Back to the Basics with Ron Garverick

Nothing has changed why are we trying to reinvent the wheel?

The 8 to 12 steps to the sell is still key when you are selling a car. When a customer shows up to the dealership you still hold your hand out and smile and say “Welcome to ABC Motors my name is Ron and you are?” Practice that little sentence right there and it will work wonders, well, put your name in place of mine. With that the customer will tell you their name and tell you what they are there for either parts or service or they actually want to buy a car today.

With the internet age now upon us customers already know what they are wanting they have studied up on the car and a few others and they want to skip the step two qualifying and go straight to step three which is the test drive. Once on the test drive you ask them the cheesy question, “Is this something you can see in your driveway? “ Customer laughs and says yes if you can go lower on the price than what you have on the internet” You smile and say usually “Oh yeah we will give you a Great deal on this car, don’t worry about that” Worry is what they are doing. Remember buying a car from a car dealership is rated much lower than going to the dentist and getting a root canal, they hate buying cars, Car salesmen are liars, cheaters, manipulators, crooks and sleaze bags that rip customers off, make so much money from the customer by the time the customer wants to trade they are so far upside down they have to drive that car till the wheels fall off.

When I started in the car business, that’s what I thought. When a bought a car from a Ford dealership in Kansas, I walked in with my 2004 Dodge Durango met the salesman told him “I am here to trade this car in and buy a Dodge Charger and my wife says I can’t come home till I buy one.” That was my first mistake, he ate that up.

He showed me a few Dodge Chargers he thought I would like, I test drove a few and there it was a cream color, cloth grey seat base model Charger that was the one. So we went inside and he got all my information, went to the man behind the curtain and worked up some numbers.

I waited for about 20 minutes the salesman came out and said “Ron I have great news, giving you $8,500 for your trade and selling you ours for $15,500 with $5,000 down your payments will be $556 a month.” I told him “Thank you for your time but I can’t do $5,000 down. He said “No problem, how close to the $5,000 can you come to? I said “None I don’t have any money to put down,” He went back to the man behind the curtain several times till finally came back and said “With $500 down we can get you to $550 a month. I agreed and asked if I could send a check in two weeks for the $500 down, they said absolutely.

Little did I know that included a maintenance package, multi coverage package that could only be used at that dealership, GAP and a warranty. They sold me with $500 down and I had a $550 budget to work with.

So coming to work for a dealership I made a promise I would not be like those people at that dealership and I haven’t. Honesty was the key. It almost got me fired a couple of times but I wasn’t going to put my customers in the same boat that I was put in. You see I heard that that if you treated a customer with respect and honesty then they would keep coming back to buy not just one but 3 or 4 vehicles from you. Heck they would send their family and friends to buy a car from me and took advantage of the Referral Bird dog program where I would pay them $100 for each person they sent to me and they bought a car. Send me 4 and they bought I just made their car payment.

See after my first full year in the car business I never had to take an up because of all the repeat and referral customers coming to see me to buy a car. It was the relationship that I developed with the customer from the previous sales. See I called the customer the day after they bought the car from me, 3 month, 6th month, 1 year anniversary. I also called and sent them a birthday and Christmas cards every year to let them know I was thinking about them. Husband and wife, kids it didn’t matter. Listen I was lazy and if this is all I had to do to keep having customers to come buy a car from me or send their friends and family so I didn’t have to take an up and chase people on the lot I was all about it. See I can spare the embarrassment chasing people on the lot in heat, rain, snow, wind I was out on that idea.

Another thing I got good at so I didn’t have to take an up. That little black box that was sitting on my desk was called a phone and just like Jordan Belfort said in the Wolf of Wall Street Movie, those little black boxes weren’t going to dial themselves. I learned the phone scripts and made them my own, ad libbed a little and sharpened my axe. When I realized customers were working the times I was calling them, I started emailing and texting. Statistics say that 92% of the people that receive a text will read the message and 95% will respond. Same goes with a video text. Video text is just a video sent through a text talking to the customer letting them know that the vehicle they are looking at is still available or if the customer has an appointment with you a video text will put a face to the name. I got more responses from text and email that I sold more cars texting and emailing than I did calling them.

One good thing about texting if the customer opts in through email or text you just created a shopper. When you give numbers to a customer you will have it writing so if the customer tells you that you said a $400 payment you can always go back to the text or email and show them “No the text says $450 a month for 72 months.”

Salesmen now are trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to selling cars, skipping steps going straight to the closing stage and haven’t sold them the value of the vehicle they are trying to buy and then the customer tries to negotiate the price that has no value. STOP! Slow down bring them back to the presentation step and sell the value, Find out their Hot Buttons and sell the customer on that. Too many of you are selling customers cars that you have been with for 4-5 hours and you are making a $200 mini. That’s $50 a hour & I agree and some people don’t get paid that much, but if you slow down you could make a $1,000 commission and have that be a $250 a hour deal.

Correct me if I am wrong the $200 mini customers you sell are the most dissatisfied customers you ever had, they are always wanting more and the ones you make a decent amount on will tell their family and friends to buy from you and even sometimes will come with them and tell you “Give them the same deal you gave me.” Well okay then, you got it” Customers don’t mind you making a little on them if you sell the value and treat them with respect and honesty.

Go back to the basic do not try to reinvent the wheel and come up with some new way to sell cars. Be honest, be transparent, have respect and be YOU. I guarantee it they will keep coming back to buy another car from you for their kids or sending someone else to buy from you. Last and most important follow up with your customers every 3 months, let them know you are thinking about them and you appreciate their business. Treat them like a friend or family member and you will be surprised the outcome. Oh yeah! That Ford dealership I bought the charger from, it has been 11 years and I never got a follow up call or any kind of call from them.

Ron Garverick

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