Road to Acquisition
Your name

                           Your dealership

“Every journey             What is Active Prospecting?

 of a th...
                                                              visit                       rk
4   Who is my target group?
    Customer segmentation increases your
                                               5   Cu...
6   Key success factors
    90% of success is based on preparation
                                                7   Aft...
Mercedes-Benz LOCATION.

                                                                   Good day!
er, um,
                                                                   you know, actually,
11   Cold visits
     The three-pointed star opens doors
     to new customers

 •    Find potential customers in your ...
14   Conquest
     Induce competitors’ customers
                                                 15   Social network
16   Marketing activities
     Acquiring customers directly and
                                                    17   A...
18   Closing on prospects
     Signing of the contract — the beginning
20   Planning/Controlling/Evaluation
     Successful acquisition can be managed
22   Customer relationship management
     You can make the difference between
     customers and loyal customers
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Road To Acquisition (E)


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Road To Acquisition (E)

  1. 1. 03.2005 Road to Acquisition
  2. 2. Your name Your dealership “Every journey What is Active Prospecting? of a thousand miles 1 Proactive contacting of prospects to turn them into customers begins with the first step” • Don’t wait for customers in the showroom — go out and get them • Don’t be afraid — the three-pointed star opens doors for you • Don’t wait for referrals — ask for them from your customers • Know your market — locate and connect with successful local businessmen • Open your eyes — join local clubs and events to find new customers • Leave your mark — hand over brochures and your name card during each visit • Never let go — always follow up on acquisition activities
  3. 3. Cold visit rk s Social netwo Col es al dc rs alls Af te Referrals Direc t mai lings est Marketing Conqu 2 Why Active Prospecting? Remember, not everyone knows 3 How to do Active Prospecting? All paths lead to potential customers — Mercedes-Benz, the right mix is the key to success your dealership and you • Customers do not come to Mercedes-Benz “voluntarily” — go out • Focus on the right target group — segmentation increases your chance to close a deal and get them • Customers become increasingly informed • Cold calls and cold visits — it’s difficult, but rewarding and sophisticated • Customers do have alternatives and they • Direct mailings — very effective if executed correctly don’t hesitate to choose other brands • Mercedes-Benz faces fierce competition • Referrals — ask loyal customers to refer friends, colleagues, etc to you • There is untapped potential in every area • After sales customers — tap into your dealership’s goldmine • In a nutshell: active prospecting helps to pull potential customers to your dealership, i.e. increase showroom traffic • Conquest and social network — stir up interest in Mercedes-Benz (in everyone and everywhere) • Marketing activities — get noticed in your market
  4. 4. 4 Who is my target group? Customer segmentation increases your 5 Customer segmentation Classification of customers increases chance to close a deal your success rate • Collect and capture customer data continuously and comprehensively • By product type: e.g. S-class, E-class • Identify prospect’s unique needs, • By demographics: e.g. age, gender, income level, education, marital status, preferences and requirements profession • Classify customers according to segmentation criteria • By psychographics: e.g. hobbies, life-style, interests • Identify market segments with highest sales potential • By geography: e.g. rural vs. urban area • In a nutshell: segmentation enables • By behavioral: e.g. re-purchase cycle (every x years) targeted active prospecting and efficient use of resources • By importance: e.g. customer life-time value, value of transactions, loyal customers • By vehicle ownership: e.g. current vehicle older than x years
  5. 5. 6 Key success factors 90% of success is based on preparation 7 After sales customers Tap into your dealership’s goldmine • What to achieve by when? — Set clear and realistic objectives • After sales customers are a goldmine to capture new sales customers • Who to contact when and why? — Determine priorities • Coordinate customer data with your service department — go out and capture all after sales customers • When to do showroom and outside appointments? — Plan your day accordingly • Prioritize your after sales customers through segmentation — e.g. current • What contacts have I had with the prospect? — Know your prospect vehicle older than x years • How to structure calls and visits? — • Establish a first contact — introduce yourself to after sales customers Structure your calls and visits • Prepare yourself for the prospect • Manage them — to ensure they buy from you (contact history, documents, etc) • In a nutshell: be prepared, enthusiastic, • And remember: follow-up existing sales customers so they also buy from and goal-oriented you again!
  6. 6. Mercedes-Benz LOCATION. Good day! My name is … 8 Cold calls are difficult but rewarding Those who forget to prepare are There is no second chance to make a prepared to be forgotten first impression • Set clear and realistic goals, e.g. invitation to dealership — no one sells a • Structure your call (how to initiate, maintain, and end calls?) car during the first call •Introduce yourself professionally with • Tidy up your workplace and have note paper ready — a clean start for a “Mercedes-Benz LOCATION. Good day! My name is …” promising deal • Give a reason for your call and be prepared • Avoid any background noises — the basis for an effective call to answer “What’s this all about?” • Clarify key questions (find as much • Determine right time to make your call — not all times are equally effective information about your prospect as possible) • Professional ending (sum up • Get into a positive mood — people “see” if you smile on the phone agreements, secure follow-up contact, offer prospect to call back) • Thank prospect for speaking to you •Document the call upon completion (summary, findings, next contact)
  7. 7. er, um, you know, actually, perhaps, maybe, could, would, unfortunately, never, not, cheap, bad, difficult, sometimes, I’m sure you are aware that…, I bet you…, may I ask, to be honest, I think, I believe 9 Linguistics Treat every call as if it’s your only one 10 Professional telephone manner Avoid the following words and phrases… • Listen actively by re-confirming what the prospect says • Fillers (er, um, you know) • Qualifiers (actually, perhaps, maybe, • Speak slowly and briefly pause between sentences sometimes) • Repetition (repeating what has been said) • Ask only one question at a time • Conditionals (could, would) • Pause after every question to prompt answers • Negative words (unfortunately, never, not, cheap, bad, difficult) • Address prospect by name • Suppositions (I’m sure you are aware • Avoid fillers, conditionals, repetitions, etc that…, I bet you…) • Get to know the customer (e.g. hobbies, interests, etc) • Set phrases (may I ask, to be honest) • Condescending phrases (now then, now you listen to me) • Inferences (I think, I believe)
  8. 8. 11 Cold visits The three-pointed star opens doors to new customers • Find potential customers in your area (individuals/companies) via the internet, •Introduce yourself professionally with “Mercedes-Benz LOCATION. Good day! newspaper, etc My name is …” • Make yourself familiar with the potential customer (address, contact person, • Enquire if contact is willing to discuss matters at hand — only continue in light of current business, etc) confirmation • Set clear and realistic goals for the visit, e.g. invitation to the showroom • Identify prospect’s needs and offer tailored benefits • Reinforce positive contact with a speedy follow-up, e.g. a face-to-face appointment • Wrap up the visit professionally (sum up agreements and next steps, leave name in the showroom within one week card and brochures) • In a nutshell: prepare thoroughly for the cold visit and follow-up activities • In a nutshell: be a professional Mercedes-Benz brand advocate
  9. 9. tion Invita n tio ta vi In 12 Direct mailings Don’t send it if it is not personal or 13 Ask for referrals Loyal customers will help you grow relevant your prospect base • Make it personal and relevant to the customer • Loyal customers can bring you new customers — so ask for referrals • Secure interest with an appealing beginning and highlight key messages • Loyal customers may become your brand advocate — ask them to promote you • Attach response cards to facilitate interaction • Thank your customers for each referral and keep them up-to-date • Include “Call for action/I will contact you…” to indicate follow-up activity • Treat every referral as a potential customer • Keep in mind the best days to mail • In a nutshell: keep your customers happy and loyal and they will expand • Reinforce positive contact with a follow-up, e.g. an appointment in the your business showroom within one week
  10. 10. 14 Conquest Induce competitors’ customers 15 Social network Bring the “Star” out to the field to buy Mercedes-Benz • Locate competitor’s customers — e.g. during events or external data bases • All employees’ network has potential customers • Know our products and know the competitors’ products — then advocate • Advocate Mercedes-Benz and your dealership at every opportunity our advantages to prospects • Stir up interest in Mercedes-Benz — • Highlight the presence of your dealership — not everyone knows in everyone and everywhere about you • Join local clubs and events — there are always occasions to meet prospects • Proactively contact prospects — cold calls and visits are a perfect start • If prospects show interest, gently push for a face-to-face appointment in • Secure face-to-face appointments in the showroom — the ideal place to the showroom present Mercedes-Benz • Offer your social network to contact you at any time • Don’t be afraid of objections — you are trained to overcome them • In a nutshell: be a Mercedes-Benz brand advocate – everywhere and anytime
  11. 11. 16 Marketing activities Acquiring customers directly and 17 Area sales person Your area is your business, out of the crowd so manage it well • Highlight presence of your dealership — at events, advertising, direct mailings • Know your area (affluent residential neighborhoods, promising companies, etc) • Advertise in local media — newspaper, radio • Identify potential customers (individuals, companies, fleet, etc) • Arrange special events at the dealership — sneak previews for new products • Keep yourself up-to-date with your area (newspapers, magazines, internet, etc) • Execute acquisition strategies — cold calls, direct mailings, cold visits • Manage your area (schedule cold visits, customer visits, courtesy visits, etc) • Sponsor events — concerts, golf tournaments • Always aim to secure a face-to-face appointment in the showroom • Utilize local VIPs and opinion leaders — to raise the profile of your dealership • Continuously show presence and care about your prospects and customers in your area • In a nutshell: marketing activities increase showroom traffic in many ways
  12. 12. 18 Closing on prospects Signing of the contract — the beginning 19 Follow-up all your prospects, regularly Match your prospect management with of a life-long relationship the first-class products you sell • Personally intensify the relationship over time — and the next decision is in • Give your prospects the feeling that you really care about them — at all times favor of Mercedes-Benz • Show them you are not just selling a car • Propose concrete offers and solutions to your prospect’s individual needs • Become your prospect’s best friend — together with your service colleagues • Let the customer feel like the vehicle’s owner and then gently push to close the deal • Ideal follow-up activities after establishing contact — one week after initial contact • Never let customers leave without asking whether he wants to buy the car (“Would you • Always deliver on your promises — commitment is binding in the long run like me to reserve it for you?”) • After signing the contract, always • Always exceed your customer’s expectations with surprising gestures re-enforce your customer’s decision as a wise choice • Be there for them — always • Remember: “No” means “Not yet” — keep up the spirits and provide more benefits
  13. 13. 20 Planning/Controlling/Evaluation Successful acquisition can be managed 21 Always remember by thorough planning, monitoring, and evaluation of activities: • Number of calls • The definition of ‘to sell’ is: • Number of visits • To establish faith, confidence and • Number of follow-up activities belief in the value of Mercedes-Benz vehicles • Lost sales analysis • Sales people think price is the most • Closing rate on acquisition important factor in a sale…. • Number of showroom visits • Customers say it is the salesperson • Number of test drive conversions • Never look for excuses — it’s up to you • Number of sales conversions • Cost-benefit analysis of activities
  14. 14. 22 Customer relationship management You can make the difference between customers and loyal customers © MBCL /DCAG. Not to be reprinted, translated or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission. Remember: • Dissatisfied customers never buy again and will tell 10 friends about their bad experience • Satisfied customers may buy again and will tell only few friends about their good experience • Loyal customers always buy again and will praise you and the brand to all of their friends • Being with your customer means being with success