Trainers, last year you led Sales Leadership Workshops and Facilitated World Class Events in over 2,000 dealerships in 19 countries. You confirmed more than 300,000 appointments and you personally interacted with more than 160,000 customers and help to facilitate 95,000 car deals.
So I need all of you to eat, breathe, drink and sleep the principals and best practices of Sales Leadership. That’s the purpose of this 5-part mini-series.
Today we’re going to talk about third pillar of Sales Leadership – Being a Good Person
Trainers, being a good person in any service industry, but especially professional automotive sales, has at its foundation the goal of adding real value to those we serve.
This applies first to adding real value to the sales teams we lead, and then of course, to their customers, who are ultimately our customers. In our earlier message called Sales Leadership Is…, we spoke about being a good person in relation to our sales teams we lead. We discussed the importance of clarity of goals and expectations. We spoke about the importance of developing our team’s capacity. We talked about clear communication and we talked about celebrating their success. Now that’s adding real value.
Today, let’s focus on how we view and treat our customers, and add real value to them.
Unfortunately, the retail automotive industry of the past has often lived the opposite. Success has been measured primarily transaction by transaction, and the more value a member of the sales team could extract from each customer, the greater their financial reward. Regardless of the customers best interest or their ability to purchase again soon. And quite frankly, regardless of the impact of that transaction on the dealer’s retention.
We have also at times, been guilty as an industry of selling artificial value. For example, charging thousands of dollars of finance premiums for the privilege the customer gives us to assist them with their finance needs.
It sounds foolish doesn’t it, that an industry would reward the most, the people who destroy the probability of a customer purchasing again. Yet, perhaps because margins have been so slim and the pressure so great, that a guaranteed “big win” today is celebrated over the probability of a second sale two, three or four years down the road.
So how do we, as good people, define adding “real value” to our customers?
It starts with our #1 job. The #1 job of the Sales Professional – selection. Is there a vehicle we can offer that better meets their needs? Then once we have determined that, here are three questions that should guide our thoughts, our words and our actions.
Firstly, we should be asking ourselves with every interaction, “What problem can a new vehicle solve for my customer?” Now that might be simple…they may have just been through a big life change and need a different driving solution or an additional driving solution, or they might just have to have their lease renewed.
Secondly, is the question, “How can a new vehicle make my customer’s life better?” Maybe they want to celebrate a new job or promotion…maybe they desire a vehicle that’s safer with new technology…but how does it make their life better? Focus on that.
Thirdly, after we have successfully shared with the customer the benefits of our vehicle, we should be asking ourselves, “How can I help my customer win today?” And that my friend has very little to do with price or a discount. It has to do with the high-value experience that we deliver, that not only results in a sale today, but gives both you and the dealership the very real probability that they will return to buy a vehicle again in the future and they’ll refer people in their network.
Trainers, I’d like you to think about how you assist the Sales Professionals with their number 1 job, selection…take the Intelligent Word Tract™, All Over Again and combine it with Best For You, and write out a sample dialogue in the interview process.
Next, I’d like you to list five deals that you were involved in at your last World Class Event and write down three things for each: the customer’s name, the vehicle they bought and how a new vehicle made their life better.
Sales Professionals deserve to be well compensated. And trainers, when you help them deliver real value, you help them sell a car today. And you also help the dealer to grow their retention giving them the opportunity to sell that customer a car tomorrow as well.
Think Right, Work Hard, and Be a Good Person. That’s Sales Leadership…now let’s deliver real value, let’s lead and let’s win.