It's 9 a.m. Monday morning, and you will soon hear a 20-minute speech from your sales manager about how awesome his fantasy football team played over the weekend. Soon, the entire sales team begins to join in on the discussion. They quote detailed stats, plays, blown calls and standings. You find yourself amazed by the amount of information your co-workers are able to retain and by the level of passion they express for their teams. The room turns into an after-sports special: “Peyton Manning threw for 311 yards; Marshawn Lynch rushed for 203 yards; Calvin Johnson made four touchdowns; Buffalo’s defense had seven sacks and three interceptions. Oh and by the way, Tony Romo left the game in the third quarter due to shoulder tendonitis and will be out for the next three weeks.”
The commitment they put into being successful in their leagues and getting all their information is very impressive. There is so much research involved for those who want to stay current on their team’s standings. They follow sports blogs; they watch SportsCenter religiously; they read the sports page, and they listen to every expert on the planet.
This kind of dedication raises the question: What if these guys could put the same level of commitment into their product knowledge for educating the customer on a particular unit? What could that do for their income, for our sales and most importantly, the customers’ overall perception of us?
Being successful in fantasy football requires similar attributes to being a successful salesperson. Even though you may have some talented individuals working on your sales floor, they may be giving lackluster information to your customers. We’re finally seeing the manufacturers drop new products on us with consistency, and we’re dealing with a new breed of customers driven by information.
It’s time to implement a new strategy to improve your team’s knowledge of the products your dealership carries:
- Know the stats — MSRP, MPG, tank size, dry weight, horsepower, top speed and seat height. At minimum have the basics covered.
- Be the expert — Have an arsenal of features and benefits; understand and know the competing brands inside and out.
- TRAIN or remain the SAME!
There’s an old notion about the “guy who knows every spec on the floor, but can’t close a closet door.” I’m not a believer in this particular philosophy. I’ll take a salesman with an enthusiastic personality, the one that knows every detail about every unit, over someone who doesn't care about what he’s selling.
It’s a new game today than what it was five years ago; you’ve got to adapt and put your best foot forward. If done right, you can take your dealership all the way to the Super Bowl. If it’s not done, however, you could find your business at the bottom of the standings every season.
Nate Stickney is an industry veteran and managing partner with the Sky Powersports Group based in Orlando, Florida. He’s well known within the industry as an innovative operator and expert team builder. Nate has a unique vision on how dealerships should be managed, motivated and maintained. He’s spent the last 16 years in American and metric dealerships working hands-on in all departments from sales, F&I, parts, service and marketing.
Follow him on twitter @NateStickney.