of vendor. The good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. What I did was constantly educate myself in those matters which I didn’t feel comfortable simply taking a vendors word. I wanted to be dangerously educated on those points of engagement where the only control I had was the vendor I chose.

That ever elusive service lane sale is the gold, the lifeblood of the incremental sales in any thriving dealership. There are challenges, but we all know we can tap that lane for sales each and every month. However, when Bob and Betty Smith come in for an oil change there is NO implied permission to introduce a sales process. So being hounded by a sales person was not in the cards this morning. There was one thing we forgot to talk about. Can Bob and Betty still buy a car?  Do they actually still have the credit worthiness to purchase? Or did that co-signing for the grandchildren finally blow up in their face?

The reality is that your process, no matter how good, and your equity mining, no matter how good, can tell you if their vehicle is on your hit list if they have equity, if it is a hit list market piece. But it cannot tell you if the customer can buy.  So, let’s prescreen them.  Let’s ensure that the only people we talk to today in the service lane, are the ones we can sell. Let’s present a value proposition instead of a sales pitch. Let’s make sure that the transactions are efficient. All this can be done with pre-screening.

But, ooooh beware. There are some pretenders out there. There are some who will give you a FICO score and model. What’s the problem with that? Ask your banks if they will utilize a FICO model for decision making. The reality is I hear every once in a blue moon, that a dealer would rather save the $200.00 and go with the cheapest solution. His choice. But as important as the tool is in its operational role, that’s like saying I want the cheapest brake pads. Or, hey doc, just fix the one valve in my heart… how much would that cost me?

The point is that we have tools that help us sell, tools that don’t, and some that play house and pretend. Don’t be that guy or girl who jumps over that pile of profit and picks up the quarter. There are times to cut corners, and times to pay the toll and put our foot on the gas.

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