The Value of Portfolio Thinking.
You can tell a true sales professional by the number of repeat and referral customers they sell each month. It’s one thing to sell a customer one car, but to follow up regularly and earn repeat purchases, that takes portfolio thinking.
Portfolio thinking looks beyond today’s potential commission, and instead looks at the potential of the customer and their referrals over multiple purchases.
The Value of Process – the systems and steps that we take each day to intentionally create appointment success.
In the past, success in the retail car business was often a result of the showroom skills and the personalities of the sales team. Today, that’s not enough to create success, as most customers want help before they visit the dealer’s showroom.
Showroom skills and personality are most effective when they are added to great appointment making skills and to effective selling processes.
In the past, automotive sales teams were able to create success by being re-active, rather than pro-active. Sales Professionals typically came to work to wait for customers. But today, customers no longer need to go to a dealership to get information on vehicles, or in some cases even to purchase a vehicle.
Now we must be pro-active to succeed. What does this mean? It starts by coming to work, to work, not to wait.
Here are a few things that I learned from these dealers who chose to keep talking to their customers during the pandemic. Many of these dealers sold cars, in some cases quite a few. But that wasn’t their goal. They simply wanted to build goodwill with their customers.
The “margin struggle” for car dealers today is really the battle to de-commoditize the car buying process by delivering a high-value customer experience. Dealers need to construct their sales process around their customer’s three buying decisions.
In times of change, a higher level of sales leadership at all sales management levels is needed to navigate the changes, to equip the sales team to thrive and to deliver an acceptable return to the dealer. Effective sales leadership means developing three key leadership characteristics – vision, courage and clarity.