It seems as though we have an epidemic that has gone untreated for years. Its called complacency, the definition of complacency is self-satisfied and unaware of possible dangers. In sales we cannot allow ourselves to become satisfied, it is a killer. Complacency leaves us unaware of the changes happening around us, without being aware we are vulnerable to being passed over and becoming irrelevant in the eye of the consumer.
An example of complacency killing is Hollywood video, about five years ago Hollywood Video was one of the top choices for consumers wanting to rent a video, and they were on top of their game. Then in comes complacency, they failed to see the threat that was gaining on them, both on the internet with Netflix and by a little company called Red Box. Slowly over the next couple of years they watched their market share slip, their debt was the only thing growing in their portfolio, and they made no adjustments to combat the new approach to video rentals. The management team made the decision to stay the course they were satisfied with their product and their position. So with a self diagnosed case of terminal complacency, in May of 2010 they closed over 1900 locations and put 23,000 people out of work. It’s been said that extinction is a result of failing to adapt to a change in your environment. Not recognizing the change is a result of complacency.
As a sales professional in today’s selling environment it is imperative that you recognize your complacency.
Your customers are spending hours upon hours online doing research to get informed about their upcoming purchase, they get to the dealerships armed with all the information they need to make a buying decision. It is critical for you to be able to match their level of knowledge.
Killing complacency starts with a self exam of your daily activities. List out what you do during your scheduled shift at work, how much time do you spend on product knowledge, inventory, management agendas, manufacture incentives, consumer reports? Start to look at your pay per hour, we all know that in the auto industry our actual pay comes from selling a vehicle, but we don’t realize that our pay per hour is based on how invested we are when we get the opportunity to sell. You can increase your relevance with knowledge, when a customer is engaged in the selling process with an expert they become comfortable and agreeable to what you are offering, you are the expert they trust you, you have affirmed what they have researched. Therefore you require a higher rate of pay per hour. Once you know what your current rate of pay per hour is, set a goal of where you want it to be and strive for that goal by acquiring more knowledge and never stop.
The next step to killing the complacency in your sales career is to become a creator. Take daily action to drive business to your dealership through prospecting. Prospecting is the lost art in the auto business. During the hay days of the early to mid 2000’s, sales people became waiters instead of creators. You should be spending a minimum of 60 minutes a day creating new customers, contacting past customers and increasing your circle of influence. The internet is a gold mine of prospects and it is all about the time you spend working that mine.
I call on dealerships on a daily basis and I am amazed at the level of complacency that is tolerated. If a career in auto sales is truly your passion, you owe it to yourself and your customers to never settle into complacency!!!! Good Selling
For more information on internet prospecting email me at firstname.lastname@example.org