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Lessons from the huddle… Redux

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!

The information a new salesperson can gain in the huddle can save countless hours of unnecessary work. These “high performers” will share little known secrets like:

  • Don’t worry about incoming phone calls. Those callers are just price shoppers who never show up. I always say “just ask for me but they never do.”
  • Follow-up calls are a waste of time.  I probably won’t be here in 4 years when they need their next car so why bother.  Even if they do come back they never remember who sold them the car anyway so you probably won’t get the next sale.
  • Internet leads are even worse - those people just want a price and they never buy from me. If I get back to them in a couple of days, they always give me some lame excuse like: "they already bought somewhere else!"
  • Leave work at work.  I never let people I meet away from the dealership know what I do.  Self-promotion is weird.
  • Don’t put in a full effort with prospects until you know if they are a buyer or not. Why do a full pull with a tire kicker?
  • With experience you can size-up a prospect all the way across the lot and tell if they are a buyer or not.
  • Pretty much everybody these days is a hard nosed price shopper so there’s not much point in trying to be their friend. They just want the best price.
  • Nobody buys on rainy days, or days that are too hot, or too cold, or too windy, or close to a holiday, or 2 weeks before Christmas, or the first half of the month, or summer, or February.
  • I have a powerful handshake. I grip hard and give it a twist - you need to establish who the boss is right away.
  • Don’t worry too much about your image.  I think people feel more comfortable when they see my old suit and scuffed shoes – they can tell I’m not some slick sales guy.
  • Don’t worry too much about the wife in a couple.  It’s always been the man who makes all the car buying decisions.
  • Don’t bother with tracking your traffic.  Management eventually gets tired of asking for your numbers but if they do force it make sure that you low-ball the traffic number so that your closing ratio comes out at 50%.  That’s all they’re looking for anyway.
  • Product knowledge is for egg-heads. Today’s customer gets everything on-line and makes their selection before they come in so studying the product specs or asking them any questions is just a waste of my time.
  • Sales training programs are useless.  I learned everything I know in my first 6 months and I’ve been making a living at it for 20 years.
  • Those guys who sell 20-25 cars a month are just keeners.  They never spend time just shooting the breeze with us.  They spend half their day on the phone. For some reason customers stick with them forever. It’s just luck… they get all the easy customers. It’s really annoying how management feeds them all the house deals too.      

New salespeople can learn an awful lot about how to be that 6-8 unit per month salesperson from the huddle.  The lessons are easy to implement and the forum provides an excellent way to curb your enthusiasm, lower your work ethic, and reduce income taxes.  Besides, it can be really lonely at the top… and who wants that?   

"Sales is the easiest low paying work or hardest high paying work you can do – it’s your choice which one.”