I’m surprised so many salespeople explain why they don’t work ‘orphans’ and completely ignore the obvious benefits of working with the abandoned customers of your dealership.
‘Orphans’ have already bought from your dealership – and they can and they will keep buying vehicles the rest of their lives whether you contact them or not.
Study after study shows that people like to do business at the same place, again and again. Most of us go to the same restaurants, mini-mart, same mall, same clothing store, same grocery and hardware stores, time after time.
There are better restaurants, better stocked mini-marts, different clothes, bigger grocery stores and hardware stores with better / larger / different inventories that would better serve us. So why do we go to the same places, over and over again? Because we know what we can expect, the good and the bad.
In fact, one study I read said that most people will buy again and again from places and people they don’t really like just because they’re familiar with them and / or it’s convenient.
Working with these prospects is a great way to start developing your own customer base for the future. We’ll talk more about them and about your personal business development, but just using simple math … if you only average just one more sale every 90 days on purpose from your own business development efforts, in 5 years you’d be delivering 20 more than you’re delivering now to people who like working with you.
Talk about a fun way to spend the day – walk in with appointments on the board, get calls every day from people who say things like, “Joe, my daughter needs to get a car this summer, will you be around this weekend so we can stop in?”
One of the first steps to turning a job selling cars into a professional career is learning to develop your business, and working with Orphan Owners is a great place to start.
Why do I call them a warm prospect? Because they’ve already done business with your dealership before and most are just waiting for someone to rekindle that relationship so they don’t have to go through the shopping / grind so many people expect the next time they go out to buy a vehicle.
If you’re that 10-car guy now and you want to be at 30 in a year, that’s great, just speed up everything we talk about. So more people can buy into getting to 30 though, let’s make 30 a 5 year goal for the average 10-car guy reading this today.
Step two: get a list of ‘Orphans’. My last dealership wouldn’t let me touch this list so I missed tons of easy prospects I could have developed. Not sure of their logic, but it sure cost them a ton of sales. My guess is you won’t have this problem because your dealership wouldn’t have given you this to read and learn more if they weren’t interested in you improving your sales.
If the dealership sells 200 units per month, after 10 years the customer base is up to 24,000. You do not need to focus on 24,000. First, think about the customers you’d want to work with, that you would have most in common with.
If you love 4×4 trucks, start with a list of people who bought trucks. They have other vehicles in the family so you won’t just be selling trucks, but having that commonality will make it easier to strike up that first conversation.
If you’re selling mostly hybrids, pull that list and also add people who bought your best mileage cars. If you’re more into the highest end luxury, go there first. Specialize!
If your name is Smith, it sure couldn’t hurt to start with the other Smith’s in the database – you may even find some long lost relatives. You can pick sections of town you might have lived in, zip codes, models, type of vehicle, etc. Keep in mind, there is no wrong list. Just take some time to start with the easiest group for you personally to contact. Logically, that would be people you have something in common with.
Complete these first two steps and you’re off to a great start. You’ll have a clear goal, and you’ll know who you want to focus in on to start building your business.