Last month’s article, “The Accolade Sandwich Sales Meeting” leads me to share specifics about what, from my experience, must to be communicated and maintained internally by you and your department heads, or “position coaches.” You must perfect an ownership mindset and a “how to fish for yourself” skill-set today, and then transmit those skills to your team. Teach them that when it’s a “we and not a me thing,” we hit the road running, together!
Cross training your team is essential! Does only the offense get diligent training with a sports team? Of course not! In fact there are more coaches per team than we have Leaders per store. Think of all the film a football team watches on themselves and the competition. What about you? Do you ever mystery shop and know you competition’s fine print?
Developing quality communication skills will make you unrivaled in our industry. Do your sales people simply react or do they understand that until they deposit equity in the customer’s emotional bank account, they are on defense? Anyone that comes in contact with your customers should have a fundamental and consistent daily success plan. I don’t mean a modern CRM “activity list”. I’m talking about knowing what the plan is for the day, week, month and year.
The price is too high to not have a common plan which will increase the level of excitement and gratitude. It spreads throughout your team and will counteract negative attitudes. People perform best when they know where they are going and why.
1. Live by “phone skills and the show business” mentality
Train your sales people to be “appointment minded.” Appointments that don’t show are worthless! Use skills, not scripts, to overcome any obstacle. If you and your team run “obstacle courses” every day in warm up, the results are jaw dropping. I recommend tonality adjustment and evidence manuals for commonality based rapport and selling of the appointment. We are in the show business! Use your mobile device to confirm the appointment and send the client a photo of the appointment tag on “their car.” When they show, use the reverse TO process. The key for your folks getting certified is to acquire the ability to remain appointment-minded until the show. A word of caution: cherry picking will infect your Internet/BDC department. Never pay on appointments, only shows.
Remember the best closers are those bringing value and experience to the table. They help people buy the right car for the right price. The customer will forget most of what is said and remember how they were made to feel. Add sizzle to your sales calls. Be like the Army with the fine print, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Don’t feel compelled to give too much information when the appointment shows. The essential task is to sincerely, validate, pace, then lead. This is what I call the Boomerang Technique.
2. Evidence manuals: pre-offer visual documentation
What makes a great evidence manual? The goal is to present compelling and attractive documentation to relax the customer, assuring them they are with the right person (you) and are in the right vehicle. When they see expert write-ups backing up your spoken word, they experience validation of buying the right ride! Better yet, include third party stories, testimonials, thank you cards and social networking accolades (use my Facebook delivery process on every sale). Show your team how to create and maintain an ultimate “customer for life” personal and corporate evidence manual.
We now have several types of evidence manuals to utilize.
- Our own personal (sharp, convincing and warming) binder style evidence manual.
- A team desktop evidence manual for Internet/BDC/Sales calling (in AND out).
- A video (YouTube channel) evidence manual.
3. Facebook and Google Places delivery process for magnetic marketing and customers for life
Upon final delivery, your happy customer is experiencing emotion over intellect. Leverage this emotional experience by asking for and providing the opportunity for a mutual thumbs up “like” exchange between their and your (dealership) Facebook page. People are validated by their “friends.” Word of mouth advertising among friends (“I got a guy who got me a great deal on my car!”) is incredibly powerful.
When you take photos (like we all did and covered our walls for years) and the customer posts (on the premises in your dealership) to Facebook, everyone they are connected with sees it. With over half a billion and growing, can you imagine your ripple effect? I can, because within the dealerships I train, I see it working wonders.
Leveraging the power of the Google Places app for the iPhone and iPad will open a direct doorway to you dealership’s Google Places page. Google Places, among other sites, aggregates reviews from all over the internet. These show up when someone searches for your dealership name. In some respects, it is an even more important virtual real estate asset than your web site. The application allows the customer to post an immediate positive review directly to your page. It is a good idea for your dealership to purchase an iPad just this purpose.
Remember, you are a coach. You train your team daily in the various “positions” and “plays” (skills sets) for success. There is no reason for any dealer to be left behind. Until next month, good selling!