One of the hardest techniques to teach a salesperson is that of the turn-over (T.O.). Boiled down to simplicity, the rules for a T.O. can be summed up in 9 words, “Before your customer leaves, introduce them to a manager.” That’s it!! How hard can that be, right? As it turns out, it’s very hard because we allow our feelings to hijack our disciplines. We walk customers for all kinds of reasons. (Walk is slang for letting a customer leave before introducing them to a manager) One reason we walk a customer is because we feel that we’ve made such a positive impression with a customer that we know they have no choice but to come back so instead of asking them to buy now, we sprinkle Be-back Dust on them and bid them farewell. Other times we walk customers when we are in our valley moments-these moments are when we are emotionally low; maybe we are having a bad day, week, or worse, we’re halfway through the month and we haven’t sold a single car yet-whatever the reason, we’ll bounce the, “I’m not buying today,” customer so that we can eagerly wait for the perfect lay down customer who will hopefully get our month back on track. And then there are those times we walk a customer simply because we just don’t like their attitude (I’m sure the feeling’s mutual). The list can go on and on why we won’t give a T.O., but when it comes to receiving a T.O., we’re all too willing.
See if this sounds familiar. A customer shows up on your lot, hurriedly picks out a vehicle and refuses to go on a test drive- reasoning that they just looked at one down the street “exactly” like it. Complying, you 86 the test-drive, hurriedly write up the trade, call to get a payoff, present numbers, …and they leave vowing to continue to keep shopping. Your business card just got added to the stack of other salespeople who thought the same way as you. If you only remember one thing today, remember this:
Never take a T.O. from a salesperson at another dealership.
Picking up where another salesperson left off is like you giving your competitor the PIN to your ATM card and allowing him to play with your money. When a customer shows up, they’re yours. What you do next determines whether or not they will remain that way. Ask any customer if they like to shop for a vehicle and you will hear a resounding, “NO!” Think about it, if customers hate shopping for a vehicle so much, then why do they continue to shop? Customers continue to shop because no salesperson has taken the time to meet much less exceed their expectations. A doctor doesn’t assume to know why you are sitting in their office. They ask a bunch of questions in order to gain a better understanding. Once they know why you are there, then they can diagnose how they will heal you.
Sure, your customers may come in weary and frustrated from shopping all day, but that doesn’t mean that you have to continue to add to the frustration simply because you’re the last dealership they visit and weren’t the first. They’re still shopping because every salesperson is taking an assumptive T.O. from the previous salesperson.
Your customer may have seen many shows today, but they haven’t seen your show. Be unique, creative, fun, and positive when determining why your customer is in the market, then you can discover how to select, demonstrate, write-up, and deliver based on those expectations.
It’s more profitable to give a T.O. than to receive one.
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.