When the going gets tough…. The tough go prospecting

There is no doubt that prospecting is more work than waiting for the phone to ring or a customer to walk through the door.  The dealership needs to create prospecting systems and procedures for sales departments that identify potential prospects, communication channels, contact frequency, templates and phone scripts.

Salespeople that create their own spotters networks will generally achieve higher gross margins and improved closing ratios on referral business.  To maximise dealership success, it is imperative that prospecting forms part of the individual salesperson, sales department and dealership business plans.


Potential Prospect Sources

  • Service Department – Review tomorrow’s service schedule and identify potential leads ie. review vehicle age, kilometres, RWC.

  • Previous Customers – Previous customer lists from management system or manufacturer. Review by vehicle age, kilometres, loan payout date.

  • Friends and Associates – Setup your spotter network through social clubs, your accountant, friends and relatives.  Use Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to promote yourself as an expert sales professional.  Offer $100 spotters fees for referrals.

  • Online Vehicle Classifieds eg. Gumtree and Carpoint – Search on keywords “Upgrading” , “Downsizing”.

  • Smash Repairers – Setup a referral network with local smash repairers.  Review parts trade discount levels based on smash repairer referral support to dealership.

  • Brokers – Setup a referral network with car brokers and salary sacrifice businesses.

  • Lost Sales – Review previous enquiries who advised they decided to hold off purchasing a vehicle.

  • Local Businesses – Use Company 360 or Premium LinkedIn to find the decision makers for local businesses.

Spotter Tools

  • Business cards with spotters referral information on the back.

  • Fridge magnets with dealership contact details and spotters referral information.

  • Sticker on fuel hatch with salesperson name, dealership contact details and spotters referral information.

  • Key Ring with dealership contact details and spotters referral information.

  • Hand written birthday cards with fridge magnet and business cards.


Prospecting KPIs

  • Outbound Emails per Day (Personalised Salesperson to Prospect)

  • Outbound Email Follow Up Calls per Day

  • Appointment to Call Ratio

  • Sales from Prospecting Activities

Online Resources

Dealer Playbook – The Lost Art of Prospecting

An Argument for Specialized Sales Teams

Sales-I – Email Templates

Dealership Prospecting

Mark Stonebridge

Dealership Coach

Bridge the Gap between Planning and Performance


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