Latest Insight

Ep. 8 – Stop Being an Order Taker When Selling Auto Parts Online!

Stop being an order taker when selling auto parts online! Join us as we discuss what you can do proactively to generate more leads and grow revenue for your fixed operations department.



Aaron: In today’s episode of The Pit Stop, I want you to all stop being order takers. 

Aaron: You’re now entering The Pit Stop. Dude, Chris, how’s it going, man?

Chris: It’s going great. It’s going great. 

Aaron: Chris, good, good, I’m just going to jump right in to it. You know Pit Stop, it’s 10 minutes or less, got to get in, got to get out. Something that’s been really on my mind, and something that we’ve been consistently trying to drive home to all of our partners day in and day out is, to stop being an order taker, in this mentality of, the old sales mentality of sitting by the fax machine and just taking orders. And kind of sitting by the website and taking the emails and getting those orders that come in, that’s part of it, right? And …

Chris: If only it was that easy. 

Aaron: If only it was that easy. I come to this, this kind of this notion of, stop being an order taker, because that’s, taking the order is part of it. And that’s more of that outbound marketing and a lot of our partners are thinking, when they create a website, a lot of it’s new to them, and they say, “Okay, I’m going to create this website, get online, or get on Amazon and get on eBay and I’m just going to”-

Chris: Put my feet back and-

Aaron: “Open a,” put my feet back and bring in these orders. Right? And just bring in all the money. Right? Once again, that’s part of it. But that’s very short-term mentality. We’ve got to be thinking about the long-term and growing the brand, growing your client base, and getting customer retention and repeat business, month after month, year after year.

Chris: Right, fine-tuning.

Aaron: Fine-tuning and nurture-

Chris: Because sure, you can get sales and you can make orders, but are you really being as profitable as you can just putting your feet up and just letting orders come in as they, it’s-

Aaron: Yeah, and nurturing those clients. I mean, why do you go back to your favorite restaurant, and it’s because you had a good time, you had a good experience. The food was good, the service was great. That bartender was nurturing to you, communicating with you, got to know you a little better. You enjoyed that experience with them. The same premise applies with creating an e-commerce website and in a brand that people want to continue to come back to, once again, month after month, year after year. This notion comes into play with many different areas on how to, we’re consistently getting this question of, “How can we generate more sales?” Right? And at the end of each month, we’re looking at, one of the KPIs that we look at is canceled orders online.

I was talking to a partner the other day who had about $16,000 in canceled orders, for numerous reasons. Right? Kind of walking through the process of, I asked him like, “What are you doing when an order comes in and why are these orders being canceled?” And he walks me through his process, and it was a little passive. Right? If that order comes through, and they don’t have a VIN number in there, you got to get on the phone. Call them.

Chris: Right.

Aaron: If getting on the phone isn’t your first action or response, shoot them that email. If they don’t respond within an hour, get on the phone, call them.

Chris: Yeah, because you’re leaving it up to chance at that point, if you’re just assuming that, “All right, they’re ordering their right part,” because that might not be the case. We were talking about how it’s not only costing you money to pay for returns, but you already spent the money and wherever you work, say, Google Shopping, you already spent maybe $30 to acquire that customer to get that order. So already, and you have $30 out the door. And so, it’s in your best interest already, right out the door, you invested $30 in this customer that they’re ordering the right part or accessory. And how can you communicate that to them, whether it’s an email, a phone call, both, and have a system in place where, if you don’t hear from them, I mean, maybe you don’t do the order. Maybe you do. I mean, you have to have those systems in place, because at the end of the day, if you have what, $16,000 in canceled orders, how much money did you put toward Google to get that.

Aaron: Yeah and-

Chris: Maybe $600, $1,000?

Aaron: Whatever that figure is, right?

Chris: Yeah.

Aaron: Plus, if somebody’s trying to go through the process and the man hours trying to go through that process, and process that order, there’s time involved there. But more importantly, it’s ensuring that your processes are in place, to cut back on those canceled orders and not just be an order taker. If you’re not able to, if these parts are just not being produced anymore, getting those parts out of your catalog, out of your advertising, communicating that to your advertising partner, so that you’re not spending dollars, month after month, year over year, on parts that just can’t be fulfilled. All right? This is, the whole process of not being an order taker.

Chris: Right. It’s working smarter, not harder. I mean, obviously we want more customers and we want to increase that pie. But before we even think about increasing that pie, how can we make the pie that we have more efficient?

Aaron: Yeah.

Chris: Let’s fix the foundation first, and then, let’s think, “All right, how can we get more customers?” Because it’s almost counterintuitive, when you think about it, “Let’s get more customers before we figure out, ‘Why are we getting so many canceled orders?'” You’re just growing that inefficiency, because yeah, you’re going to get more customers, but now, you’re going to get more canceled orders.

Aaron: Absolutely.

Chris: So it’s, fix the foundation first, and then maybe think about expanding.

Aaron: Yeah. You get all this traffic to your website as well. Right? You’re generating all this traffic. If you don’t have a chat function on your website, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Chris: Yes.

Aaron: Once again, you’re being an order taker, just saying, “Hey, come into my.” Its like the front end of the dealership, not having any sales people on the floor. Right? And not having anybody to communicate to them and so, if somebody walks through the front door, ad they’re just kind of walking around aimlessly-

Chris: Yeah, they’re not the experts. They don’t know, it’s-

Aaron: And looking at the vehicles, and nobody there to help them. Right?

Chris: Right, so they’re going to end up making their own decision, and it might not be a rational or the right one.

Aaron: Yeah. So get a chat feature, a live chat feature enabled on your website. You don’t have to have it on 24 hours a day. But you have it on when, during your operating hours, and then, you’re able to see traffic come in and out of your dealership or your parts website. Right? And you’re able to start a dialogue with those individuals, because you could actually see when people are on the site with a lot of these live chat features, or these live chat tools. And you can see where they’re at on the site, and you can pop up a message to them, and help them through their process. If they have a question in real-time, “Does this part fit my vehicle?” “Is there anything that you can do?” “What’s the shipping here?” “Can I get it overnight?” Like, whatever questions a consumer may have, you can answer in real-time and close that transaction. If you weren’t acting like this on the front of the dealership, the dealership would never be making any money. Right? That’s why they have the salespeople out front.

Then, furthermore, on the front end of your dealership’s websites, a majority of sales, or dealership car sales websites have a chat function on the site. So why wouldn’t you do it on the parts site?

Chris: Yeah, well they know how important it is to make that interaction. Because I mean, customers are so finicky, there’s so many vendors out there that, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they could just bounce off. Three seconds, you have three seconds to get their attention. If they can’t find what they’re looking for usually in three seconds, they bounce off the site.

Aaron: Yeah.

Chris: And having that chat box there is a great way to just really interact immediately and have your finger on the pulse, and answer those questions. Because think of the opportunity cost of that. Because another thing we here is, “Well, we don’t have the bandwidth to maybe talk to all of these customers?” Well, do you have all this, do you have $16,000 you want to throw away, too, from canceled orders? Like, ask yourself that question. If you don’t have enough time to, it could be an intern, it could be somebody that’d be on the ground to answer these questions, I think that far outweighs the lost money you had in canceled orders and wasted Google Ad spend.

Aaron: Yeah. That’s a really good point. We’ve been talking about it a lot internally, and with our partners. Just the, I can’t stress it enough: Stop being just an order taker, and get out of that box mentality. You’re not going to hear us stop talking about that. That’s like, my big, our big push this year is, “Stop being an order taker. Please stop.” You want to take those orders, but there’s more to it. Right? So I know it may sound kind of like-

Chris: Counterintuitive.

Aaron: Counterintuitive or yeah, I’m contradicting myself. But it’s part of it. Orders come in, you process it, you build a relationship, nurture that relationships, you figure out why orders are not coming in as well. You’re getting so much traffic into the site, and that’s the same mentality on the front end of the dealership. If you’re getting 100 leads coming into the dealership, and you’re only closing one, there’s a problem there. And it’s because you don’t have enough sales people to handle all those leads. Are you communicating the wrong message to all those leads? There’s a breakdown there.

So we have to think outside of the box, stop being an order taker this year, moving forward. Instill it into all of your people on a day-to-day basis, “Stop being an order taker. What can we do proactively to generate more clients, to generate more sales, to generate more leads.” Right? To generate more relationships. Start locally. Get out and work a new mechanic. Work a new service station, something like. Be proactive, stop being an order taker, and get boots on the ground. Move in, move in, move in. That’s all I got. Boom, I’m out. I’m out, I’m done. Mic drop.

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