Collaboration not confrontation

The day starts with an offer that’s hundreds below cost with a trade in that’s thousands away from its actual cash value.  The salesperson spent hours from the initial greeting to the vehicle selection process only to have their bubble busted by a ridiculous offer. Of course, the offer is substantiated by the dealer down the road.  That dealer has promised to “sweeten the deal” if the customer comes back today!

The sales person is hesitant to present the offer for fear of the wrath they’re certain to face.  The customer is convinced the offer is fair and the sales manager is angry the offer is being made.  The end result is that time is wasted, morale declines and money is lost!

What if? The sales manager was thankful for having a committed offer to do business today.  What if? We actually rewarded the salesperson for the progression of the sale.  What if? We lived by the phrase “Love the one your with”.

After all, isn’t everyone a buyer?  Isn’t the only question… when?  Everyone in the dealership should be working in a collaborative way to move the sale forward.  When a guest visits your dealership everyone should welcome them with genuine gratitude that they visited your dealership and not your competitors.  There should be a collaborative effort to make that customer feel as if the “choice” they made to come to your business was the right choice!

When an offer to purchase is made, every manager should be involved in the discussion in an effort to exhaust all means to make a sale.  I would contend that there’s no room for egos when it comes to finding creative ways to consummate a deal.  No solution is too crazy or too dumb (unless it’s illegal or immoral) if it creates a win-win sale.  If the sales manager misses a deal because he/she hasn’t exhausted all of their resources than we all lose. 

Groups of tenured General Manager’s were all tasked to evaluate the same trade-in for an actual cash value.  There were five managers in each respective group and there were a total of seven groups.  They were all given ample time to evaluate the vehicle, using today’s modern software in the exact same environment where the vehicle would be marketed.  Not one of the seven groups came up with the same figure.  In fact, most of the people within the independent teams couldn’t agree on the figure.  I should know…I was an active participant in this exercise. 

So what does this tell us?  We don’t have all the solutions to make a deal.  While it’s true that most deals come together with a small degree of difficulty, we can agree not every deal flows the way we want.  We need our management team working with their sales team in a collaborative way to make deals.  How do we do that?  Promote an environment where collaborative people work together to solve complicated situations.  Enforce the behavior that encourages our people to be more collaborative and less confrontational. 

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Tags: collaborative, effort, love, one, selling, the, with, you're


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Comment by Tom '1TeamSynergy' Wiegand on February 4, 2013 at 1:43pm

Excellent Joe. Well done!

Your "What ifs" are not SOP, so if you are truly using them you must be bettering retention, yes? 

Since you are being pro-active here, may I offer up another "What if?"  What if the SP, in the middle of demo ride where driver switching takes place and good closing questions are asked, took out SP's smart phone and video'd customer(s) and a vehicle walk-around in a quick exciting, high energy minute or two.  Then with SP in passenger seat to next stop, it takes SP about 30 seconds to move that video into a branded video email template with that SP's contact information and SP simply asks customer(s) for their email(s) and SP emails this branded video to them and to SP'S manager(s) right then and there, completing a professional validation and transparency of demo ride, excitement and possible commitment level.  What if? This created far better collaboration, sales and retention, and likely zero confrontation.

Comment by Marsh Buice on February 2, 2013 at 2:45pm

Joe, you are on it on this one brother! I'm always amazed we train our sp to be positive, yet when they bring us a deal, we find out what is WRONG with their deal and blow pessimism all over their deal. Our sp motivated their customers to say Yes and we have to figure out how to put that deal togther. Asking another manager to put another set of eyes" on a deal is a sign of strength not weakness. We cannot be too prideful to ask another's opinion on a deal. If we require our sp to T.O. their customer's, we should be willing to ask for a try to put a deal together. After all-if it works, we all make money. Great post, Joe! I've missed your blogs, glad to see you back.

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