Best Practices

Four Appointments Sales People Should Set to Sell More Cars


Far too many salespeople wake up every morning with the mindset that they have to sell a car. This is wrong. They instead need to wake up saying “I need to set four appointments”. Statistically, having four set appointments will turn into at least one sale almost every time.

If you have four scheduled and confirmed appointments, two (on average – over 50%) will show for that appointment.  And customers that show up for set appointments purchase roughly 50% of the time. That is your one sale for the day.

The problem with this scenario is that far too few of our sales professionals know how to set appointments properly. Above and beyond a full phone script breakdown for automotive dealers, let’s just talk about the appointment question.

Most of the calls and emails we listen to and read at DealerKnows Consulting involve the salesperson or Internet Manager asking “When do you want to come in and look at this vehicle?” They don’t realize that the customer has being looking at this vehicle (albeit online) for a few months. What they haven’t done is drive one.

Your team needs to call on the few true reasons a customer would NEED to come into your store. Looking at a car isn’t one.

There are four main appointments that your people should be setting. Here they are…

The Test Drive Appointment

A test drive is the only thing the Internet cannot give a customer. The customer can look online and see pictures, colors, specs, options, incentives, pricing, and more. Yet the Internet cannot give them the ability to put their butts in the seat of a car and drive one. That is the primary appointment your team can offer.

The Trade Appraisal Appointment

While the customer can gauge the value of their vehicle from the KBB’s of the world, they can’t guarantee a dealer will give them their preferred amount.  (And no, AutoTrader’s Trade-in Marketplace might be able to give them a check, but that doesn’t mean it is their preferred amount.)  Offering a customer to get a “professional appraisal” at the dealership would be one way a customer might be able to reach their preferred evaluation amount.

The Financing Approval Appointment

Sure, getting approved online is much easier nowadays, and there are several tools to make this happen for dealers and customers alike. However, many customers have concerns if they can get approved and they don’t always want to throw their sensitive credit information around willy-nilly. For this, offering to get a customer approved in the safe and secure confines of a dealership is another way to invite them into the dealership.

The Buy-it Appointment

At this point, customers still need to visit a dealership to purchase their vehicles. Some customers live far away, have approved financing or are paying cash, and don’t have a trade-in. For these customers, a simple invite into the dealership to finalize the purchase is the logical “last course of action” they have to make.

Make sure your employees are inviting customers in for the right reasons, rather than the unnecessary ones, and you’ll see more people on your showroom floor.

Above and beyond scheduling service, what other specific calls-to-action might you be using at your dealership to set appointments with prospects?

Automotive trainer and consultant. I'm also a writer, speaker, movie buff, and Dad. --President of DealerKnows--