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Play the Right Movie

Here's a math lesson and a different way to look at closing ratio. There are only 2 possible closing ratios for each individual customer opportunity you get. Either 0% or 100%. They either buy from you or buy from someone else. If a customer shops around and meets 5 salespeople working at 5 different dealerships they still only buy one car so 4 salespeople get 0% and one gets 100%. Over a month or year IF everything was equal (skills, personality, and product) we would expect that if all customers shop at 5 places then the average closing ratio would be 20%. Here's the problem. Everything is not equal. Some salespeople will achieve significantly lower than 20% due most often to weakness in skills, attitude, or leadership.

Let's talk about attitude. It is true, the grind of working day to day in retail sales can mess with our attitudes. No matter how strong we are we will still have more people saying no than saying yes. It takes a conscious effort on our part to keep our attitude positive in those critical first moments when we meet a new prospect. We need to "play the right movie" in our heads before we open our mouths to greet them. Think about why they are here.

What do we know about someone when they arrive at our dealership and begin looking at vehicles? Something has changed! We don't know what that change is by looking out the showroom window at them. Something has changed in their life that makes their old vehicle no longer suitable. Changes in family, recreation, occupation, or finances can all trigger a need or want for a different vehicle. The end of a lease or finance term, excessive repair bills, or simple boredom with their current vehicle can also be triggers to get them in the market. The point is that something has changed otherwise they wouldn't be here! Play the right movie: "Great! Here are some people who WILL buy a vehicle."

Rarely do people decide to walk around on car lots abusing salespeople for amusement. See their resistance, stalls, and apparent disinterest for what it is: a defense mechanism to protect them from that mean, aggressive, pushy salesperson they hope they don't meet. Play the right movie: "I'm friendly and professional. They are going to like me and buy from me!"
What else do we know about people just by them coming on our lot to look at our vehicles?

  1. They will consider our brand.
  2. Our dealership is acceptable. People don't bother visiting dealerships that they won't do business with.
  3. They have a need or a want. Lots of people think car shopping is like visiting the dentist! They only do it when they have to.
  4. The timing is right. Easy access to information via the internet means that many clients have completed their research before their first dealership visit.
  5. They may no longer want their current vehicle.
  6. They are looking for professional service.
  7. They need someone to justify value.

We need to play the right movie in our head. Don't think: "oh great, here comes another tire kicker - those people don't look like buyers." We need to expect to win. Someone is going to have a 100% closing ratio with this customer - why not you? We need to play the movie that says: "Excellent, I'm going to help those nice people get their next vehicle!"

When you consciously check your attitude before you walk out to meet them an interesting thing happens. You walk taller with more confidence. You make eye contact; smile and you welcome them with enthusiasm. They get a better first impression of you and initial resistance is lower.

We need to remember that our clients are shopping just as much for a salesperson as a vehicle. People feel comfortable saying yes to a vehicle only after they know, like, and trust us. Your professional service starts with your attitude at the critical meet and greet.

So do that attitude check at the door and remember play the right movie: "something has changed that makes them want a different vehicle... and I'm going to help them get it!"