The Handoff: Don’t Settle for Just One Sale!

By Jon Quade on April 25, 2012Image

“With one of the most prolific arms in the entire NFL, Aaron Rodgers is always a threat in the pocket – you have to honor his ability. Which is, of course, what makes the draw play such an excellent call for the Packers.”

Ah, yes…the handoff. Though it is seldom used in today’s National Football League, it’s still exceptionally effective in the right situation. Like, say, right after you’ve consummated a vehicle sale.

Wait a second, Quade: how does a bread-and-butter NFL play relate to delivering a vehicle?

Stay calm, my friend. The vital handoff of which I speak is the one that transitions a customer (especially a new customer) from the sales department to the service department. Now, let’s be clear: this is not a pass off, where you turn the customer over to Fixed Operations, but just a temporary handoff to encourage customers to utilize all dealership departments.

Unfortunately, as in the NFL, the handoff is used sparingly at best in the dealership world, which is one reason why so many independent auto repair and maintenance shops have sprung up all over the U.S. So, let’s set the stage with a properly-executed sales-to-service handoff and identify who benefits and how:

Mary, Sales Consultant: “Susan, before we finish, I just want to show you one more thing – what to do when you bring your new car in for maintenance or service. First, pull right in front of one of these garage doors, drive over the hose, and the door will open. Pull up as far as you can into the Service Drive, and one of the advisors will assist you from there. In fact, Robert here is one of our top-rated service advisors – let’s go say hello. Robert, this is Susan and she’s picking up her new car today. I just wanted to introduce you to her so she knows who will be helping her when she comes in for maintenance.”

Robert, Service Advisor: “Hi, Susan – thank you for your business! Here is one of my business cards; feel free to contact me any time your new car needs anything. I’ll be happy to help and you can just ask for me when you come in.”

You get the idea. Now, who benefits from such an interaction?

  • The sales consultant. Customers who have their vehicles serviced at the dealership are statistically much more likely to become repeat purchasers.
  • The service advisor. When customers ask for you by name as they enter the dealership, you have the opportunity to build a long-term, trusting relationship.
  • The customer. Customers prefer to have someone to ask for when they come in, and when we’re expecting them, they feel especially cared for.

Start including this vital handoff in your sales delivery process and you’ll see your customers much more often in the service department…and in your sales department!

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