Door knocking or sales blitz. Whatever you call it, visiting potential customers face-to-face is a powerful prospecting tool, even in today's digital society. Yet some dealerships shy away from it, having been burned in the past by chaotic processes, low results and frustrated salespeople. Perhaps like the proverbial throw the baby out with the bathwater, we shouldn’t completely toss sales blitzes from our prospecting toolkit. There are still many reasons to consider this timeless tactic.
Blitzing puts you in direct contact with potential truck buyers. This face-to-face interaction demonstrates the importance you place on their business and can go a long way toward establishing credibility and trust. Furthermore, seeing the prospect’s operation may spark questions you would not have otherwise thought to ask, and it improves your ability to actively listen to what they have to say.
There are other advantages for your sales team. Preparation for a sales blitz provides an opportunity for your salespeople to brush up their selling skills. It combats complacency and coaxes reps out of their comfort zone. Additionally, it focuses the entire sales force on a specific task and generates more opportunity in the pipeline than if each salesperson does it on their own.
Operating a successful sales blitz takes planning and teamwork. Sounds like a lot of effort, but the payoff is not only a full pipeline but also an energized and focused sales team. Here are a few best practices from successful blitzes we’ve been involved in over the years:
Define your objectives upfront. Build your blitz around a focus. Maybe it’s a new truck model, new location, expanded service hours or a fast service lane. You might focus on a particular vocation or a newly acquired sales territory. You may even come up with reasons to blitz twice a year or every quarter. Whatever your situation, clearly define who you’re going after, what you have to say, and what you want to achieve.
If you don't already have a prospect qualification process in place, it's a good idea to implement one. Spade work upfront can involve online research and phone outreach to pre-qualify prospects and warm them up to the visit on blitz day. This is not an appointment-setting call. Simply verify the location, get the names of key people involved in truck decisions, make sure they can be found at this location (opposed to a job site or satellite office) and let them know one of your reps may drop by soon. This soft approach goes a long way toward opening doors on blitz day. We recommend starting phone outreach a month in advance of blitz day, allowing enough time to sort through and organize lists for your blitz teams. Calling too far in advance might undermine your efforts to provide a recent reference point and up-to-date information. It’s a powerful thing for the sales blitz team to walk into a business and say someone from your dealership called the other day and we’re here to speak to so-and-so (decision maker).
Get your entire dealership involved. If it’s the parts and service side of the house, we know this may not be possible. Consider inviting representatives from your OEM, body companies or other third-party partners. Split the group into teams and assign each an area to canvas. Mapping tools come in handy for this part. MMG uses a tool to identify team boundaries and produce a map and driving route for each blitz team.
Bring everyone together shortly before the blitz for training. Make sure they’re prepared with the necessary subject matter and are clear on the mission. It’s important everyone on the blitz team is trained how to have effective encounters with prospects. Get your experienced reps involved in role play with those less seasoned.
Equip each team with necessary items for each stop such as a list of current customers (off limits) and another list of potential customers. Have contact sheets for each prospect so teams can fill in data collected at each stop, or enter the notes directly into your CRM through a mobile app if you have it. Whatever you opt to use, this is an important step. Also provide each team with collateral or even some swag to leave behind regardless of whether they met the decision maker.
At the end of the blitz day, gather everyone back together for a meeting where you’ll recount successes, share what worked and what didn’t work, and tally up the number of contacts made and forms filled out by each team. Bring a little competition to it by rewarding teams with the most completed forms, follow-up appointments, etc.
Last but not least, organize the leads and take action. Make sure follow-ups are assigned and your reps follow through. Come up with a nurture strategy to stay in touch with potential buyers who may not have immediate needs. Letting them fall out of the funnel now would be a waste of your sales blitz teams’ efforts.
The best sales blitzes don't just happen on their own. It takes teamwork and advanced planning. If that’s too much for your dealership to bite off on its own, MMG can help.
MMG's Sales Blitz Process Overview