Your Highest-Value Activity (HVA) will drive your greatest incremental profit! And most retail automotive management professionals acknowledge that the largest potential profit improvement can be achieved by generating additional vehicle sales department gross. So, I have recently made a point to ask my dealer-clients, their CFOs, their GMs, and their sales managers, “How do you ensure that the people that work for you in Variable Operations are spending the right amount of time on the highest-value activity they should perform, and how do you currently measure that?”

This question requires the respondent to first identify, and state, what he/she believes the HVA to be. I have heard a variety of HVA descriptions, including a) achieving sales productivity objectives, b) maximizing deal $PVR, c) maintaining acceptable closing ratios, d) consistently performing the “Road to a Sale”, e) inventory planning and management, and f) providing an exceptional customer experience. But never did any of the management personnel express the one HVA that I was hoping to hear:

“Habitually perform, and flawlessly execute, the Appointment Development Process.”

My intent here was to help the person to whom I posed this question to discover that he/she didn’t know something that he/she should know…and potentially something that would improve his/her results, together with the results of the Variable Operations team.

As a 50+ year retail automotive professional, I am absolutely convinced that effectively managing and implementing the three phases of the Appointment Development Process…1) Internet lead conversion, 2) inbound telephone inquiry conversion, and 3) salesperson direct prospecting…will result in a significant incremental profit improvement for most dealerships. Do the math yourself! Go to my web site,, and, under the menu heading, Browse Our RESOURCES, in FREE Stuff, download, review, and utilize the following two files:

“It’s More Than a Job Description.pdf”

“Sales Consultant Productivity Modeling.xlsx”

I believe that you will convince yourself that a salesperson who successfully sets two valid appointments per working day from his own pro-active prospecting efforts (not including Internet, inbound phone inquiries, and 1st time walk-ins) will deliver 15+ units per month just from those prospecting efforts. If you would like to discuss, at no charge, either of these files on the telephone, please click the Book Online menu button on the web site, and select a time to talk.

We must remember, however, that it’s not just about the sales consultant! It’s also about the Sales Department Culture! All variable operations managers and support personnel must also fully embrace the Appointment Development Process! Let’s affirm that,“the more appointments we generate, the more vehicles we’ll sell!”

Universally, dealers experience the greatest deficiencies in the area of Salesperson Direct Prospecting, particularly as it relates to the following appointment opportunities:

Unsold prospects (potential “be-backs”)                Service Customers

Bird Dog referrals                                                      Repeats (including lease renewals)

Additional household vehicles (owner data)          Owner referrals

Dealership employee referrals                                 Salesperson’s Circle-of-Influence

Orphan Owners                                                         Collision Center Customers            

Let’s FIX the Sales Department Culture by ensuring that ALL of the Variable Operations Staff becomes 100% knowledgeable of, 110% committed to, and 125% supportive of Salesperson Direct Prospecting.

             “Efficiency is doing things right, and effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Peter Drucker                        

The right things in your business are your High-Value Activities. Your HVAs are the activities that either generate revenue directly, or indirectly enable you to generate revenue. The more of your HVAs that you do, the more effective you are. And the more effective you are at “appointing” your potential customers and bringing them into the dealership, the more money you’ll make.

Warmest regards,

Garry House

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