You can give yourself a raise any day by increasing your effort or building your sales skills. Work harder and/or get better at what you do. It’s just math. If you plan to be in the business the next 3-5-12+ years, you can also give yourself a raise in pay by causing your client base to shorten their trade cycle.
Sales Tips for the Automotive Industry
Ever notice how the sales manager job can seem like a day full of lurching from one crisis to another with our hair on fire? Some describe the job as hopping in the washing machine and running the spin cycle all day long. It's no wonder we can feel burnt out. The pressures come from all angles; upper management, sales forecasting and reporting, constant interruptions by salespeople, advertising reps, vendors, used car reconditioning, appraisals, upset customers, dealer trades, the list goes on...
What makes a good sales presentation? Many salespeople still have the idea that if they are able to dump everything they know about the product onto the customer, they have made a good presentation. If we have good product knowledge, are able to keep control of the conversation, and give them every possible bit of information we'll get the sale... right? Wrong.
The ability to explain the concept of cost of ownership is a skill that every successful sales consultant needs. It has been often said that people buy with emotion but pay with logic. Helping a client make a positive buying decision means that we sometimes need to walk them through a logical cost of ownership discussion to:
I found myself pondering this question this month as I waited for a gas fireplace repair part to arrive. The technician that diagnosed the problem ordered the required part and advised it would take 2 weeks to arrive. Two weeks passed and then 3 weeks with no follow-up call to advise of a delay or new eta for the part.
Is one of your best customers sitting in your service department lounge right now? Many vehicle salespeople will answer: "uh I dunno - why?"
The fact is that many sales consultants don't make use of the CRM tools they have at their disposal to nurture their previous customers, increase loyalty, increase retention, shorten trade cycles, and increase sales today.
Why do we need a sales process for the modern shopper? In the face of a mountain of research on the modern automotive shopper, no one is going to deny that shopping patterns have changed:
Buyers research online and self-serve themselves farther than ever towards a buying decision - before they contact or visit us
Buyers have a wealth of information and shopping tools at their disposal - even on their phone
Buyers are visiting fewer dealerships before making a purchase
I don't know how many sales and management related magazines, newsletters, and e-zines you subscribe to but if you are a sales professional I'm betting it is 4 or more. If you are not a student of your own industry how can you hope to be perceived as an expert or trusted advisor? Right?
Increase satisfaction by lowering expectations! Many dealerships have an unofficial in-house training program designed to pass along the vast experience and knowledge of the veteran salespeople to the new recruits. This highly effective mentoring program is called “the huddle.” Here, unselfish veterans pass along the keys to success – sales strategies and work habits that have made them solid 6-8 units per month producers, year in and year out for decades. The best part for the dealership is that this training is absolutely free!
No matter how much customer buying behavior changes we still at some point have conversations with most people who buy from us. Many will seem resistant or distant when we first engage them. You might call these initial responses a stall. Something like "we're just looking" or "not much time - not buying today".