Category Archives: Delivery Process

The Perfect Delivery

The delivery is without a doubt, the most important part of a sale. I firmly believe that if your people do it right, these customers are going to make your store successful down the road. Because as you know, if they are happy now, they will buy from you again as well as send everyone they know to buy from you.

When the customer leaves the dealership after picking up their car, they should be the happiest people in the world. If not, somebody did something wrong.

I am sure you have a delivery process in place now and it may be working well, but if you don’t, or if you think everyone is kind of doing their own thing when it comes to deliveries, then this article is for you.

I have laid out what I think is the right delivery system along with bullet points, tips and dialogue. I have written this for your salespeople so simply make copies and have your managers go through it in a sales meeting or two. Make a delivery system part of every deal.

Here are the two rules that you must adhere to, insuring this customer is yours for life.

A. Follow up
It sounds simple enough, but you would not believe how many salespeople, knowing they have a car going out at 5:00 pm, sit around until 4:45, and then go check on the car only to find out that nothing has been done on it! The cruise control wasn’t installed or the car is still, or whatever. Don’t let that happen to you. Assuming this is not a spot delivery, it’s your responsibility to start the ball rolling. Simply follow the car all day and make sure everything’s done. Because who has more at stake with this customer? You, who stands to make a $350 commission, or a set-up person who makes $12 an hour? Just because you closed a sale and the customer has left doesn’t mean you should assume someone else is going to take the ball from here… even if it’s his or her job. Get with the new or used car manager (depending on whether the car is new or used) and find out what needs to be done.

[list:1i6tf1cq]• Do we have to install cruise control?

• Who does it? An outside vendor or one of the technicians here at the dealership?

• Do we have to write an order to get the work done? (You bet your bottom dollar you do! No service department will do work on any car without one.)

• Do I have to take the car to some outside vendor to get the sunroof installed or will they send someone to pick it up? Or do they do it here?

• What about the customer’s trade-in? Did they leave us the title? Who has that? [/list:u:1i6tf1cq]
B. Be there
If you have a car going out at 5:00 pm, don’t have a fellow salesperson deliver the car because you have a doctor’s appointment. There are a couple problems with that. First off, nothing ever goes 100 percent on a delivery. There are always snafus; some major, some minor. Hopefully if you follow up you can keep those to a minimum, but shi… I mean stuff happens. Maybe the lot kid who washed the car, moved it to “sold row,” and went home with the keys in his pocket. Or maybe the customer forgot to bring the title to the trade-in. All sorts of things like that can happen.

If you have someone else to do your delivery they certainly aren’t going to jump through hoops to keep the customer happy. The salesperson will just hand the guy the keys, “Jack said he couldn’t make it for your delivery, so if you have any problems call him. He’ll be back tomorrow. The car is over there.” Boy that certainly was exciting for a guy spending $25,000, wasn’t it?

The other problem is if you ask a guy like me to do your delivery, your customer has just run into a buzz saw. I am going to give your customer the red carpet treatment. He’s going to wish he bought the car from me. And when he leaves, I am going to give him three or four of my cards! “Listen, if your salesperson isn’t around when you have a question or anything, I’ll be happy to help you. By the way, as you know most of my business comes from repeats and referrals just like yourself so if you ever run into anyone who needs help with their transportation needs, give them one of these cards and I’ll make sure there is something nice in it for you.”

So if you don’t want a Jack Bennett to deliver your next car, I encourage you to be there. If you don’t care enough about your future to take care of these people, I will! When the paperwork is done and the customers are ready to drive away, you have to be there! You have to be right in their face telling them how much you love them. If your manufacturers have checklists for each make model, make sure you use them and cover everything. And most dealerships also have a checklist for the used car deliveries.

When it comes to the mechanics of how the delivery is done, here are a few points:

1. Make sure the car is ready before the customer gets there.

2. Make sure the paperwork is ready before the customer gets there.

3. Remind the customer to bring the title, extra keys, down payment and any other papers.

4. Remind the customer to allow an hour and a half to complete the delivery (for new cars).

[list:1i6tf1cq]• When the customer arrives, introduce the business manager who will take care of their paperwork first.

• Introduce the new owner(s) to the service people.

• Explain and complete your paperwork.

• Explain the warranty.

• Review the CSI questionnaire the customer will receive in the mail.[/list:u:1i6tf1cq]
5. You show them their new car!

[list:1i6tf1cq]• You show them their new car and do a mini walk-around. What I mean by that is you don’t have to go into the detail you did when you sold them the car.

• In the trunk area show them where the spare tire and jack are located and how to use them.

• Under the hood, show them all the operational things like where to check the oil and add the windshield washer solvent.

• Inside the car, take your time going over all the instruments throughout the interior. Always try to preset the radio stations to the same ones as their trade in. It’s a nice touch.

• Fill fuel tank on new cars if applicable.[/list:u:1i6tf1cq]
Remember to make a “show” out of the delivery. Reinforce the buying decision and let customer know he/she has made the right decision to buy this car at this time.

The last thing you do is this. You say, “Mr. Jones, as I mentioned before most of my business comes from repeats and referrals just like yourself, so I would appreciate it if you could help me out. Here are a few of my cards. If run into anyone you know that may some day be in the market for a car; please give them one. I have your name written on each one so when they come in, I’ll be able to take care of you as well.”

[list:1i6tf1cq]• Say “hello” not “goodbye”.[/list:u:1i6tf1cq]
That’s all there is to make a perfect delivery. Be polite. Be complete.
Good luck and great selling.

Next month I will be including a follow up/prospecting sheet that will help ensure all of your salespeople are asking for more business.

Jack Bennett is the author of “You Can And Should Sell Cars,” He has been in the business for over 30 years and has trained thousands of salespeople across the country. He is now the owner of Main Street Auto Sales in Fond du Lac, WI.

Delivery: Your Last Chance to Say ‘Hello’

Last month we talked about the delivery and I promised I would supply the perfect prospecting sheets and final details to ensure future success for your salespeople and ultimately your bottom line. I have also included the follow up sheet that should be filled out during delivery, before the customer gets into their new car. Review last month’s article for step-by-step instructions.

First, let’s review some interesting facts about the delivery, follow-up and how it leads to prospecting. We do a good delivery to familiarize your customer with their car. Your customer will only remember about 10 percent of what you cover in your presentation. That means your customer is still unfamiliar with the product.

We do a good delivery to ensure future business. Your long-term success will depend on how quickly and effectively you can develop a solid customer base of your own who like, trust and believe that as a salesperson you will be there to help them at any time with their automotive needs. The last time they bought a vehicle, if their salesperson didn’t do a good job, it’s why they came to see you and not back to him or her. However, their expectations probably haven’t changed much and they are expecting a repeat performance. So be different – impress your customer and you will find that you will build rapport, which is where repeat and referral business comes from.

And don’t forget the back end. Now that the customer owns the car, they need direction on what to do next. You should familiarize your customer with your dealership’s service hours, policies, and procedures. Most importantly, your customer should know who to talk to about service. It is also your responsibility to advise your customer about surveys from the manufacturer. (CSI)

If you don’t take the time to introduce your customer to the key people in the other departments now, they may end up having their vehicle serviced down the street instead. Why does this matter to you? Because 76 percent of the people will purchase their next car where they have their current vehicle serviced now.

Too many salespeople get bogged down trying to help their customers out in service. Their intentions are good, but the result isn’t always the same. Why? Because when a salesperson starts meddling in service, scheduling appointments, trying to get the technicians to drop what they’re doing, things don’t work out. Take the time and introduce your customer to a service advisor that you know will take good care of them. Even if they come and see you first, your customer will feel more comfortable when you turn them back to service because they already know the people there.

Step by step proper delivery:

[list:b6bh3o3m]1. Use the new and used prospect form shown at the end of this article. Write both the customer name and yours. Keep it personal.

2. If you deliver your own deals, present the new and used prospect form at a time that you must leave the room for a short while (e.g. checking the mileage for the odometer statement). This allows the customer proper time to think of legitimate prospects.

3. What to say and how you say it are important. “Tom, Jane, I need one more thing. As you know most of my business comes from repeats and referrals just like yourself, so if you could just jot down the names of three people you know, I’d appreciate it. They don’t have to be hot prospects, just the best three you can think of. Maybe a friend, relative, neighbor, someone at work, or someone who knows you’re buying this car, and one that might be in the market soon. I’ll let them know when our sales and specials occur.”

4. Steer the paper and pen to the most co-operative of the two, offer to buy another cup of coffee, etc., and leave. “Take your time; I’ll be a few minutes. Here’s a phone book if you need one, a lot of people do.”

5. As you return, pick up the paper and check to see if you need further information such as the phone number, last name, address, etc. It is at this time when they usually apologize if they don’t have all three names. If they don’t, you say “That’s OK, I’ll call you in a few days to check on you. I’m sure there will be somebody that sees your car and might want to get in touch! Thanks for all your help.” If there is a name or two they’ve written down, always ask, “What made you think of him?”

6. In the case of a trade-in – “Oh, I almost forgot, you did mention that there were several people who might be interested in purchasing your car. If you could take a second and jot down their names, I’d appreciate it.” It is important: Don’t discuss prospects for the trade-in until after you return. If you asked for the three names and a prospect for the trade-in at the same time, it makes it difficult for the customer to come up with any names.[/list:u:b6bh3o3m]
Using these techniques should average you at least one good prospect for each delivery. For best results, have the form in the deal jacket. Customers will view it as important and necessary paperwork.

The last thing you say to the customer after you have thanked them for their business is “Congratulations – enjoy your new car!” Why? Because their response will be, “Thank you” (for selling it to me). Call them in a few hours after the delivery (as long as the time isn’t too late). This reassures them you are not like the salesperson who sold them their last car. Keep it simple: “Hi Bob, I wanted to make sure you know how everything works on the car.”

Jack Bennett is the author of “You Can And Should Sell Cars,” He has been in the business for over 30 years and has trained thousands of salespeople across the country. He is now the owner of Main Street Auto Sales in Fond du Lac, WI.

Jack Bennett’s New, Used Car and Truck Prospects
Sales rep name______________________
Customer _________________________
Date ____________________________
Address _______________________
Telephone _____________________
Driving Now ___________________

One of the best prospects for my trade-in:
Name _________________________
Address ________________________
City/State/Zip __________________
Telephone _____________________
Driving Now ___________________

Written by Jack Bennett

Delivery…The Real Delivery

As we talked about over the last two months, the delivery is an important part of the sale. And it is, or should be, the most fun. And it is, or should be one of the most profitable. I don’t know what the numbers are but in the dealerships where I’ve worked, the delivery was the most underutilized aspect of the sale in terms of generating future business. And it doesn’t need to be that way.

Let’s talk about the areas that I think are important and how they might be improved.

The business office
The business office is often a major area of concern and discontent, both for the customer and the salespeople. It always seems when you have a delivery scheduled; the business manager has a T.O. in his or her office. That means your customer must wait. And waiting is the worst when someone is all excited about picking up his or her new car. All of this leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth so let’s change it.

And you can’t blame the business manager. They are there to make money for themselves and for you. Why would they stop this opportunity to make money, just to take care of a customer that they have already made money on? Or even worse, why would they stop this opportunity to make money just to take care of a cash delivery with no-profit for the business office?

I would suggest that you do two things, some of which you may already have in place. The first would be to teach salespeople how to do cash deliveries. You may be saying, “Well anyone can do a cash delivery.” And that may be true, but I would encourage you to go over every piece of paperwork. Is there a trade? Where is the title? Where is it supposed to be signed? Is there a lien? Even if they are a cash customer, they may owe money on their trade or have it paid off and need to bring the release.

I would include in cash deliveries, customers who are getting the financing on their own. Salespeople should be able to do this type of delivery too.

Because, different types of deliveries drive up the amount of paperwork, you should organize a training session to cover it. Have the billing clerk, office manager and business manager get together and come up with a checklist that a salesperson and easily understand and use.

Note: The only time either of these situations would change would be if the business manager wants the opportunity to try and convert the cash customer to finance or to sell an extended warranty, etc. And if that is the case, then the business manager is looking at the opportunity to make money and would be more inclined to not let that customer wait.

This all leads me directly to what I believe is the best way to alleviate all of the above scenarios.

Spot deliveries
It is my opinion that every customer should be spot delivered. And I’m basing that on a thought process that was presented years ago to a group of dealers, general managers and myself by David Lewis, president of David Lewis and Associates.

His company covers many areas of dealership education and we hosted a seminar for him to cover the business office. David went around the meeting room and asked a few of the dealers, “How many vehicles to you deliver in a month?” The dealer responds, “225”. And David said, “Well, then your business manager sees 550 people a month.”

Then he asked another dealer the same question and the response was 180. David said, “So your business manager sees 360 people a month. Not understanding what David was getting at, he had everyone, including me, scratching our heads. Well, your business manager(s) see every customer twice. Once on the T.O. and once on the delivery.

Everyone agreed. Then he continued. “Why wouldn’t you just have the business manager deliver the car on paper, at the time of the T.O.?”

Now I know all the objections you want to raise about credit and getting the car ready and all that but when you really think abut it, what’s the big deal? You have a signed credit application, you can get a credit report in minutes and you could probably get approval from the bank in no time. If something changes, like the customer decides to take or not to take the warranty or the insurance etc, you just rerun a document.

Then when the customer comes back later that day with the title and wants to actually pick up the car, the business manager is done.

If they actually take the car, we can always bring customer back for the sunroof installation, the rustproofing or whatever.

Note: From a legal standpoint, there is a lot more to spot deliveries than I could ever hope to cover here in terms of the laws. I would encourage you to understand yours. Call your metro or state association and they can answer any questions regarding that.

In the meantime examine your procedures and make the changes you need to get more cars down the road…today!

Good luck and great selling.

Jack Bennett is the author of “You Can And Should Sell Cars,” He has been in the business for over 30 years and has trained thousands of salespeople across the country. He is now the owner of Main Street Auto Sales in Fond du Lac, WI.

Professional Delivery Techniques


Your actual sale of the new vehicle is not complete until your customer has taken delivery of his or her new car or truck. It is our reluctance, or refusal, to devote proper time and consideration to the area of delivery that will only help to reinforce (in the eye of the public) the idea that all a car “salesman” cares about is his commission. Once the vehicle has been sold and contracted, proper procedure and technique seem to fly out the window. As a result, dealership personnel must closely monitor the delivery procedure. Dealers must insure that guidelines are in place and policies are both understood and adhered to.

If your customer does not leave the dealership totally ecstatic about his or her purchase, you have failed as a salesperson. If your customer is not knowledgeable about the functions and features of his or her new vehicle, you have failed as a salesperson. If your customer does not fully understand the depth, length, and benefits of his or her warranties, both factory and after-market, you have failed as a salesperson. In addition, if you have not introduced your customer to your management or instructed your customer as to the locations, hours of operations, policies, and capabilities of the body shop, the parts department, and the service department, then you have done yourself, your customer, and your company a disservice. And, again, you will have failed as a professional automobile salesperson.

This may all sound a little harsh, but the importance of a proper delivery cannot be either undervalued or overlooked. It’s up to you how the customer feels when he or she is drives away.

To better understand why we should place so much emphasis on the delivery process, let’s look at the overall benefits of covering all of the bases:

[list:1bmvud6f]1. Better customer knowledge of the product, the product’s warranties, and the company’s service policies and hours of operations eliminates confusion.

2. Better customer understanding leads to fewer callbacks, which in essence protects your floor time.

3. A professional delivery is both remembered and appreciated – and the ways your customer thanks you include both repeat and referral business – a solid foundation on which to build a sales career.

4. A professional delivery almost insures a high score on your company, corporate or J.D. Power SSI (Sales Satisfaction Index), CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index), QC-P (Quality Commitment/Performance), SDI (Sales Delivery Index), IQS (Initial Quality Study – a J.D. Power Survey) reports that are mailed to your customers after the sale. These questionnaires results act as your professional report cards. [/list:u:1bmvud6f]
If you would like to discover just how important your delivery process is to your customer, ask someone about his or her least pleasant experience when purchasing a car or truck, then ask for a description of the delivery of that particular vehicle. You will more than likely be told of that event as one in which the salesperson handed over the keys and pointed out where the new vehicle was parked. It’s what I like to refer to as a Three (3) Sees delivery: See your car? See your keys? See you later. This is professional?

Unfortunately – for you, me and all of the truly professional automobile salespeople out there, who are striving to do their jobs properly – there are still a few of these so-called salespeople among us who are intent on practicing their particular brand of salesmanship.

When you see these people, straighten them out or better yet, ask them why they left their last job to undertake such a monumental responsibility they know and care so very little about. Don’t read me wrong, I’m not one to play big brother; but we, as a group, need to remember that our reputations ride off in every vehicle that a customer drives home, whether the delivery has been done right, or wrong.

Knowing “why” we should make a professional delivery is clearly important; yet, knowing “how” to do the delivery is even more critical.

I have placed a very encompassing delivery process into an easy-to-remember acronym – POSITIVE. I truly believe the delivery should be a positive experience for both you and your customer.

[list:1bmvud6f]Prep the vehicle. Take the vehicle to make-ready for the following: We Owe/Due Bill – PDI – Inspection – Clean

Overview of materials. While the vehicle is being prepped review and prepare the following: Thoroughly introduce your customer to the Owners Manual, Other Factory Publications (Safety, Audio, etc.), After Market Publications that are pertinent, All Warranties – both Factory and Aftermarket. Give extra set of keys along with key codes and extra remotes. Prepare Buyers tag.

Survey Forms – Review all pertinent surveys, company, corporate, J.D. Power and/or arranged agency surveys.

Once completing the above steps you should now introduce your client to the finance manager. I strongly suggest you introduce your F&I manager using a much clearer, yet professional title. My suggestion is "In-house Lending Specialist".

Inspect the Vehicle. After the vehicle is brought to the delivery area you should thoroughly inspect the vehicle yourself including a short (1 mile) test drive to insure everything is operational and working correctly. Be critical, your customer will be!

– Prepare your customers vehicle for delivery by performing your own special touches. Wait for the customer to exit finance and then proceed:

Tour the Service/Parts/Body Shop. Insure your customer is 100% acquainted with services offered, hours of operation, drop-off/pick-up instructions, methods of payment, etc.

Introduce Key Personnel. While most of us automatically introduce management and at least one service advisor, I strongly urge you introduce everyone to as many people as possible, especially the receptionist (who do you think your customer will talk to every time they call?) and the cashier (who do you think they will talk to when they come to pick up their vehicle from service?).

Vehicle Features and Functions Presentation and Quality Inspection. Thoroughly acquaint your customer with all operational aspects of the vehicle as well as insuring the client is Completely Satisfied with the appearance and condition of the vehicle.

Establish Professional Follow-up Protocol with an immediate Thank You Card. This card should be hand written. It should be brief with no mention of referrals. This is a “THANK YOU”, not the time for you to have your hand out.[/list:u:1bmvud6f]
During the POSITIVE delivery sequence I mentioned “special touches” that will make your delivery stand out, but most of all it will create excitement in your customer making the delivery experience great for you as well.

Use a Car Cover.
You can purchase universal car covers for as little as $30.00. When you have finished your final inspection of the vehicle you should cover your customer’s vehicle. When the customer approaches his/her new vehicle they will be thrilled that it is covered.

Extra Large Thank-You Card.
You can have any thank-you card, even one you design yourself on your home computer enlarged for pennies by a place like Office Depot or Copy Max . In fact, I suggest having your card enlarged to an 11X17 on 80 – 110lb card stock. This will normally run less than $2.00 in full color, and cost only pennies in black and white. Have this card on the windshield held down by the W/S wiper. When you and the customer remove the car cover they will see their “Thank-You Card” on the windshield.

When you begin your walk-around of the vehicles exterior, go one step further, open all of the doors to their full open position. Open all doors at once. This way the customer can view all exterior panels and they can also get a clear view through the vehicle looking at the entire interior. It tells the customer there is nothing to hide.

Finally, I suggest you place a pair of everyday use garden gloves on the driver’s seat. Explain to the customer that you never want your customer to get their hands dirty on their new car. When they fill with gas, check under the hood or pull tools from the trunk urge them to wear their new gloves.

The information complied in this section is extremely important to insuring that your customer leaves your dealership totally elated with their purchase decision.

Written by Tom Holland