Your team needs to be educated, no guessing allowed. The credibility of the entire dealership, every team member, is suspect if just one person or one department says or implies something that might not be correct.
Making sure you have an education program that is ongoing is very important in the sales process. We’re not talking about dazzling folks with information. Too much can be can be just as bad as too little or incorrect information. But, if you’re going to talk the talk, better be able to walk the walk.
Here is the time to remind you all to eat your vegetables: You’ve got to ask for the sale. This is the crown jewel in the sales process and you’d be surprised at how little this is done. The reasons range from “I don’t want to seem pushy,” to “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know our customers,” to “I don’t sell that way.” And a lot of those sales folks are right, they don’t sell that way and neither does the dealership.
Far too often dealerships let the sales person dictate a sales process of their own choosing. We just assume that sales people know how to sell. We assume that they are effective in their job. Whether it’s true and especially if it’s not, you need to establish the standards for the sales process.
Clarity on what needs to be done during the sales process is not a given, no matter how much we believe it should be. It has to be reinforced and nurtured continually: You will follow these steps always without fail. You don’t want to hear that it’s being done when time permits or on a case-by-case basis when deemed appropriate. Deliver consistency always in all things sales.
You will always introduce yourself and ask whomever you are talking to their name and how may you help them. This should always be done promptly. I’ve never been keen on the excuse that we’re just letting folks look around. Letting someone look around has nothing to do with acknowledging their presence and conveying that you are there to help and answer questions.
You will always present yourself and the dealership in a positive way. You will always find out the needs of the individual along with the reasons they came in. The retail sales process should be comfortable and encouraging, and building rapport is the first way to accomplish this. People want to feel good about their purchases, and feeling good about their interaction with you is one of the main ingredients.
Be respectful of your clients and ask them to sit down before you present. Selling and trying to close on the sales floor is the chief ingredient for lackluster sales and poor performance. It’s a bad habit that, left unchecked, will leave more than a bitter taste in your mouth. It will leave you with lost sales, lost customers and less in the bank.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Ask for reasons: What is preventing a purchase today? Factors preventing purchases, objections that need to be overcome, won’t be discovered if you don’t find the reasons for the hesitation. Price alone is not the prevailing factor as to why or why not someone buys from you. More often than not it’s in the presentation and how you’ve overcome their objections.
Deliver consistency in what you offer and in what you do. All products offered, every time with every sale. Be professional in your presentation. Focus on the basics and you just might hit the mother lode, and remember to eat your veggies.
Mark Mooney is director, retail performance for Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, Calif., company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealerships. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.