Turbulent Times. What are you going to do about it?
Many people in sales today are too young to remember a significant economic downturn and so are destined to repeat the common mistakes made in previous recessions.
Play the right movie
So much of our success in sales (in good times or bad) has to do with what is going on in our own heads. Are you playing the right movie in your head or are you buying into the doom and gloom on the nightly news? Normally we talk about having an attitude of abundance but with everything we see and hear it is hard not to see the market as a shrinking pie. Know that many of your counterparts will expect traffic to be down, will expect customers to be tougher, and will expect to personally sell fewer vehicles. They are busy preparing mentally and financially for less. Don't plan to fail! Instead of pulling the blankets over your head and hoping that the storm passes quickly, make a decision to take a bigger slice of that shinking pie. Adopt the right attitude! People will still buy vehicles every single day of this economic slowdown. Make a decision that you are going to take market share not lose it.
Quality not quantity
More activity means more sales... right? See as many people as you can as quickly as you can? It is a numbers game right? Not necessarily. In tougher times reduced traffic means that we need to do a better job with each prospect. It is like when weather conditions are miserable. The one prospect that you do see in inclement weather is probably a highly motivated buyer! Treat them all that way. Everyone is going to sound like they aren't buying but if they are not a buyer why are they here? Focus on increasing the quality of each interaction. Treat every client like they are the only one you will see today. Like the song says: love the one you're with.
People want more safety
We're not talking about the dominant buying motivation "safety" (airbags, crumple zones, etc...). In tougher economic times buyers are less inclined to take risks. They want to be sure that the decisions they make are safe. For the vehicle purchaser that means they need to know, like, and trust you more than ever. Take more time with them rather than rushing so you can get on to the next prospect. Increase the depth of your interview process. Make them see that you fully understand their needs and the selected vehicle is a wise choice for their situation. Build added value with a service dept. walk after the demo drive. Show them how they will be looked after following the purchase. Answer the "why buy here?" question. Make it safe to say yes.
Price, price, price
In more difficult economic times we might assume that when price questions or demands come up too soon in the process it means that people need a better deal to say yes. Don't. The wrong product is a bad decision no matter what the price is. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that dropping our price or negotiating too soon is what we need to succeed. A decision based soley on price is not a safe or smart one.
Mine the gold in your CRM
If you are not making 3-5 contacts a day to your previous customers or service department orphan owners give your head a shake! Those previous clients are your future. Most dealerships have thousands of service department customers who have 3-6 year old vehicles. Ask for a list. Call them. Let them know about your preferred purchaser program. Bring them into the market and sell them their next vehicle before they even think of visiting a competitor! Our private sale events use this same call activity to generate a week's worth of sales in one day. You can use this same approach to create your own traffic. Don't have a script for this kind of outgoing call? E-mail us and we'll send you one.
These economic times provide a great opportunity for the proactive salesperson to increase their sales while their competitors whine about how slow it is. So the only question is: are you going to have lunch or be lunch?
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
- Dale Carnegie
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