Monthly Archives: August 2014

What could be more important than your greeting?

AgreementThe Greeting, most people think nothing of it.  A simple “Hi, how are you?”  Or maybe something more structured like, “Welcome to ABC Motors, my name is Jenn Brockway.  Your name is?”  Or, better still “What’s up?”  Salespeople spend so much time on the Demo, the negotiations, the close, that they forget the all important Greeting.  These first few seconds can make or break your deal!

A greeting is supposed to introduce yourself, first and foremost.  You don’t want it to be too simple, as it may go ignored, however you don’t want it to be too wordy either.  You want them to know (and Remember) your name but you also want their full name in response.  Ever get this?
You:  “Welcome!  My name is Jenn Brockway, and you are?”
Them:  “Bob” (while walking away.)
How effective do you think this is?  Do you believe that Bob will remember your name?  I don’t think so.  First impression, down the drain.  Sale, possibly lost!

A good greeting has just a couple elements.  Its quick, it provides your info, and you get their info.  You don’t want it to be too quick nor do you want to take up an hour to tell someone your name.  I used various greetings over the years, depending on how I was first meeting my clients.  A few examples are provided below:

  • Email Greeting:  You can have a greeting in an email.  Let’s face it, many people never walk into the dealership until they are finalizing their deal which makes a good email greeting extremely important.  Mine went something like this:

    Good Morning Bob,  Thank you for your inquiry on (vehicle.)  My name is Jenn Brockway and I will be guiding you through your purchase adventure.  If you should have any questions along the way, stop me and ask them!  I have included the information on the vehicle you requested below.  I would like to speak to you to provide more information, what number and time works best for you?  Please let me know.  Thanks so much!

  • Phone Greeting:  Ever bomb that phone call on that used car?  We all have.  The best thing to do is to have a script like greeting in front of you.  Something to help guide you from fumbling your words but can be easily adjusted depending on the request.  My script was as follows:

    Thank you for calling ABC Motors.  This is Jenn Brockway, who am I speaking with please? Great, what is the purpose of your call today?  Thanks, in case we get disconnected, is this the best number to reach you (read off the number from the caller ID) and verify if home or cell.  Also, just in case, what is your email address?  I promise not to bombard you with a bunch of SPAM but just in case I get your voicemail when I call back, I would like to be able to send you the same info via email, for you to review at your convenience.

Then proceed to provide them information.  You may not get all of the info right away, but a professional way to ask for it may get it for you after more info is needed.

Client

  • Walk in Greeting:  Of course, this one may be more difficult as your body language is a key factor.  I was always professional, with good posture, and a smile on my face.  Nothing says I want to sell you a car like a slob with their hands in their pockets and wandering eyes, right?  I used something like this:

    Hi there!  Welcome to ABC Motors!  (With hand out ready to shake) I am Jenn Brockway, your name is?  Wonderful, what brings you in today?  Perfect!  Come this way (leads to a desk to enter into DealerCRM) let’s have a seat and discuss your likes/dislikes, needs/wants, and preferences so I can pull up the car of your dreams!  Would you like some water or coffee?

Most dealerships have refreshments somewhere.  I worked in various dealerships that had these for guests but I kept my mini-fridge well stocked with cans of pop, water, tea, juice, etc.  I even went as far as purchasing a Keurig for coffee for my clients (and me of course!). Whatever methods you use, make sure you put yourself in them!  Don’t be fake and try to be someone you are not.  Be welcoming, sincere and use your abilities to read your customers response and navigate your follow up questions and comments.

Have some key pointers you’d like to share around greeting best practices?  Feel free to contribute them in the comments below.

Does your store truly behave like a team?

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When you think of Dealership Personnel, do you think of a team? I used to think Salespeople were on their own, no team, no one to help them along, until I became one. When you are new in a dealership, you rely on everyone, managers, receptionists, other sales reps, porters, service, etc. Everyone in the Dealership plays their part to help make you successful. It is how you roll with it which will make you a good salesperson, or a failure. Below are a few people who played a huge part in my career. I wouldn’t be where I am, without each of their assistance, along the way.

Porters:  Porters seem like the lowest on the totem pole.  But, they are one of the most important groups of people you will ever meet. They gas up your cars for test drives and deliveries. When that new car you have been waiting for finally comes in on the truck, they are the ones who peel back the protective covering and make sure it is ready to take your customer out in for a test drive. When that vehicle is sold, they determine how fast that vehicle gets ready. If you are rude and do not show these people some respect, your 30 minute delivery could turn into a 2 hour long fight to keep your deal together. Moral of the story: Treat these people with some respect, they may save your deal someday.

Service:  I, personally, had a love/hate relationship with service. If I needed a new car PDI’d or something corrected, they were my best friends! However, that used car I just sold that is leaking oil, after they fixed it, then I was their worst enemy. Either way, without them, I had no way to sell a car. I couldn’t sell a Certified vehicle without their inspection sheet. I couldn’t test drive a new vehicle until it was properly inspected. I couldn’t get that windshield fixed without their approval. What is worse? That person who just bought the car with the defective radio. Treat your service department terribly and watch your customers get it passed on to them in return. What can we take away from this – without total buy-in from your service department, your deal may blow up in your face.

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Managers:  There were only a couple managers whom I cared for, during my time at dealerships. They treated me like a human being (most of the time) and taught me so many things. The only reason this was the case was because I wanted to learn those things. I wanted to be a professional and do things for myself, without relying too much on anyone else. Some managers can be completely rude and holier-than-thou when it comes to the dealership but without them, what can you get done? In most dealerships, my managers provided the numbers/pencil. They had the power to make a wrong into a right. Be sure to foster a good relationship with your management while putting any personal issues aside for the greater good. If they aren’t on your side, watch your CSI (and the bonuses that go with it) fall down the drain!

Salespeople:  I would like to think I was a team player. I didn’t like EVERYONE but I would help ANYONE who showed me respect. If you ask nicely, I will help you dig up that car that is in the spare lot and 6 other cars deep. If you have the client that is on a roller coaster of a test drive, I will help you and go out and make sure cars are brought up or put away. Maybe even take a ride for you so you can shove some pizza in your face for lunch. Regardless of what you feel about every salesperson in the dealership, competing for that fresh up walking through the door, it’s important that you have a few on your side. These people will help you when you need it and you can return the favor. They can also break you and bust your whole deal if they feel slighted.

Receptionist:  This person answers EVERY call within the Dealership. They might even sit at the front door and greet EVERY customer. Why wouldn’t you want them on your side? Do you really want to anger the person who guides YOUR clients in the door? Picture this: You are waiting for that call from the customer who has been in the store 6 times, with 5 test drives in a million different vehicles, you say something to your receptionist that ticks them off and then go to lunch. Guess what? Your customer calls to tell you they are on their way and then the call is put to your voicemail. Five minutes later, your client walks in the door but you are at lunch and they are in a hurry. Woohoo for you, you just got a split deal. Why, because you didn’t respect your Receptionist, the most important person in the dealership.

Regardless of who you consider your team, you want to be sure that you treat the people you work with respectfully. You do not have to like them all the time, but you rely on these people for guidance, assistance and support, so do your best to be a part of the solution, rather than a thorn in their side. At the end of the day, your ability to be a team player may just save a deal or two when you really need your teams help.

How does your store function at a team level? In your experience, who are the most important player on YOUR team?

7 Characteristics of a Top Salesperson

In every dealership, there is a Top Dog, number one Salesperson. This is the person who everyone wants to be, in some way or another. There are usually some common factors which make this person as good as they are. Below we discuss some characteristics of that top salesperson, the new sales reps hope to be one day.

  • Organization
    Most Top Dogs have some level of organization. It may not make sense to you, but their follow up is done a certain way. Their desk has notes in order of importance. Their deliveries are set just right. Or, some have someone, an assistant, who makes sure all of these things are in place. Either way, they have organization at some level.
  • Schedule
    Most great salespeople have a schedule in place. It may not be strict but it is typically followed. Something like, most follow up calls are made between the hours of 11am-3pm or no calls between 5pm-7pm, etc. They also tend to schedule vehicle deliveries in specific time slots. Time slots based on when the finance department wouldn’t be busy with SPOT deliveries, or what works best for most client’s work schedules. Either way, having some sort of schedule in place will help you to do your job at a superior level to those around you.
  • Charisma
    Every person, who has ever Sold me anything, has had a special something about them. Something that made me like them. Something that made me feel good about buying a product from them. Usually, it is a great sense of humor with a great knowledge of the product that they are selling. It could just involve the way they spoke to me or the way they involved me in the purchase. It is different for everyone, but find out what your best quality is and improve upon it in any way you can. Take advantage of your natural talents.
  • Knowledge
    Who likes to buy a car from someone who knows nothing about the car? The answer – NO ONE! You may not need to know EVERY ASPECT of the vehicle, but know the basics. If you have an appointment with someone on a vehicle, go refresh yourself on that vehicle. Do so based on conversations you have had with the client to verify you are giving them information which is important to THEM!
    Example: I like good stereos and speed, don’t talk to me about coefficient of drag and airbags.
  • Attitude
    BE POSITIVE! No one likes to be around someone who is negative. If you don’t like the manager you are working with, keep it to yourself. If you hate the car that they love, shut your mouth! You are allowed to have your opinion but in some cases, it is best to keep it to yourself! Having a positive attitude will not only help you get along with co-workers and have a less miserable day that you would have had otherwise, but it will also help you sell more cars. Your customers can feel your mood and most would be put off buying from a crabby car salesperson. This is an exciting time for them, make it feel like you are genuinely happy for them.
  • Association
    Surround yourself with people who help you to become better at what you do! Don’t hang around the typical clusters by the “water-cooler.” I am not saying, don’t speak to your co-workers EVER. I am just saying, surround yourself with like minded people. “Birds of a feather, flock together” can be a positive thing. If you are around successful people, you are more likely to be successful. You tend to pick up their habits, in a good way. Instead of picking up habits like hiding in the breakroom or avoiding Ups that look challenging.
  • BE YOU!
    Not everyone is going to be the best, but be the the best you, that you can be. Everyone is unique. Every customer is unique. and every Salesperson is unique. It may turn out that the guy who just walked onto the lot likes the exact same pro-wrestler who you worshipped as a kid. Or maybe you both have a child who is around the same age and are struggling with similar challenges of that stage. Perhaps their dog is like your dog in that he’s always chewing up the WRONG items in your house. Take the time to be yourself, ask questions and get to know your customer. You may find that the 5 minute friend you make adds a few extra digits to your paycheck as well.

There are a million things that a Salesperson can do to be Top Dog. Find out what that means for you and get to work! It can only make things better for you! Have any tips of your own? Share them below in the comments section or let us know what you think about the tips above.

3 Top Tips for Successful Sales Management

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Sales Management is a tricky task to do well all 365 (or 366) days a year. It seems like there is always SOMEONE who needs SOMETHING from you, doesn’t it? Tasks you committed to doing daily, get back burnered while you put out the more urgent fires of the day. Soon days turn into weeks and you realize you’re going to have to recommit and begin the process all over again. It’s time to take back control of your time and efforts to steer your team to success.

1.) Get Organized

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Decide the Tasks you want to make Daily, Weekly and Monthly exercises for yourself and/or your team. It could be anything from reviewing your teams lead handling and phone calls, using RealityScore, to organizing and cleaning off your desk. No one knows your store’s flow like you do. Pick days you know are slower, and times that are quieter, to schedule these tasks in your calendar on your computer. Set reminders for these tasks and alarms that go off well enough in advance for you to wrap up anything you are currently doing and get ready to tick the box next to the task in that calendar alert. Then stick to it. If the time and day you pick doesn’t work, keep trying until you get into a good rhythm. Soon you’ll know that on Thursday at 9am, after you’ve handled all your emails and polished your sales trophies, it’s time to rally the troops and touch base with them before they start their day on the lot.

2.) Get Prideful

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It’s time to take a look at your store from the customer perspective. It’s easy to become blind to the flaws, when you spend the majority of your waking hours in the same environment day after day. Tomorrow morning, when you walk through the door, give your store the most critical of once overs. Chips in countertops, scuffs on floor tiles, rips in carpets, clutter, that broken chair that one of your sales reps decided to test the limits of one rainy Tuesday, they all need to go. It’s time to take pride in your environment. Plug in one of those smelly things so your store smells fresh and clean. It’s time for your team to get in gear and follow suit. Take pride in their store and keep it immaculate. Are all the cars on the lot in pristine shape, angled perfectly and lined up with uniformed spacing? There’s something energizing about working in a clean and well maintained space.

3.) Get Motivated

Your enthusiasm is contagious. How can you expect your team to be energized if you are a wet blanket? You may need to grab a Redbull energy drink or a Trenta Latte from Starbucks, drag your red Nikes out of your closet or take some extra care in getting dressed this morning. Really do your hair and get out the power tie or pair of heels, whatever it takes to make you feel like a million bucks. Now go into your store with that energy and SPREAD it. As silly as Jeremy Piven’s character in the movie “The Goods” truly is, he’s also basically a genius. If you’re enthusiastic about selling, so is your team, and if they are energetic and positive, so too are your customers. Happy people buy cars. Fact.

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While it’s easy to become complacent or get stuck in the daily grind, a gentle reminder of these three points once a month or once a quarter is going to benefit everyone on your team. Spiff up the lot, get the store in order, get your dealership life organized and go back to selling rejuvenated and fresh.

 

What are your thoughts on the above points? What works to keep you and your store on point with each of these items? Share your insights and thoughts in the comments below.