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The sale starts with the receptionist - will it start it well?

We occasionally run training programs to bring receptionists into the sales process. We usually have a class that has 80-90% of attendees with no idea of how sales works or how the receptionist role can positively impact sales results.
 
It's no wonder. New receptionists get technical training on how the phone system works but not so much on how their role fits with the sales department. Then management, administration, accounting, and the service department stack more and more little clerical jobs on the receptionist - well because they're just sitting there anyway.

Lessons from the huddle... increase satisfaction by lowering expectations!

Many dealerships have an unofficial in-house training program designed to pass along the vast experience and knowledge of the veteran salespeople to the new recruits.  This highly effective mentoring program is called “the huddle.” Here, unselfish veterans pass along the keys to success – sales strategies and work habits that have made them solid 6-8 units per month producers, year in and year out for decades. The best part for the dealership is that this training is absolutely free!

Phone skills are old school or are they?

So we've talked about how the current reality of the highly informed internet shopper has required salespeople to change their daily work plan.

If the customer has done hours of research online before contacting us, when they do we need to be prepared. They saw our car on line, it fits their needs, they know the equipment and pricing. They are calling in to see if it’s still available. More than ever we have to be prepared for our day:

Building value for the highly informed shopper - Part 4

We have been talking a lot lately about this highly researched shopper - that a typical prospect is now spending 11+ hours of online research before we ever see or hear from them. If they have done a lot of research and landed at your place we need to respect that hard work that they have already done - not disregard it and try to force them into our traditional buying process. We see shoppers eliminate the vehicles/ brands/ dealerships they are not interested in before they contact anyone. This is good for you when they do initiate contact but you have to be better prepared because:

Building value for the highly informed shopper - Part 3

We have talked about how our typical shopper is now spending 11+ hours of online research before we ever see or hear from them. If they have done a lot of research and landed at your place we need to respect that hard work that they have already done - not disregard it and try to force them into our traditional buying process. That means we can accelerate the Interview process and make it about "verifying their selection" rather than interviewing to make a selection.
 

Creating Urgency

Sales managers are always talking about it like you're supposed to be able to wave a magic wand and get people to buy on command. I remember a situation early in my sales career when we were having a particularly slow month. The manager came along gave us a rah-rah speech and told us we needed to "create urgency with our buyers" and "get them to buy now!" I remember thinking to myself that if I had the ability to make people buy on command we wouldn't be in the sales slump we were in!
 

Serving Others

People naturally seem to slow down at this time of year and take a moment to reflect on what is important in life. With that in mind consider what a privilege it is to live where we do with all of the wealth and opportunity that is afforded us each and every day. Despite all of the challenges - perceived or real - we still live in a part of the world where, generally speaking, one is rewarded for working hard. You can choose to enhance your skill set and affect not only your own well being, but that of your clients.

Building value for the highly informed shopper - Part 2

We have talked about how our typical shopper is now spending 11+ hours of online research before we ever see or hear from them. If they have done a lot of research and landed at your place we need to respect that hard work that they have already done - not disregard it and try to force them into our traditional buying process. Last month we talked about how this can allow us to accelerate the interview process. Our focus becomes confirming that the selection they have made meets their needs rather than interviewing to discover their needs so we can select the vehicle.

Building value for the highly informed shopper

We have always said that the number one job of the salesperson is "Selection". By this, we mean that everything we do with the client or for the client is designed to help them get the best vehicle choice for their specific situation. That's why in training we focus so much time and effort in developing strong Interview skills. When we are skilled at asking the best questions we can understand: the client's needs, lifestyle, what's changed, and what is it about their current vehicle that no longer fits for them.