A salesperson’s favorite letter in the alphabet is the letter “X;” as a salesperson, there is nothing better than the ability to bark out a Hat Trick (3 sales) in a Monday morning sales meeting to the sneers, jeers, and claps of your fellow victim-laden salespeople. If the word confidence could be abbreviated with one letter, it would be with the letter, “X.” As our name is called and with each strike of the dry erase marker, our confidence gains as our fears wane. As our sales manager calls the board and the less fortunate salespeople chirp a sheepish, “Good morning,” indicative of not having made a sale, our confidence steam-rolls over those unfortunate souls failing on the blacktop… until we get our paycheck.
As a salesperson, there is nothing worse than to have a board full of X’s, but a paycheck full of Oh’s. Man cannot live by bread alone nor can a salesperson survive on mini’s and volume-based bonuses. Approach any finance manager and ask the question-in seconds, he can spit out what his per copy average is, because he knows when he keeps score he will earn more. If your dealership, your manager, even the freshman service advisor can quip out their averages, why can’t you? Although knowing your ups, demos, write-ups, sales, and deliveries percentages will carry results, knowing what your per copy average will deliver a healthy paycheck. Like it, love it, or leave it, every dealership- yours, mine, and theirs, is going to put something on sale- we all have our share of mini's. Making mini on a sale priced unit is part of the business; having a month with nothing but mini's is merely an excuse. Some vehicles are on sale, but not all of them; keep in if price sold cars, there would be no need for you and me. Although every vehicle has a cost, what you can earn is based, in large part, to the experience your customers receive. Want a better paycheck now? Give your customers more Wow.
- Dragnet can’t sell. While product knowledge will establish your credibility, customers don’t want “just the facts;” they want to know how your product will improve their everyday lives. While it's imperative you learn your customers' needs, yet it's equally important they know you. Interviews go both ways; while you are discovering their wants, needs and concerns, they are determining if you're likeable and trustworthy.
- Believe the hype. Those 3 a.m. infomercials are designed to show how their product will improve your life, but behind every demonstration is a call to action. An infomercial's call to action is designed to entice a buyer with a last minute bonus in hopes of triggering the audiences' emotions inevitably leading to a sale. On the blacktop, you are your brand's infomercial. Gadgets such as navigation, remote start, air-conditioned seats, rear backup camera, and cooled cup holders are nifty, but it's all for naught if you don't ask for the sale. Your product presentation must be laced with various calls to action; it is your job to “motor-vate” lookers and transform them into buyers. Customers must feel as if delaying a decision today will reap dire consequences in the future. Hyping future depreciating trade-in values, a limited supply of inventory, or future models accompanied by higher prices are just a few examples that can be used in order to bring tomorrow’s business into today. With every up, every product demonstration, you should have a personal hype message.
- Take it professionally. You are a reject; name another profession where one rolls out of bed knowing he or she has a 70-80% failure rate. Now that you know you will fail today, what are you afraid of? If you are going to fail, you might as well do it in style! Take rejection professionally not personally; the only thing you should take personally is the effort you devote to each customer. Waiters understand this concept; although the last party of 8 left a $3 tip, waiters know they cannot take a negative experience from one table to the next. Like each table, each up is your renewed opportunity in making a lucrative sale. Make each up count.
- If tomorrow never comes. How would you feel if you underwent major surgery only to realize in post op your doctor quit; how about entrusting your retirement accounts with a trusted advisor only to realize an unknown somebody is now handling your money. Customers are not only investing in your product, but they are also investing in you. A customer’s fears are realized when he is sold only to become orphaned weeks later upon his salesperson's sudden departure. Everyone loves to know someone in the car business; assure them you will be here not only today, but you are invested in their tomorrows.
There are victims in the car business; thankfully, you are not one of them. Victims cannot account for what they do each day; fortunately you can. When you track your X’s you will enjoy more lucrative Oh’s.
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop!