Thoreau once said, “Things don’t change, people do.” If things are to happen, you must make them happen. Good people and businesses always make things happen. Let’s look at the essential rules of making things happen.
Rule 1 – Always have a CEO attitude – You must start by taking responsibility for all things both good and bad. Accept that your company signs your check and you fill in the numbers. Your own personal philosophy, which is determined strictly by choice and your own free will, determines your first step in success or failure.
Rule 2 – Every business operates two businesses: People and Marketing. If you are great with people but don’t have people to speak to, you fail. Marketing has become essential to all sales people.
Rule 3 – Lead generation equals dollar creation – The more leads you generate the more money you earn. How do you create leads? Develop a marketing web – Draw a small circle on a piece of paper and put the name of your company in the middle. (Your company, not the one that signs your check). Now draw lines in different directions that look like spokes coming out of the circle. Label each spoke as a source of leads. (Example: walk-ins, incoming sales calls, referrals, repeats, be-backs, service, networking, prospecting etc.) Notice that each spoke can have multiple spokes that sprout from it.
Rule 4 – Add value first – The perception of price is always in relation to the value perceived. Perception is reality for your customers. What do they perceive to be the value in your offer, product, you, or the business? To create value you must TLC—think like a customer--and then take action.
Rule 5 – Give HFG - hope for gain. People always want something better than what they have. It’s human nature. Hope for Gain follows the pleasure versus pain rule of life. People act to either find pleasure or avoid pain. Hope for gain moves people toward pleasure.
Rule 6 – Offer risk reversal - Take away your customers’ risk and it creates urgency in the eyes of the customer. You must lower the barriers of entry that discourage customer traffic. Risk reversal allows your customer to avoid pain.
Rule 7 – Provide leverage – Hope for gain and risk reversal provide leverage for people to take action. You must always be thinking of ways that your customers can get excited about contacting you now. Urgency, emotions, social proof, incentives and testimonials all provide leverage.
Rule 8 – Facts tell; stories sell- Stories add the most important element of sales and marketing. People think in pictures. People relate to stories that they can see themselves in the staring role. Make them the star. People will avoid advertising and marketing on purpose, but they will react to a good story.
Rule 9 – Utilize the law of obligation and reciprocation – In sales or marketing, you must be willing to add the wow factor. You must be willing to give people extra service, extra offers, extra emotion, extra humor, extra enthusiasm... extra everything, until the customer feels an overwhelming obligation to give you a chance.
Now let me give you some examples to create leads using these rules.
1. – Record a two to five minute be-back CD that you give to each customer who doesn’t buy a car and ask them to play it on the way home. On the CD, thank the customer for the opportunity, tell them your SDP--specific defining proposition- to get them excited about doing business with you and purchase your product.
2. Nice trade call – Every time you take a nice trade-in, call at least 20 of your sold customers and let them in on a secret. Let them know about the beautiful vehicle you now have and how it hasn’t been put all the way though service and clean-up yet. Let them know you’re calling a few of your preferred customers about the newly acquired vehicle. If they don’t want it, ask them who might be.
3. Create affiliations – Who does business with whom you want to do business? Always think of how you can add value to them first. What can you do to help their business? Offer coupon swaps. Offer to create a coupon for a two for one special at their restaurant. In return, ask that they distribute a coupon from your business.
4. Offer a free program – Offer a thirty minute program to some of the varying associations on how to buy a vehicle. Take brochures with coupons offering value that would make them take action to receive something of value from you. Create a lead first.
5. Postcards – Postcards are cheap. You can send to targeted markets, with a targeted message, such as, “Employee Purchase Program – Buy a vehicle for what I would pay!”
6. Val-Packs – Postcard advertising made even cheaper.
7. Orphan Owners - Call every orphan owner and offer them something of value. If you offer all the clients who’ve not been contacted the chance to do business with you, a large percentage will consider doing more business with you in the future.
8. FSBO call – Call everyone selling your brand of vehicle and ask them about their trade. Offer to get an appraisal and to help them purchase their new vehicle.
9. Create a Free Special Report – “How to buy a vehicle” – You could combine your postcards with this message and once you’ve created a lead through their response by fax, phone or email, you can follow up after sending your special report.
10. Create your own web site – Put your web site address on all your business cards, mailing, materials etc. Put your picture, biography, special offers, recipe of the month, etc. Make people go to your site for a special offer.
John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” You can’t change economies, but you can work daily to change your actions. A little extra effort put forth everyday will help build a successful business. Make it happen!