Understanding and Utilizing the Reverse TO

There may be many, wondering what do I mean when I say the Reverse TO. Yes! We have all heard of the TO effect when we actually “turn over” the call or up to a manager on duty and in sight. NOW! Let’s stop and take a little bit of time to learn about The Reverse T.O..  The Reverse T.O. is touch bases with the Manager and log in with the customer.  We see how the Reverse T.O. has already taken effect, as you notice I stated we touch bases with the Manager FIRST! All of my years as being in the Automotive Industry and Next Gen Dealer Advocate I have seen many times how Salesmen will get the customer excited and running ID then straight to test driving a vehicle, well with the Reverse TO  you meet the manager first.

Let’s be honest here folks if you or anyone that you know have ever brought a vehicle, you never meet the manager until the end of your visit and you are going over your financing options. WOW! Think about it, when a customer with not the best credit goes in a dealership expecting to get financed with their special credit situation, she already has her Scotoma set as “Here we go again”. I’ve heard and I know some of you won’t admit it. Some will, some wont, so wont. I have said it many times before I am not being mean or callous I being truthful. Quite frankly, we all want honesty good or bad. So why have the customer sit through this whole spill when by meeting the manager first it kills all Rain-X. 

Now, since we have the customer here, they are excited about meeting the manager and feeling a little more comfortable about their visit to us today, we ask for their Confirmation Number and Picture ID.  A SF customer will likely have some quick paperwork to complete and then will be shown some cars while waiting for a “callback”. A retail customer will share with the salesperson and/or manager desired vehicles and features.  Once again the Reverse T.O. comes into effect by the manager. The manager will direct sales representative to either pull up a vehicle or to show a vehicle. I would advise you know your lot and where everything is; get keys and pull vehicle away before beginning you Production Presentation using FAB: Features, Advantages and Benefits with effective communication skills, influence and persuasion techniques.

 I am a firm believer of management doing the initial greeting with customers to assess the SF or retail fork in the road first.  Closing a appointments that actually show on time, coming INSIDE for manager or representative, implementing and/or perfecting the Reverse T.O. Process and connecting at delivery is much more seamless when we make adjustments to our Playbook ahead of time. Who is your Position Coach to assure your folks are doing the deal instead of dealing with what they are or are not doing?

The average “confirmed” doesn’t even have a confirmation number associated with it so as to “activate” their confidential file. Make a Driver’s License swipe or copy and Reverse T.O. with a manager after reading the notes in the CRM and allow the Product Specialist or Internet Sales Representative…etc to pull up “their” vehicle.  Now, we have everything necessary for a demonstration. When done properly, the customer(s) is in the Passenger seat(s) and the PRO presents the vehicle and drives off to complete the demonstration. Double your test drives with the Reverse T.O and confirmation numbers. I have used GR177 for over 15 years.  I cannot stress enough when I am training, instill the “Reverse T.O.” on all appointments and double your demo rides; assist with Driver’s License plates etc, whenever possible to assure a smooth “demonstration” of your product. It is an actual DEMO!

 Let’s not forget to master the essence of emotion, human instinct closing and the fact that MENTAL OWNERSHIP must preceded FINANCIAL ownership. No car becomes “theirs” without them driving it, that we can all agree upon. My point is that, when we have a backup plan for every scenario through enhanced communication we bat like all stars! T.O. to someone that is not too busy to build rapport and work the customer properly. It cost too much not  work the process, and SELL. Please do not attempt to introduce the shows/customers to the BDC, use the Reverse T.O. with a manager. The BDC is the “wizard behind the curtain” as advocates they will call back and share about their experience.  Make sure to “Activate their confirmation number” if an appointment. If not, “Great follow me, either way”. Lead or be led, bring them inside. Begin a quick license scan and guest information sheet for the Reverse TO. “Show & Sell or Show and Tell!”



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Comment by Don McEwen on September 1, 2012 at 12:41pm

Excellent post Glynn! My theory for management involvement is "early and often", put the GSM and Sales Managers as close to the door as possible. Also, having the BDC set up appointments for individuals or greeting the customer is a bad practice that I see in many stores, when a customer has the expectation that they will be asking for a Manager you are putting them in a positive mode before they leave the house. The single best practice that I have ever implemented was to have the Manager bring the customer along on the appraisal drive, this not only ensures another early management "touch" but it allows the Manager to assess the salesperson's performance to that point and to re-emphasize and validate the Dealership's value statements. A short presentation by the appraiser gives the customer gets a better understanding of how we determine the value of their vehicle and by requiring the Manager to leave the property rather than take 4 right turns around the building we get the added benefit of finding the bad tranny, knock in the motor etc that won't show up a 10 MPH.How many times have you asked a customer what the "bang" is between gears and have them act as though they don't know what you are talking about? Never happens when they are sitting in the passenger seat! When a Manager sits on the sidelines and then tells a salesperson after a mediocre month "if you have another month like last month you will be out of here" shouldn't it be the salesperson telling the Manager "if I have another month like that you will be out of here". As Managers we are measured by two things at month end: How many units and how much did we gross? Get them involved with every customer and hold them accountable.

Comment by Glynn Rodean on August 29, 2012 at 1:14pm

Couldn't have said it better myself. Practice what we Preach!!! :)

Comment by Glynn Rodean on August 29, 2012 at 1:07pm

Bobby, Thank you very much for your input. Most Dealerships, or people for that matter dont understand the effectiveness and the impact it plays on a customer by using the Reverse. What grind my gears is when Management is saying the people are not selling the cars, but I have directed a few to read your article: "It's much more gratifying to hire than to fire.....",

Once they read just the title! They understand that the leadership has to start from the top then trickle to the bottom. So thank you Bobby. Great Wording yourself.

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