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.