Hosting a private sale is a great way to get customers onto your lot and into your dealership. But how do you ensure the success of your private sale? What steps must you take to get things started?

Cast a Vision

You can’t overdo preparation and you can’t overestimate the power of your team. An hour and a half before the start of your promotion, hold a meeting with your salespeople and management team and cast a vision for your sale. This meeting should only last a few minutes, but it should ensure that everyone knows every detail about the sale. Make sure your team knows your greeting and registration processes and how to implement each one. You want to use this meeting to explain the importance of the registration process and how this should benefit your salespeople. Make sure your team has an opportunity to ask questions. This will ensure that they are engaged and that they fully understand what their requirements are.

Above all, make sure that your staff is excited about the sale! Explain the sale, show your excitement, and build hype around the sale. Your staff will see this and will, in turn, be excited and passionate about the promotion. You need your team to sell this sale to your customers and you want them to be genuine when they do this.

Set the Stage

The greeting sets the stage for the buyer to perceive the sale as unique. It is critical that a positive first impression is created and that the stage is set so that the buyer is willing to give you control.

You want your salespeople to understand that a positive first impression is essential. They should:

  • Show a willingness to provide information
  • Appreciate the buyers’ times
  • Have an informative conversation (make sure it’s not one-sided)
  • Be professional.

These are key steps to initiating conversation and making a positive first impression on a customer.

Your customers will probably be on the defensive, worried about the authenticity of the sale, the decisions they will have to make, and even the amount of time they might need to invest. If your salespeople are prepared to counter these concerns, you’ve increased their chances of making a favorable impression and ultimately a sale.

Ask your customer if they’ve heard about your sale, encourage them to come inside to register, and take advantage of that time to get to know your customer’s needs. The more you know about your customer, the more you can relate to them and show them that you’re just there to help. This builds a rapport with your customer, which help boost your potential to make a sale.

Gain Control

The registration process should only take one or two minutes. By bringing the buyer in to register you immediately gain control and the buyer feels involved in the sale process. More importantly, you gain an incredible amount of information about your customer with just a few quick questions. This also give your or your salesperson an opportunity to stand next to the buyer and help them through the process, creating rapport.

  1. What brought you into the dealership today?
  2. Have you visited our dealership before or is this your first time?
  3. What is your name/address/email/phone number, etc.?
  4. Are you interested in a new or pre-owned vehicle? Car, truck, van or SUV?
  5. What is most important to you in a vehicle?
  6. Would you like reverse cams, Bluetooth, UBS hookup, etc.? (These questions get your buyer in the “Yes” mode.)

These are just a few of the questions you should be asking during registration. By asking questions like these, you and your team are getting quality information about your customers that will help you know how to sell and what to sell. You’re enabling your staff to learn about the customer, build a relationship with the customer, and sell to the customer.

Don’t Stop Selling

By preparing your team, making a positive first impression on your customers, and having a registration system that works, you’re setting you and your team up for a successful private sale. You know your customers, you’ve established a relationship with them, and now you just have to make the sale. Show the customer what they’re looking for and persuade them to buy with your special sale incentives and offers. If they say they’re not ready or they want to think about it, keep trying. If they say no, ask why. At the end of the day, you have their information and you know what they want. Make them an offer they can’t refuse and follow up with them repeatedly. If you can do that, you’ve already set yourself up for success.