It's Friday. What's Your Weekend Looking Like?

If you're in auto sales, the term "TGIF" - Thank God It's Friday! - probably has little meaning to you. In this industry, Fridays are spent gearing up for the weekend. Speaking of which, do you know what your weekend is looking like? 

To answer this all-important question, it's a good idea for General Sales Managers to sit down on Friday morning and review a few Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Either that or you can try looking into a crystal ball, which I have personally found to be very ineffective.  

If these KPIs look good on Friday morning, the likelihood is high that your weekend will be positive. If these numbers don't look good, there is still time to take some corrective action. 

1) Appointments Set 

First and foremost on Friday morning I want to see that every salesperson has at least two appointments set per day for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If anyone is slacking on their appointments, it's time to give them a little motivation speech.  

From there I want to make sure that at least 70 percent of those appointments have been confirmed by a manager. If it's lower than 70 percent there's no time to waste. Hop on the phone and start confirming those appointments!  

2) Used Vehicle Inventory VDPs Complete 

The next KPI to check is how complete your used vehicle VDPs are. At a minimum, every VDP should have a minimum of three photos, a description and a price. The percentage on this should be 100. Meaning, you should have ZERO vehicles online without pictures, descriptions and prices! 

How do you expect to sell a vehicle if a car shopper can't see it, can't read about it and doesn't have any idea how much it costs? Every vehicle sitting out on your lot has a cost associated with it, every day. Since your dealership is paying for 100 percent of your inventory, you should be marketing 100 percent of your inventory online. 

3) Email Click-Through Rates (CTRs) 

Are your recent marketing offers generating enough interest and excitement to draw people to your dealership? Check the CTRs on all email campaigns sent out in the last week. What's considered a good CTR varies depending on the type of offer, but generally speaking you want at least 5 percent and preferably 8 to 10 percent. If your CTRs are lower than that, you may want to consider creating an exciting last-minute offer or incentive to draw some weekend visitors. 

4) Used Car Acquisitions 

What percent of used car acquisitions out of the service drive have you achieved for the month? Ideally it's somewhere between 15 to 30 percent. So for every 10 appraisals given, one to three of them have turned into a deal or car purchase. 

One way to ensure this percentage stays in this range is to offer no obligation, free appraisals to every service customer. This is done by simply asking your customers, "Would you like to find out what your vehicle is worth in today's market?" Let them know you'll have their free appraisal ready for them when they pick up their car. Along with the appraisal, include an offer for purchase, along with what it would cost to upgrade to a newer model. 

To do this effectively, there should always be a dedicated salesperson in the service drive. The GSM should meet with this person on a daily basis to review the appraisals. 

The best appraisal opportunities are those where the customer can upgrade their vehicle without having to put down a lot of money, and their monthly payment wouldn't be much more than they're paying now. On Friday, identify the best opportunities and reach out to those service customers to see if they want to come in for a test drive over the weekend. 

So, General Sales Managers, what's your weekend looking like? Don't rely on a crystal ball or leave it up to chance to determine whether your weekend is good or not. Reviewing these KPIs will give you a pretty good idea of how the weekend is shaping up, and the knowledge to take action so it can be even better!

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Comment by John Schindel on June 2, 2017 at 4:00pm

As a former service advisor and manager, I was constantly surprised at how few salesmen wanted to be on the drive; I worked at one store where two of the rather large sales force took it upon themselves to be on the drive as much as they were able, and they not only sold cars frequently the same day, they also developed relationships that turned into sales down the road.

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