Did my first "One-on-One" phone training with LA Williams today and it's safe to say I'm hooked! It was nice to be the focus and have all of my questions/concerns answered without any distractions. I've always enjoyed LA's technique because it sounds so genuine yet effortless. His ability to connect with customers, people he's never even met before, blows my mind. Thanks for the motivation LA, I really appreciate it!
Are you watching the Olympics?
Some very compelling story lines and great competitions. I'm always inspired by these athletes who have put in hours and hours to reach that level of excellence.
Sometimes when I watch with friends or family, I find myself distracted from the message by the comical comments people make concerning the appearance of the people. I think it must be natural. you've probably even done it.
"What's up with that dood's hair?"
"There's no way he was an Olympic athlete."
"Why does one eyebrow move up and not the other?"
"She look like she stank."
"Didn't she look in the mirror after she put THAT on?"
My take on this, and the sales message for us is that the PERSON behind the words-- their delivery and appearance-- makes a huge difference in how the message is interpreted.
I'm probably not going out on too much of a limb here by stating that you probably sell a pretty good product or service. But unless it sells itself, YOU play a major role in how it is perceived when you're on the phone talking about it. The better YOU are, the more you sell. The common sense and the obvious are tough to be improved upon.
Some people believe that communicating on the phone is a disadvantage because listeners can't see us. I believe that actually is an advantage... you don't need to worry about physical appearance. On the phone, it all relies on what they hear. That's why to be your best you need to work on it. Here are some ideas.
GET RID OF THE NONWORDS I find some people have this nasty habit to a very severe degree. When a listener counts how many times they hear "um" instead of focusing on the message you know there's a problem. The persuasive speakers, on the other hand, don't use these filler sounds, or at least their use is minimal.
Action Item: Susan Berkley, author of Voice Shaping, suggests that the first step to the cure is identifying the enemy. Record yourself and count how many fillers you use. Once you're aware of your most common non-words, consciously replace them with pauses.
You can also control the nonword habit by getting your spouse or friend or cubicle-neighbor to say "bingo" or some other code word every time you use a nonword. By the way, this also applies to habits such as "you know," "like," "I mean," and anything else you use way too often.
ENUNCIATE! A guest on The O'Reilly Factor mumbled so much I had to turn the volume WAY UP so I could try to make out what he said. If I didn't care about what he was saying, I wouldn't have worked so hard. And your listeners might not work that hard for you.
Action Item: Read this several times- "If, I, Place, an, invisible, comma, after, each, word, and, an, invisible, semicolon; after, some, words, my, speech, has, presence." This forces you to enunciate.
Action Item 2: Practice tongue twisters to articulate clearly. Recite this one now, several times while picking up speed each time: "Frank phoned four pharmaceutical factories feeling fresh and fulfilled."
GET UP TO SPEED The more persuasive of the talking heads during interviews make their talking points quickly and don't mince words. We all can learn from that. After all, why use 100 words when 50 could make the same point? And don't speak at 33 RPM's when your listeners are at 78. (You won't get that reference if you don't know what record players are.)
In the book, "Smart Speaking, " Laurie Schloff and Marcia Yudkin say that when you speak too slowly you could be perceived as boring, tried, or less intelligent than you actually are.
Action Item: Practice getting to your point more quickly. Ask yourself a question you get during calls. Use stopwatch and give yourself 45 seconds to answer. Then cut it to 30, then 20. Tape your response and refine your answer content and delivery.
FINISH WITH STRENGTH Professional speaker and presentation coach and trainer Marjorie Brody http://www.marjoriebrody.com/ cautions against letting your voice rise at the end of a sentence.
In her book, "Speaking your Way to the Top," she suggests recording yourself. If you notice your voice rising at the end of a sentence it sounds as though you are asking a question, are tentative, or are a junior-high girl. If you tend to swallow your last few words, that reduces the impact of what you're saying.
Action Item: Practice finishing sentences completely and drop your pitch slightly while keeping the volume strong.
The interest that others have in your message is largely controlled by YOU and your delivery. Strive to reach Olympic-level performance. When you do, you'll sell more cars, more profitably, more often.
In the city I live in, there is a run down, nasty looking house taking up some prime commercial real-estate that I'm pretty sure every Realtor in town has taken a crack at trying to sell. Seriously! Every couple of months there is a new sign out front from some poor real-estate professional who gives the property a try. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure this property has been on the market for quite a few years.
Last night, my wife and I were driving past the house and I couldn't help but think that it was the appearance of the property that was causing the lack of interest. Think about it, even though the for sale sign mentions the great "Commercial Property" potential, there has been no movement on it whatsoever.
The solution I came up with is simple. Tear the sucker down. Pull out the grass and weeds and promote the empty dirt lot. Right now, the house is causing a major distraction in the minds of potential buyers because they can't see their business operating in such a disgusting place. Tear the building down and clean up the property and I think you'd be surprised at how fast this thing will sell.
So How Does This Relate To Automotive Sales?
It actually relates well to any form of sales, but since this is an automotive and RV community, let's talk vehicle sales. You see, there are a couple of fundamentals about appearance that every sales person looking to improve their game should be mindful of. Let's take a few minutes to break a couple of them down.
Dress For Success
I'm sure you've heard this one before right? According to an article on usatoday.com; Gladys Edmunds shares an experience she had at a major mortgage firm where everyone from the receptionist to the executives had too casual of an appearance.
If you're interested in boosting your sales, take some time to consider whether or not your appearance at work is too casual and what effect it has on your demeanor. I'm not suggesting that you need to wear an expensive three piece suit to work (unless that's you're thing), but what I will say is that dressing for success has a positive impact on how you conduct yourself and how others deal with you. I'd encourage you to test it out and see if you notice any positive impact on sales and personal productivity.
We talk about this all the time. Vehicles are often the second largest investment that people will make in their life, so think about what kind of experience you are offering if your appearance is too casual. What kind of experience and professional would you want to deal with if you were expected to fork out thousands of your hard earned dollars?
The whole idea here is to eliminate anything and everything that will shift the focus of your customer away from the vehicle. I'm not going to waste any time beating around the bush, so I will just come out and say it. Do you stink? Let's face it, we've all been in a situation where we've had to talk to someone that smells foul. It's pretty awful isn't it?
I was in a dealership not too long ago and had a conversation with one of the sales consultants who was A.) Wearing a Hawaiian T-shirt and B.) Had the worst body odor I've come across in a long time. Oh, where's your compassion Mike?!? This article is my compassion. If you or anyone you know has an issue with smelling like a dumpster fire, you pass along this article for them to read.
Think about it though, how can your customer possibly stay focuses on your presentation if throughout the entire visit, they are trying to discreetly hold their noses, hold their breath or fan the air around their face? They're distracted and don't want to be around you anymore.
On the flip side, and in defense of smelly people everywhere; this can also be said of sales people who take a shower in cologne or perfume.
Think about the house again for a second. The reason I'm sure that property hasn't sold is because nobody can envision what their building will look like there because every time they do, they see this nasty looking house that get's in their way.
I think you get where I'm going with this - let's just say if you create distractions for your customers, they aren't able to fully focus on what you are presenting.
Your appearance definitely has an impact on your sales. Of course there are a variety of other things that may impact sales performance, but how you present yourself is the easiest to change because you can do it as early as your next shift. Give it a try and see what happens.
Question: Have you had an experience where appearance (either yours or someone else's) has impacted you positively or negatively? Share your experience in the comments below!
Sean V. Bradley & Robert Wiesman Training on Automotive (Internet) Sales At Dealer Synergy
We have Sean V Bradley here at the Dick Edwards Auto Group in Manhattan, KS!!! We're in the process of building a brand new E-Commerce Dept and we're fortunate to be able to have Sean and his team at Dealer Synergy helping us with this mission!!!
Ladies and gentleman, I had the honor to be with Sean Bradley for two days for some intense training!!! I have to say it was amazing!!!! Met with a dealer group that has been a client of Dealer Synergy for years, did some one on one with Sean and went live to a dealership to do some additional training. The intensity and passion that Sean has is amazing!!! Oh, by the way, I'm not getting paid to write this either!!! Furthermore, the human capital that I acquired over the last two days I have to say is priceless.
For those dealer groups or E-Commerce directors that are looking for a reputable verifiable consultaing company you won't be upset once you sign up with Dealer Synergy!!!!
“The Lord IS GOOD TO ALL…”
- Psalm 145:9 (New King James Version)
This is not a “maybe He might be good, if you do this or that” kind of answer. This is a definite, “The Lord IS…” kind of an answer! He is good to all. His goodness is not only to a certain type of person. His goodness is for ALL people. He is good to everyone. No matter their age, race, ethnicity, nationality, social status, income level or gender, God is good to all humanity.
“If you then, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him.”
- Matthew 7:11 (New King James Version)
This sounds like a good God to me. God will give you good things for you to enjoy in this life. He wants only good things for you.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
- Psalm 84:11 (New King James Version)
Do you see that this is a God who does not withhold the good things He has for you? He does not dangle the carrot in front of you and pull it away as you get closer to it. He does not keep moving away from you as you approach Him. On the contrary, He draws near to you as you draw near to Him. He is not a bad God. He is a good God. He has only good things for you. This verse tells us that “…he will withhold no good thing to those that walk uprightly”. The word “uprightly” means “honesty and integrity.” This word comes from the root word that means “complete, whole and entire” (Lexical aids to the new and old Testament; the Hebrew/Greek Key Study Bible). What does all this mean? This means that when you walk in total, complete, entire honesty and integrity, you will receive every good thing that God has for you to receive in this life! Not bad; it’s all good because God is all good!
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him.”
- Psalm 34:8 (New King James Version)
The five natural senses can sometimes help us to know when something is either good or bad. We can see, touch, smell, hear and taste to help us know whether we like something or not. The sense of taste is awesome. When we eat something that is not good or may not be to our liking, the sense of taste tells you. Likewise, concerning the things of God, we have spiritual senses as well. One of which is the sense of taste. We can see this phrase used in Psalm 34:8. We can spiritually drink from the wells of salvation. We can spiritually eat from the bread of life. God wants us to taste His fruit. He wants us to get a taste of His flavor for our life. He wants us to bite into the life of God in Christ. He wants us to eat from the tree of life found in His Word. Why? Because when we taste the good things and the fruit of God, we will see that it is good. When you come in contact with the sweetness of God, you’ll have a spiritual sweet tooth for more. These are the sweets that will not decay your life or make your life rotten. These are the sweets that are good for you.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
- James 1:17 (New King James Version)
Every good gift comes from God. This encompasses anything that is profitable, useful, and constitutionally good. (Lexical aids to the new and old Testament; the Hebrew/Greek Key Study Bible). God is the source of all good gifts and all perfect gifts. This word “perfect” does not mean “free from fault” or “to be without deficiency.” This word refers to that which meets the need of a person (Lexical aids to the new and old Testament; the Hebrew/Greek Key Study Bible). Every gift that is for you alone or a gift that meets the need of someone else is from God. He is the giver and source of every good thing, gift and circumstance in this world. Taste and see that the Lord is Good!
“It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.” ~ Author Unknown
I’d like to start out with a story that maybe some of us in the automotive industry can relate to. This deals with the number one obstacle of the sale. You! The demo is completed, they love the car, they love you, they love the ease of everything so far and now it has come to this. Your so-called friend now sits across from you and tells you that they will take delivery of their new vehicle if the numbers are right. The customer is sold and wants to drive the car home today. You are pumped up; full of confidence and the adrenaline begins to flow through your body. You go to the desk and you tell the GSM where they need to be in order for you to seal the deal. You explain everything word for word and as you are talking the GSM begins to pencil you the numbers. It’s as if he’s not even listening. You feel like Charlie Brown’s parents, “WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH!” It’s like everything you say doesn’t even matter. You look down at the up sheet to see if you’re in the ballpark and you notice that the number is way higher than where the customer wants to be. Not only are you not in the ballpark, but you’re not even in the same state. You than see that the customers trade that was explained to be a gem has 2 car accidents on the Carfax and is coming in thousands less than what they want for it. The GSM finishes writing the numbers, turns the paper to you and slowly slides the up sheet back into your hands and with a smile softly says, “let’s make this deal!” You think, “Ok I will if you’d just do the customers numbers!”
By this point your heart is racing, you have fallen into a deep black hole and feel like you are miles apart from where the customer is and where the desk wants to be. Your confidence doesn’t slowly disappear, but it has been shattered, blown up and destroyed. You put your head into your hands, look at the paper and start to try and close the desk on where the customer wants to be. You think, “Maybe he didn’t hear me so I’ll explain it again.” You finally come to grips with the fact that the desk is not budging so you peek over your shoulder to see what your customers are doing. As you look they see you look their way and smile at you as if you’re gonna come back and not only give them what they asked for on their trade but exceed that and give them a thousand more than they asked. You look back at the paper huff and blow out a deep breath. You get up, grab your paper, look at the GSM as if he’s the devil himself and with your head down looking at the paper, dragging your feet, in total disbelief and defeat you begin to walk back towards your customer. You sit down and as you’re shaking your head back and forth you say, “ Well, I have bad news. I’m so sorry to say that I CAN’T BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!”
Don’t Lose Confidence in Yourself
As exaggerated as this story is I believe it speaks to us in one way or another. The point of this entire case study is that if you lose confidence in yourself to close the sale you’ll never close the sale. We are the number one obstacles that obstruct the path of buyers saying yes and driving home in their new vehicles. When we lose the confidence in our-selves to present the customer the numbers that we are given, the customer can pick up on that and pull back their confidence to say yes. When you are confident in your presentation, demo, walk around, product and competitive knowledge your customer feeds off of that. The more confidence you display the more confident they will feel in making a major decision to purchase. A lot of your success in closing is dependent on your ability to empower your customers with the confidence they need to make a decision. How you speak, how you stand, the body language you show, the inflections and tone of your voice all have to do with the success and failure of instilling confidence into your customer. It begins with you. Be confident in your ability to sell, present numbers, deflect stalls and overcome objections in the sale. Practice your transition points of one word to the next. The more fluent and articulate you are with your words the more at ease people feel. The more you stumble, sigh, and trip through your words the more hesitant people feel. Your words and how you say your words are your tools that you use to be successful in what you do. We should take the time to practice using these tools.
“Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.” ~ Henry Ford
Always Think You Can
An unknown author said, “Success comes in cans, not cant's.” That is so true. Think you can close every deal. Think you can overcome every objection. Think you can be salesman of the month every month. Think you can be more productive than you’ve ever been. Think you can do the impossible and you will. Think you can reach your goals and you will. The ones who say they can’t usually end up getting passed up by the ones who think they can and just did. It’s more than just thinking you can in your mind but also in your heart. Your heart is the core of your being. It is the center of your-self. As a mirror reflects your face so your heart reflects back to you your true self-image.
Proverbs 23:7 (Amplified Bible) For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Whatever you think you are in your heart that is what will eventually come out in your character and words. Allow your heart felt thoughts to help govern your actions and words. The more confident you are in your ability to believe that you can be successful and achieve outstanding accomplishments the more you will begin to experience what you already thought you can do.
Think big! Think success! Think on good things! Think on things that instill a positive outcome!
"Before you change your thinking, you have to change what goes into your mind."
As you think on things that empower you to be the best you can be and stay strong in your self-confidence you will overcome the hardest obstacle you’ll ever face in this life and achieve success, victory and promotions in all your endeavors. Please email me to receive a copy of an article to help strengthen your self-confidence.
Imagine you are blind, it's 9:00 AM and you just walked from the tarmac to witness the training of a brand new Automotive Internet Sales team. You're excited to meet the people and watch them learn as you learn. You've got your note taker all charged up and you get a phone call from the lead trainer saying he missed his flight and won't make it until the end of the day...but that he's done you a big favor and called the dealer and there on their way to pick you up. What do you do?
Quite naturally, you're terrified. Here you are in the airport, with zero agenda, thirty minutes away from the biggest moment in your career and you want your mommy. But of course you represent the number one training/consulting firm in your industry, so you gotta take this shot. You've been through the trainings, you know this stuff and you can teach it. You just have to let them get to know/like/trust and believe you. You make that your only mission...well, that's if you think like me!
I experienced this firsthand and let me tell you; it was exhilarating! Standing there with seven brand new Internet Coordinators, three more experienced ICs and an internet director with over fifteen years in the car business...it was the rock star stage spotlight all over again. We conducted preliminary introductions, then began to synergize!
Throughout the week, my goal was to show them not only how much I knew…but how much I truly cared about their success. We discussed the numbers, we talked about the minds of the prospective customers and even dove into how important their personal success is to the entire automotive industry. I had to show the entire place, that although I don’t have physical sight, I do have an amazing vision…and if they bought into it, they would reap the benefits. Wow, did they ever.
I felt the love and respect from the moment I walked in the door. From the managers, to the frontline employees, even a few customers expressed how they felt the excitement of change…an upgrade in quality. My career was completely altered by these encounters. I now have even more esteem for my company because I was privileged enough to come into contact with a dealer group that was tired of the old and ready to completely embrace the new. We…were able to introduce them to the “new” they were searching for and more. As per their testimony, it also changed the lives of the people with whom I interacted. This is what Dealer Synergy is all about, a new approach to doing business in the automotive industry.
More importantly, this experience inflated my self-confidence balloon. I already knew there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish, but the ability to transcend that belief into others was what I questioned. Honestly, I thought I lacked it. Well…I was proven absolutely positively wrong! If you're thinking there’s something you can’t do, you’re more than likely in the wrong column as well. Here’s the Bottom line…If I can jump on an airplane to a far away/strange land by myself and make out alright, then don’t tell me you can’t succeed at selling some cars over the internet!
I was so happy to see you guys really take it to the next level and now you are on the cover of AIS!! Congrats to you all, and keep it up throughout the summer!
As many of you may know, I have moved and settled into my new home in California, and I am very happy to say that I will very much still be involved in the AIS website and helping people sell more cars, more profitably, more often!!
I am also working as a Finance Director here in Visalia, CA. and looking to help everyone excel around me and bring Dealer Synergy to more dealerships on the west coast. Remember (East Coast collegues) that I am 3 hours behind you in time, so feel free to ask any questions as I will be able to help during the later hours.
I hope everyone is having a great start of the month, and keep up the strong work phone ninjas!!!
Even with all the training and skills possible, sometimes we run into a customer on the phone that says they will “try to stop in sometime this weekend” or “I will make it there when I can”.
When only 11-14% of all of our phone call attempts result in a contact, we try to make sure that every one counts, and try to set as many appointments as possible. It is frustrating doing everything right, and still getting that resistance from the customer to lock in a time and day to come into the dealership like we want them to.
So how do we get around that and get the customer to do what WE want them to do? The answer is very simple! Put aside what we want for a second, and let’s identify what the customer wants – a smooth and easy purchasing process…right?!
We need to create the benefit for the customer and make it make sense for them to set an appointment with us, and tell them WHY it will help them have a great car buying experience. Here are some phrases that we can use to do that:
- This is what we do for our special internet customers:
- We would like to have the vehicle we spoke about ready for you
- We would like to have a Sales Manager ready for you
- We would like to make sure that you are not waiting around and assure you that purchasing a car doesn’t have to be an all-day process
Creating a benefit and convenience for the customer will more often than not have them do exactly what you want them to do; not because it’s what you want, but because you are creating a scenario and service level that exceeded their expectations, and created a preference for them to make them feel like an important “VIP” customer!
VP of Training
I know I have had my head down working hard to make sure that Dealer Synergy is prepped and ready for 2011, but I did want to stop everything I am doing just for a few minutes and...
Wish everyone a very wonderful, merry, joyful, happy, safe and prosperous Holiday Season and New Year!! I hope everyone gets what they want, and especially gets time to spend with great family and friends! Enjoy it!!
VP of Training
Automotive Social Media Marketing Statistics, Facts and Figures / Re-Post from Ralph Paglia of Automotive Digital Marketing...
Automotive Social Media Marketing Statistics, Facts and Figures published by reliable resources for December 2010
- Social network usage by Americans aged 65 and up grew 100% in 2010 from 13% to 26%, and is expected to continue to increase (Pew Research Center)
- Facebook passed Yahoo in August 2010 to become #2 video site in America (58,600,00 users) behind #1 YouTube (146,300,000 users) (comScore)
- Twitter now gets more visitors than MySpace, becoming 3rd most trafficked Social Network. Twitter.com had 96 million unique visitors in November 2010 up 76% from November 2009. #1 visited social network is Facebook with 598 million unique visitors. (comScore)
- 29% of Twitter users 18-24 years old use Twitter to follow their favorite companies and brands
- 60% of web users visit social networks (PC Advisor)
- Two thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated content sharing with Facebook.
- The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events (Facebook press office)
- Twitter adds more than 300,000 new "Tweeps" (users) every day (Twitter)
- There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day (Twitter)
- YouTube receives more than 2 billion video views per day (YouTube press center)
- 77% of Automotive Internet Users (AIU) read blogs (Technorati)
- 60% of bloggers are aged 18-44 (Technorati)
- Male/Female distribution ratio of Twitter users is 47/53%
- 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks
- Women aged 55 and up are the fastest growing Facebook demographic in America
- Two-thirds of bloggers are male:
- 65% are age 18-44.
- Bloggers are more affluent and educated than the general population:
- 79% have college degrees / 43% have graduate degrees
- 1/3 have a household income of $75K+
- 1/4 have a household income of $100K+
- 81% have been blogging more than 2 years.
- Professionals have an average of 3.5 blogs.
- Professionals blog 10+ hours/week.
- 11% say blogging is their primary income source.
This dealer had his kids helping him run the dealership. One was the Sales Manager, one the Service Manager and the youngest did deliveries for the Office. This was the juggernaut running this enterprise. They all spoke Swiss to each other…all the time…in front of customers and, ofcourse, the employees. Their saving grace was their take-no-prisoners Controller. He made sense of things, especially when the family would fight, and he made sure all the numbers landed where they needed to be.
My point here is that when management is speaking a different language, how can your staff bring their best game? Shouldn’t all the players be playing from the same Playbook to increase sales? The same applies to Social Media campaigns today at dealerships. Management decides to set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp without a strategy that includes grassroots employee participation. Merely having Social Media in place doesn’t guarantee that staff will understand it and incorporate it into their daily jobs.
To better foster and manage Social Media, educate and develop everyone in the store. Make sure they’re speaking the same language. Take steps to engage employees and customers so they can easily collaborate with each other. Whether it’s the Salesperson asking the customer to give a short video testimonial at delivery or the Service Advisor reminding his loyal customers to ‘Love us on Yelp’, dealership Social Media marketing doesn’t work without each staff member’s buy-in and daily involvement.
In Social Media, your employees are the players who move it from a marketing campaign to having a conversation with your customers. Are they speaking the language of increasing sales?