Recently my boss challenged me to follow thru on my rant about getting into better shape and signed me up to run a half-marathon relay with him, needless to say after sitting on the sales desk for many years I was not going to be able to get up and get into shape easily! I started by looking in the handy dandy ‘app store’ for an application that I could download that may help me put together a game plan for getting started in small and easy to accomplish steps. I was amazed at how many app’s were indeed available for beginning runners and downloaded one that looked like it would be easy for me to figure out. As we all know sometimes dealer life just gets in the way of outside life and a few weeks went by before I even realized I hadn’t been out to take the first steps to running a race… Imagine that, a fancy app with all kinds of potential that could give me all the stats and info I could ever want right at my fingertips however, because I hadn’t even opened up the application it was doing absolutely nothing for me! Sure enough once I got up early one morning, laced up my shoes and headed out the app came in handy and really helped me keep track of my progress and let me know what I needed to achieve in order to reach my goal of running the six miles of my leg in the relay.
What does this have to do with selling cars you ask? Everything. We have all heard the phrase, “there’s an app for that” at one time or another and when it comes to being a successful salesperson there’s an app for that too. Most CRM providers offer a mobile app that allows users to accumulate customer info, track process’s and maintain contact with their customer base, some better than others however the point is; just like my running app none of the CRM mobile solutions can do a single thing for you until they are opened! It’s not enough to say you simply want to sell more cars, you have to know what you need and how to get it to achieve greater results and with the help of a CRM you can. Take a hard look at your month, how many floor up, phone ups and eLeads have you taken? Look at your demo/write-up/close ratios and then it’s simple math to figure out how to increase your sales. Once you know how many you want to sell, work backwards to figure out how many write-ups it will take, how many demos it will take to achieve that and then how many customers you will need in order to take that many demos. Now, compare that to your last three months, can you get to where you want with your current average number of opportunities? Chances are, no. Where will you find the customers to fill the gap? Remember what I said just a few sentences ago, there’s an app for that! Look to your CRM, follow up with unsold customers, sold customers and keep on it until you think you can’t work your customers base anymore and then…. You guessed it, keep working it! Once you make a commitment to yourself that you won’t settle for anything less than your very best it’s amazing how many deals start presenting themselves to you but you can’t half ass it you need to seriously get into your CRM and make it work FOR you! Go on, get started, until you open up that app it aint gonna do a thing! Have a great week and ‘Sell Something’!
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If you take the C out of closer what you really have is loser! Closing in my opinion is in fact, for losers....
Now before you prepare your letter bomb or nasty comments for the flaming thread that is sure to follow, allow me to elaborate…. Back when I got started the prevailing wisdom went something like "the sale doesn't begin until the 5th to 7th time you hear the word no...." and I focused much of my time early on in learning as much about 'closing' as I could, reading books and listening to every sales manager I could 'close' deals. As I grew in my own sales experience I discovered that the more I invested in the initial stages of the customer interaction the less I had to rely on my closing ability. When I became a Sales Manager with my first team I focused most of our training and preparation for the ‘Meet and Greet, Show and Tell’ portion of the sale and very little on the ‘write up’ as I knew the best way to overcome objections was to not have them and the best way to ensure there were few if any was with a strong presentation and demonstration. Over the years I have seen a fundamental shift in the employees that are coming into the business and especially after the recent tough economic times folks starting off in sales have a real lack of understanding of the importance of customer service and lean more and more on the strong closing skills touted by the big name trainers like Grant. It seems like as soon as new salespeople get finished with their new hire paperwork they want to skip right to learning how to work the deal like a 'closer', and unfortunately many, MANY dealership leaders are all to willing to start showing them how to overcome objections and hard close customers. The art of the customer qualification (no, not ‘hows your credit’ either!) has become thing of the old days of selling as many salespeople assume the customers have done their research and are ready to get down to business working the numbers. My focus with new people, and even the seasoned folks who have fallen into the trap, is to re-enforce the importance of the critical wants and needs analysis portion of the initial meet and greet stage, and the effective demonstration of the product based on the information gathered. In other words: "Spend two hours on the lot and the write up will take 15 minutes, OR... spend 15 minutes on the lot and the write up negotiation) will take two hours or more and end with the salesperson begging the customer to buy at a discounted price/payment"
Closing becomes crucial when the salesperson hasn’t done his job thoroughly, it’s as simple as that. If the salesperson asks the right questions, listens effectively and then demonstrates how his product best meets the wants and needs of the customer he doesn’t have to close, the customer sees value and agrees to the purchase. That’s not to say there is no negotiation required and that all customers simply lay down for the deal, I’m simply stating that I am convinced that the more focus we put on the initial stages of the sales process when training, the less we have to train the 'close'.
Not the most popular way of thinking with the old school car dawgs I have engaged with however I have seen great results in my own staff here at my store now and at many stores I have trained at. Thoughts? Let me know your perspective in the comments, good or bad lets have some discussion!
Hey there, I'm Mike theCarGuy and here are some of my thoughts about cars, the car business and sales! Take a look around, maybe you will learn something or at the very least find your self smiling, and if you do... leave me a comment so I know I at least did something right! Thanks for stoppin by...
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