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Welcome A Sales Process to the

s we all know, the sales process is a series of stages, each of which is incredibly important. Fail to optimise one and progression to the others will be impacted – potentially big time. It is thus imperative you look at each one separately, to ensure you really are doing the best work possible. Easier said than done in a busy car dealership! Which is why, this month, we’re doing something really special. We’ve used feedback from those who know best of all what’s involved – you guys – to split up the process and focus on best practice in each. We have spoken to an unparalleled number of experts in the field, to draw out just how they think you should be optimising things. Follow through the advice in each and you really will see big gains in sales, profits and overall staff satisfaction. We promise! It’s all because you’ll get the ball rolling: as selling a car is a series of steps, boosting performance in one will inevitably improve things in the following ones, too. It all starts with optimising the fundamental of the business – pricing of cars, with help from the experts. Then, want more people through the doors? Improve your web presence, and lead generation. Once they’re there, sell more cars by optimising the sales process and finance generation – then up profits on each of these extra sales with more add-on sales. Finish off customers’ cars to perfection with protection solutions and smart repairs. Once you put these plans into action, an improvement in business will inevitably come. But if you’re not convinced, think about what will happen if you’re not fully proficient in one or all areas. Pricing not spot on? You won’t attract the people in the first place. That will hit the effectiveness of your web presence and lead generation – and also tie salespeople’s hands if they actually get people through the doors. How willing will they then be to take on extra features? How open to the idea of an extended warranty will they be? Chances are, they probably wouldn’t even think of using you for finance: after all, if the car’s too expensive, how competitive are your finance rates going to be? Getting the process wrong really can be disastrous… But we’re trying to teach you something you already know, anything but. Just a friendly push in the direction of some firms and processes that could really make a difference to your bottom line.

Richard Aucock, Deputy Editor

Inside the guide p49 Pricing

p54 Training

p61 Warranties

Why a smart workforce will sell you more cars

Peace of mind and improved margins for all

p51 Web management

p57 Finance options

p63 Paint protection

How to find the right deal for every buyer

How to make your deals shine

p53 Lead generation

p59 GAP and PPI

p64 Smart repairs

Master the art of selling for the right price How to make your site work harder The secret to pulling in more buyers

The extras that can generate big profits

Making your stock look even more tempting | 47


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Sales Process


Why pricing is key to making bumper profits


ricing: it is a key element to get right. If you falter here, your entire proposition is at stake! Few are better placed to provide advice than Glass’s managing editor Adrian Rushmore. But it’s not as straightforward as simply picking a price that sounds tempting, he explains. ‘The first thing to appreciate is that there is no such thing as a fixed price for a used car,’ he says. ‘The price will always depend on the trading circumstances – where the vehicle is being offered for sale, and what comes with it.’ Rushmore spells out the possible scenarios: the highest prices, of course, will be for cars offered by a franchised dealer. ‘The buyer will pay extra for the peace of mind afforded by a manufacturer-backed used car programme, as well as the high standards of preparation.’ A less expensive option are cars sold by an independent. ‘Here the buyer is getting the reassurance of a warranty, albeit one less comprehensive than that typically offered by a franchised dealer.’ More reassurance than private sales: they’re cheaper, but ‘the price will reflect the likely lack of preparation, and the very limited protection offered to the buyer by the law’.

Even cheaper, and far more variable, are cars offered to a dealer for cash, and cars sold at auction. ‘There will be huge variability in quoted prices, depending on how the dealer expects to extract profit from the subsequent resale. Auctions are also influenced in a large part by who is there to buy on the day the car appears in the auction halls.’ That’s not all. Pricing is also contingent on general trading conditions – is the market buoyant or weak? – and regional price variations (for instance, the North East and North West are often the cheapest places to buy). So complicated is the pricing picture, Rushmore actually ran through the entire criteria for Car Dealer, which we’ve listed below. ‘The bottom line is that it’s impossible to get the pricing of a used car spot on,’ he said. ‘Instead, the advice is to ensure that your research takes account of all the relevant variables, allowing you to pitch the price in the right ballpark to facilitate a rapid sale and optimise profitability. Referring to an authoritative valuation provider will give you a good idea of where your car stands versus the general market.’ Here is where companies such as Glass’s come in. Experts such as Rushmore do all this every day, using their decades of experience to ensure each car is placed exactly where it should be in the marketplace. To access this experience, all you need to do is… use their services! Systems such as GlassNet Unlimited are the easiest way of doing this. ‘The valuation information provided by Glass’s – through online solution GlassNet and Glass’s Guide – takes account of data from a vast array of third-party sources, including dealers, vehicle remarketers, auction houses and fleet organisations, to ensure the greatest possible accuracy. ‘Far from being a simple, automated process, valuing is driven by the editorial team, who use their market insight and industry experience to interpret the intelligence and deliver an unparalleled service to the motor trade.’ All that Rushmore has explained here? It’s accessed directly through GlassNet, simply by entering the registration of the car in question. Access to such knowledge has never been more straightforward! When the results are so fundamental to your entire business, is it wise to use any other route? >

More on GlassNet, p66

Glass’s valuations tips Any one, or a combination, of these variables will have an impact on the price of a used car. Furthermore, each variable can be further sub-divided to give a variation in price: a black car, for example, will generally be worth more than a green car, and a one-year-old car with three previous owners will be more adversely affected than a three-year-old car with three owners. Price is influenced by: • Age • Plate • Mileage • Condition • Service history

• MOT (if applicable) • Number of previous owners • Options • Colour • Previous repaired damage | 49


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Sales Process

Web management Bluesky

Reducing marketing costs, but increasing sales


t is impossible to escape the bald facts about the internet: 80 per cent of your customers will begin their search for their next car on the net. This is why Car Dealer launched our famed Ewards. In short, if you want to be in with a chance of getting a buyers’ custom, says web experts Bluesky, you need to be there. Optimisation here is an essential part of the sales process, as Bluesky’s Tony Hilton reveals. His firm helps by taking a logical, businesslike approach to the whole area of internet optimisation. ‘Nice designs are all well and good, but you also need solid results behind it – otherwise, it’s just expensive window-dressing,’ he says. ‘Rather than being a pure web design company, we employ fullyqualified experts as well, to deliver the expertise and results behind it. Only these guys will know the small changes that make a huge difference to websites.’ Such as? ‘Amazon changed the shape of a button on its site; it improved conversion rates by 20 per cent…’ Whoa! This is the thinking Bluesky uses, too, which starts by knowing what customers are doing as they approach your website. ‘Research shows that people start their hunt with a specific search, such as a Ford Fiesta, then diversify into small cars to see what else is out there,’ he explains. The second time, they will start with another specific search – but then start drilling down and focusing on that car in particular. You thus want to catch them the second time around – which is why Bluesky employs five qualified professionals to ensure you do just that. There’s more to it than just being top for search engine optimisation, though. This is important, ‘but you also want natural search. One of our dealers is top for those simply entering Used Audi into a web browser. By considering both alternatives, you will get more relevant visitors’. Firms such as Bluesky won’t just bring people to your website and abandon them, though. They’ll also help design the site to drive business once they’re there. ‘But this is not about showing off. If it’s flashy but doesn’t increase productivity or conversion rates, it’s useless,’ says Hilton.

‘We have three people dedicated solely to looking at websites, studying the analytics data, and seeing what things can be done to improve them.’ Bluesky did this for Eddie Wright used car supermarket – and yielded an 89 per cent increase in overall traffic, 28 per cent rise in sales, 38 per cent more telephone calls and a reduction in cost per enquiry of a staggering 96 per cent! ‘We like to make pretty sites but we also know people want to sell cars,’ says Hilton. ‘We therefore spend a lot of time looking at what’s working and not working for dealers, in order to fully maximise the value of all aspects of their site. We monitor everything, cut out the fat, and make websites both cheaper to run and a lot more effective.’ And this is just the approach you should be taking to your own site. Doing all this takes time and expertise; it’s akin to a game of chess, says Hilton, as you weigh up all the different areas, what changing them will do, and what impact they could have on other areas. This is where you need the experts. But don’t think it’s going to be expensive overall. ‘We have evidence that, following our work, one car dealer reduced their overall marketing spend by 21 per cent.’ More sales, then, for less spend; as Hilton adds: ‘Can you really say you’re getting enough out of what you have at the moment?’ > | 51

we drive sales We work for major dealers of 4X4, luxury, sport and mainstream cars as a specialist telemarketing and sales research company. We understand your business and what drives your customers. To discover how we can develop a winning programme for you call us on;

01825 766646 Read how we turbo-charged Harwoods sales >>


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Sales Process

Lead generation Bluesky

A soft approach that gets hard results


hasing new customers, we all know, can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of car dealing. Prospective buyers are among the most demanding of all to deal with, and in many cases require kid gloves to treat right. In the daily machinations of a busy car dealer, this is easier said than done. Seriously, how many of us can invest the endless time prospecting for new clients demands? This is where MyMarketing come in. They can put in the time needed to find new business, so you don’t have to. Even better, their skill sets mean they are considerably more effective at doing it than many of us; decades of experience in people management means they can find the interest that often proves elusive. Yvette Beckett is head of the firm, and explains how it works. It all starts, she reveals, with the car dealer providing MyMarketing with a database of the contacts they’d like to be approached. ‘From here, we take over the prospecting for new clients, using our own highly-trained methods.’ The key is using the soft approach to get hard prospects. ‘This is far more than just telemarketing or remote prospecting – we secure confirmed sales opportunities for car dealers, and have a record of success recognised by many big car brands.’ In short, the firm does the prospecting, on your behalf. They make the calls, chat with past and potential customers and use a relaxed yet directed approach to get hard appointments. They are the conduit to honest feedback on the car dealer, too: see them as the managed go-between to your customers. MyMarketing gets the ball rolling by meeting with car dealers. Here, needs are discussed, and Beckett also determines whether they’ll get access to the right internal contacts so they can book appointments. This ability is key to getting the hot leads MyMarketing promises. ‘The dealer usually provides us with a diary of time lots. It is entirely

prescribed by them: we work within these guidelines and email confirmed appointments over to the dealer, usually every day.’ The firm can work faster, though – for particularly hot leads, they will personally call the dealer principal, to see what can be arranged. ‘Here, we’ll explain the situation for the dealer to take things from there,’ says Beckett. ‘In the past, this has led to the immediate sale of a Range Rover!’ The firm operates a simple pricing structure based on calls, time period and so on. ‘It is easy to budget for; dealers can compare to the number of sales they make. One of our clients paid for the entire campaign on the very first day of running it, after we secured 14 strong appointments for them…’ Harwood Group Land Rover marketing manager Jane Saunders has seen the results in action. MyMarketing ran a campaign for her, during which, ‘they secured an average of over five appointments a day across the dealerships’. It was a campaign to incentivise test drives of the 2010 Land Rover Discovery 4. ‘150 appointments were made, bringing a new stream of customers to Harwoods. With a 10 per cent call to appointment conversion rate, conversion to sales figures were exceptionally high and a testament to both MyMarketing and Harwoods’ professionalism.’ An impressive recommendation. If you are a car dealer keen to face off the internet remoteness by meeting people face to face, you should consider MyMarketing’s offer as part of the sales process. ‘Your expertise is in selling cars, but ours is in making the initial bond with people,’ explains Beckett. ‘We are tenacious yet not intrusive, and get results as a consequence. For the many car dealers who just don’t have time to do follow-ups, we are a good solution to help drive their business on – putting their expertise to even greater use, and hopefully upping commission as a result!’ > | 53


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Sales Process



Making your sales team even better Mazda Academy


o, you have buyers in the showroom, thanks to getting the prices right, along with fine work from your website and lead generation. Then what? Well, you need to make sure you don’t then lose them! This is where sales training comes in: ensuring car dealers are as well prepared as possible to convert interest into sales. A good training scheme will build upon the undeniable expertise that has got sales people into the strong position they all can claim at the moment. It will enhance these skills to drive them on to the next level – improving their returns and career prospects, while also ensuring the car dealership as a whole sells more cars. Done right, everyone wins. Experts such as Bram van den Berg are well placed to offer advice on the ins and outs of training. As director of the Mazda Academy, he knows only too well the perils and risks of poor training. ‘There is nothing worse than staff taking precious time out of the car dealership to attend a course, then coming back with nothing to show

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for it,’ he says. They’ve lost out, you’ve lost out, nobody benefits and the customer will see zero benefit next time they visit. The Mazda Academy is an example of the new way of training. Forget old fashioned approaches where experienced salespeople were force-fed 10 rules of selling cars, which they already knew, then given an action plan to take back and, well, file in the bottom of their desk and forget. ‘We focus on training that gives the dealer network exactly what it wants,’ he says. ‘We do this by asking it!’ Car dealer input is everything throughout training schemes at the Mazda Academy – van den Berg places much emphasis on feedback, even from delegates who are attending the schemes. ‘We encourage them to challenge us: if we prescribe something, and they know it doesn’t work in their dealership, they’re encouraged to pipe up and tell us so, in order for us all to work out a solution.’ By doing this, everyone benefits. ‘In this way, we are not just a training centre, but a performance

solution centre: by this, we mean creating an environment to strengthen brand and customer delight, while also sustaining dealer profitability.’ Contrast that with the sort of dreaded training you may remember from the past. Which was, on occasion, pointless. ‘You have a salesperson who sells 20 cars a month: he may wonder what’s the relevance of training for him. We, instead, ask him what he needs to know in order to sell even more. ‘This guy, he’s doing brilliantly at the moment: but why not get him to do even better still, and move up to 25 cars a month? Part of what we do will create that desire in his mind. You are capable, we’ll tell him: let us help you overachieve!’ When considering sending your staff on training schemes, it is, in short, vital you completely discount the old days of training: yes sir, no sir, then hometime. ‘We use EDI values – engagement, desire and inspiration,’ explains van den Berg. ‘In our sessions, people will sit at a desk for no longer than two hours, as we instead prioritise partnerships, sharing experiences and, well, having fun! It’s serious business, but with an element of fun that really helps trainees engage.’ This is what good training should be – not telling people how to suck eggs… Something to bear in mind when you’re researching the training schemes and asking questions before signing people up! At the Mazda Academy, training is focused around several areas – sales, aftersales and technical, with bodyshop schemes in the pipeline for the future. A flexible approach means most dealer needs can be catered for. For instance: ‘If you have a salesman who wants to become a sales manager, we can devise a two or three-year programme to help him get there. This is ideal for you but it’s also a carrot for him, too, and gives reason to the whole idea of training.’ The Mazda Academy is also embarking on a ‘Dealer Enhancement Programme’ series of training solutions. This is more ad hoc in approach, and sees the Mazda UK business managers work with the dealership management on site, to find out what sort of issues are pressing in their business. From this, they’ll talk with others in the dealership, from receptionist to sales manager, to see in what ways the

business could be maximised; development spreadsheets will provide action plans on how to improve the areas discussed. Like all good training schemes, this continues the ideal training ethos, of all parties working together. ‘Mazda Academy, Mazda UK and dealerships all combine under an improvement umbrella to help achieve the mission statement. By doing this, big business gains will be found.’ Van den Berg stresses another important part of training: that of the well-planned training follow-up. ‘We don’t just give the delegate an action plan. We take two copies, one of which stays with us. We’ll send this to both the dealer and dealership business manager, so Mazda UK can plan with the trainee’s line manager on how plans will be actioned. ‘On the business manager’s next visit to the dealership, they can then follow up on training progress of the trainee, with reference to the action plan we devised. This encourages dealerships to take ownership of formal learning, in order to ensure the whole organisation develops.’ Yet another example of training process management that help your key knowledge asset – your staff – to perform at the maximum. In short, training shouldn’t just be seen as something you’re forced to do, but a series of events that can solve identified problem areas and take your dealership to the next level. Done well, training is not just about an individual’s work methods; it also helps strengthen brand differentiation, which is becoming increasingly important as cars become ever more competitive. More and more strong models mean the brand is playing a bigger role in determining which car buyers choose. ‘Car firms differentiate their cars and engineer in a brand feel to drive themselves – but how do they do this for the sales process too? Well, through training; Mazda, for example, wants to challenge the rules with its sales process, to introduce a bit of fun into things.’ Everyone is talking about training nowadays. The complacency of the good days has gone – now, only the few fail to realise that, to actually grow business and make more money, you need to rely on the people doing the job, rather than the market itself. Without doubt, says van den Berg, it is an absolute fundamental of the sales process to perfect. Are you? > | 55


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Sales Process



Get buyers the dream car they can afford


ar finance is about turning dreams into reality. If you’ve been successful to this point, you will have a deal on the table, with a customer happy and eager to press ahead. Here is where finance comes in. Few will have the cost of a new car sitting in their bank account, so they’ll need to borrow money to complete the deal. This is how you seal the buying proposition. Problem is, in the current financial climate, it is harder than ever to do. Enter experts such as Oracle Finance. They are one of the UK’s leading premium vehicle finance company, underwriting a massive £200m every single year. This figure is so high because they cater for the really high-end of the car market: Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Rolls-Royce and, yes, Bugattis. Such finance experts will help you find the best, most suitable deal for customers, while also ensuring a good return for you, too. This is done using a bespoke approach to generate ideal solutions for car buyers; increasingly nowadays, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach – finance is vital to the sales process, but it must be the right finance. Indeed, by doing this, finance can be used to actually nail the deal itself. Is the customer keen but unconvinced they can actually get into the new or used car of their choice? Does the deal still hover some way above the table? Enter car finance – with the best companies out there doing what could seem impossible, and getting people you thought you couldn’t place into cars they thought were out of bounds. As explained, with car finance, the trick is balancing the needs of both dealer and customer. It is a good source of extra revenue for you, but if the customer looks at the figures and thinks they’re being taken for a ride, they’ll walk away, Don’t forget, they’ll always use the stick of personal loans to challenge you, so it’s vital any deals you offer are sharp. FSA regulations also mean nothing can be hidden in the small print. You’ll have to tell the customer exactly what they’ll be paying and what they’ll be liable for. It’s crucial then you work with your loan provider to get the sharpest possible package for all concerned. Firms such as Oracle specialise in this. By taking their bespoke approach to deals, they tailor things to suit all concerned. An aim of such bespoke finance companies is to build up long-term relationships with both dealers and customers; do this, and customers will return to dealers time and again, to source more of the same. It’s great long-term business sense. It also helps offset the negative perception of car finance. The FLA reports finance uptake at car dealers is slipping, and it is an assumption that dealer rates are uncompetitive that is driving this. Therefore, make sure you work with your finance partner to make your deals as sharp as possible: again, partners such as Oracle will be active in this. Knaresborough’s Lawton Brook is one such car dealer that’s benefitted from Oracle’s expertise in supercar finance. The business teams up with Oracle to supply both finance leads and, in return, sourcing vehicles. It is a strong mutual relationship that proves the importance of having a strong finance partner. Here, flexible deals from Oracle cover all bases – low monthly payments, or low deposit, or interest-only payments – even deals specifically including the ability to exit midagreement with minimal penalties. Why? Well, so people can change cars more frequently: a key priority for many supercar buyers… Tempted by some of the premium stock on offer at Lawton Brook, we checked out some of the PCP deals Oracle offers. Yes, they’re very much at the top end of the market, but the same principles apply when financing superminis: with car finance, you’re helping buyers access models they would not have the hard cash to do so otherwise. Who doesn’t fancy an Audi R8? If a six-figure price tag is a barrier, Oracle helps out: If buyers have a £30k deposit, they can have the Audi supercar for a decidedly family hatch-like £399 a month, over two years, with a guaranteed future value at the end. Deposit too steep? Oracle has an alternative: sell the family hatch, put down the £8,500 proceeds, and then pay £1,099 a month for four years. There’s more. Some customers have ample savings. Should they put £350,000 of that down, they can, unbelievably, get a Bugatti Veyron for a not-too-ridiculous £4,399 a month, over two years. If the house they’re selling is more of a two-bed terrace, then finance allows them to put £150,000 down, and pay £9,899 over four years. Admit it: you’re dreaming. That’s the beauty of car finance, and why it is of so much importance to the sales process… > | 57

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Call: 0845 1368430 email: or visit: The Insurer is MAPFRE ASISTENCIA Compañia Internacional de seguros y Reaseguros Sociedad Anónima (”MAPFRE”). The administrator is ABRAXAS Insurance Administration Services Limited (which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MAPFRE) authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.


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Sales Process

GAP / PPIBluesky

They do the hard work, you bank the commission


eal done? Don’t stop there! Because there are still opportunities to increase your profit margin – and a key one is in the sale of GAP and PPI insurance. Who better than Mapfre Abraxas to advise here? The huge firm’s commercial director, Nancy Rignall, says such tailormade solutions and products are its speciality – these are provided to dealers through the firm’s internal underwriting and IT departments, meaning dealers can actually personalise insurance products to their own customer database. Payment protection insurance covers car payments if the owner is sick or becomes unemployed. It takes the risk out of car loans – given how the average person owes over £12,000, and more than 1,800 people are made redundant every day, potential interest in PPI could well be significant. Indeed, in recognition of just how many Brits are exposed to debt, Mapfre Abraxas has a further alternative for car dealers – Credit Protect. This is not linked to a purchase, and provides standalone protection for outstanding credit. You can thus offer it to all of your customers; it costs less than regular PPI, yet it still provides a healthy revenue stream. Given the current economic climate, it has significant potential. GAP, meanwhile, is a product that recognises owner valuations and insurer valuations of cars that have been written off frequently differ. An insurer will pay a value based on depreciation, which can be significantly less than

it costs to get a replacement equivalent. GAP fills in that difference – or, if it is greater, pay off the amount outstanding on finance. It is offered for both new and used cars. Impressively, car dealers can promote GAP as paying the difference between the insurer’s value and the cost of a new car, even if the list price has risen in that time. This point is particularly relevant today, with new car prices generally on the up. It is a compelling ‘new for old’ product that eliminates the risk of writing off a new car. Both are two key revenue streams from Mapfre Abraxas’ vast product portfolio. ‘All of our products are designed and developed with focus on all areas of FSA guidance of treating customers fairly,’ says Rignall. This is crucial – PPI sales in particular have got something of a rough ride recently, which is why selling payment protection or insurance claim-focused GAP insurance products are not so straightforward these days. Getting a customer to sign there and then can often be tricky. Yet still, the big gains are there to be had if you can achieve it. Mapfre Abraxas’ solution? FSA-regulated telemarketing and resolicitiation sales programmes. Cost neutral to car dealers, they allow car dealers to approach buyers of their cars, even after the deal has been done, to drive sales of these profitable insurance schemes. The promise, says Rignall, is simple: ‘Sign a short confirmation contract, give us the data via secure upload, and we’ll do the work for you. All you do is bank the commission we make for you!’ Who can argue with that? Full monitoring and reporting is provided too, from the firm’s hi-tech, quality-controlled call centre. Could PPI and GAP insurance help protect and fill the gaps in your profit streams? > | 59

After scrappage? Aftersales? ...After thought? Replacing the lost profit from the scrappage scheme by adopting a consistent approach within the process.

Protection – not just for your customers, but also for your profit, beware the unexpected repair bills that you will have to pay for! Retention – keeping customers in the loop is vital for ongoing profit creation through repeat business and repair and service revenue. Opportunity – every retail and service customer is a valid target for an additional product and another visit to your showroom. Fact – our supporting dealers are making more money per unit by offering warranty, GAP and recovery products to everyone.

Innovation – we can design a product to suit your business and incentivise your customers to buy from you. Training – for your sales staff to maximise the profit potential through the sales process. If we continue to do the good things in a consistent and measured way, I can think of no reason why every customer should not buy from us. We’re one of the fastest growing warranty companies in the UK - if you would like to make more profits please call our Business Development Director, Eric Stone, on 0800 197 0321 or email

0800 197 0321


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Sales Process

Warranty Bluesky

Boost your profits on car sales by 60 per cent


arranties can boost profits on car sales by up to 60 per cent: there are many more advantages to offering them, says WMS’ Eric Stone, but this is usually the one that grabs most attention! This means they are a key part of the sales process for you – but they are also just as important to those buying your cars, too. ‘Warranties are all about risk eradication,’ explains Stone, particularly when it comes to secondhand cars. ‘The customer will usually be more wary of buying a used vehicle, so a policy that is designed to insure against sudden mechanical and electrical failure could prove to be a very attractive option.’ Such reassurance, if promoted well, will also offer more ability to drive repeat business. This is the case even if a fault does subsequently develop; the customer will be dealt with smoothly, and you won’t face the impact on cashflow caused by committing to undertake future repairs. All WMS products cover all parts AND labour costs; even more compelling, for a small premium, there’s the option to use franchised repairers. ‘Car hire costs will be reimbursed if the repair takes longer than eight hours, hotel accommodation will be covered if necessary, and we also offer vehicle recovery contributions. ‘Our USP is that we guarantee ratified claim reimbursement within 24 hours. This means thousands of repairers and policy holders across the UK.’

What’s more, if you think a warranty is just think again. St about coverin one runs throug g a car itself, h some of the these include M options offere OT insurance, d by WMS – GAP insurance, recovery, alloy five levels of br wheel and tyre eakdown warranty, HGV of motorcycle and coach cove cover, Dealer Fu r, five levels nd wa rra Many of these nty products… products have and plenty mor been analysed e! detail: they all by Car Dealer combine to of Magazine in fer a useful ar by more than ray of options 2,500 approved currently used car dealership further, WMS s. To boost this Group has rece presence ntly been born Management e out of the fo Services firm, wh rm er Warranty ich was created in 2003. by three IMI Fe llows back With contempo rary branding and a compreh aims to sustain ensive new we WMS Group gr bsite, Stone owth by unde warranties are rlining just ho to profits gene w important ra tion and custo free training, th mer retention. e latest online ‘We offer systems, deale materials – I ev r support and en personally marketing wr ite regular upda market and of tes on the state fer Best Practic of the e advice to car ‘The right warra dealers,’ says St nty will ensure one. the car buyer lea the greatest pe ves the foreco ace of mind av urt with ailable.’ That wa far more in th rm feeling coul e long term th d be worth an th e financial bonu with selling a ses that, yes, als warranty… > o come | 61


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Sales Process

Paint protection Bluesky

Make an extra £200 on every car you sell...


odern cars are so loaded with extras, car dealers must be more innovative in selling products in addition to the car. One area that’s a potential goldmine is paint protection. To what extent? ‘A dealer can make up to £200 extra per vehicle from it…’ So says Diamondbrite’s Lance Boseley, who reveals the firm’s most successful premium-margin dealers are selling more than 40 packs a month. That’s £8k a month extra revenue – and Jaguar Sevenoaks who provide the case study stats also reveal they’re regularly achieving 80 per cent penetration. That’s pretty exceptional penetration on high-worth cars, but most of Diamondbrite’s dealers achieve 50 per cent penetration: ‘Every other car they sell is paint-protected’. Every other car YOU sell could be making your dealer an extra £200… when you think that some of Diamondbrite’s biggest customers are actually car supermarkets – and that Motor Nation Darlington orders 120 packs every single month – it’s easy to see how fast returns will clock up. ‘Some of our more successful sales people make an extra £5,000 per year,’ adds Boseley. Yes, there’s big money in it for individual dealers, too! The promise you can offer customers is that they’ll never have to polish their car again. Pretty compelling, huh? The firm backs this up with, remarkably, a lifetime guarantee. This is in place so long as customers use the Diamondbrite conserver and car shampoo, while an annual inspection is also recommended. Aftersales opportunities are significant here. YOU should be selling the conserver and car shampoo, and YOU should be carrying out the annual inspection! If you’re trained and accredited, chances are you will be – meaning the customer has all the more reason to return and provide you

with the all-important customer contact. The protection is applied in a two-stage process by one of your technicians trained by Diamondbrite. This forms a tough glaze that halts fade and oxidation, shrugs off UV damage and can even protect against bird lime. It’s prime for the taking. ‘Most dealers are achieving lower penetrations than they should, because they are just relieved to have sold the car and want to move on to the next one, or they believe they have got the most out of the customer. Not so, as many of our clients prove. ‘It is all about process and belief. If the salesperson offers it to every customer and knows how to overcome objections, they will have a better chance of selling it. In addition, the more belief and commitment they show, the higher the chance of a successful sale.’ Much of this comes from training by the supplier, but there must also be commitment from the dealer management. ‘Use us, too,’ says Boseley. ‘We have an employed team of sales people who spend most of their time training the dealers to sell the product. ‘We do not charge for this service, but dealers do not always take full advantage of it. We also offer a comprehensive range of point of sale – again, free of charge to dealers.’ So, costs to set up and become a part of this high-return profit stream? ‘It only costs the price of a selection of packs for the dealer to get started. This can vary from £200 to £500 depending on the pack.’ Really, there’s little to lose in offering a paint protection service. Firms such as Diamondbrite will sell you everything you need, and train you, so all you have to do is present the opportunity to sales people. With a potential boost of £5k a year, the interest could well be significant… > | 63


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Sales Process

Smart repair Bluesky

An extra profit stream of £200,000 a year...


ou probably suspect as much, looking at some of the cars rolling into your dealership, but research confirms it; more than two in three owners who visit a car dealer will be a potential smart repair customer. Owners, it seems, are happy to live with minor bumper scrapes, small cracks in windscreens, chipped paintwork and car park dings. Why? Because they fear rectifying it will cost them big! Not so, says Ayce Systems’ Paul Leather – if you are geared up at your dealer to provide a series of Smart repairs. Indeed, you probably already use them, to tidy up those minor jobs on used stock, or decent part-exchanges that are being sent to auction. Why not take this business in house? ‘It will mean you can prepare your own used stock to a higher level, at minimal cost; but also, more significantly, it is an offer you can put to your existing customers whose cars are in for a service, whenever they visit you.’ For a price low enough to really surprise car owners, you can offer to take their car back to how it was, quickly and effectively. And the result for you is potential clear profits that run into many tens of thousands. ‘As most smart repairs come in at less than £80, customers usually agree to have the work done,’ he says.

64 |

‘If you complete an average of 84 jobs a week – equating to the 70 per cent of customers who may have need for such services – there is a potential revenue stream of more than £200k per year! The added bonus is that this new business will attract new customers into your car dealer as well; to which you have the potential to upsell parts, services, MOTs, even new and used cars.’ It is new technology that means car dealers can explore such new business opportunities that previously could only be done by specialists. Leather says Ayce can offer all you need to get started in the smart repair business; all the latest systems (many boasting ‘while you wait’ speed), plus the training and aftercare in using them. ‘We are the only UK smart repair training centre to be approved by the RMI’s MVRA division, and are also a supplier to MVRA membership.’ Don’t worry about facilities, either, says Leather. Smart repairs are not restricted to dealers with bodyshop facilities. All you need is a vacant bay or undercover area for the operator to work. Just what can you offer? Well, Ayce products include paint and bumper repair, alloy wheel refurbishment, paintless dent repair, interior and glass repair, even UV ovens and deodorising systems. Buy the equipment and the training on using it is free; what’s more, you can also lease the equipment from Ayce, for even lower cost of initial implementation. The firm comes well recommended with manufacturer approval; both Peugeot and Renault grant it authorised supplier status for its bodywork rapid-repair systems. ‘It really is the perfect add-on to promote to customers during routine servicing or other ad-hoc visits, and represents a significant opportunity to grow business in a new way.’ Sounds smart to us. [CD]

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Car Dealer Guide to the Sales Process  

How car dealers can make more money from every single car sale feature as published in the June issue of Car Dealer Magazine

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