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Desk managers everywhere have experienced salespeople who would prefer them to just “OK” the customer's offer and put the deal to bed.
Face it, when the salesperson is ready to close the deal, they most likely have already overcome a good bit to get the deal to this point. The last thing they want to do is risk changing the mood and intentions of a customer who just made an offer to purchase under their terms.
Many salespeople fear if they make another pass at raising the customer, the deal could go sideways. This could cause the customer to completely disconnect. (Ouch!)
There are others on the team who make you proud because they are always encouraging you to write another counter in order to gain additional gross. This practice is also more convincing to the customer; conveying the feeling that they’ve worked themselves a great deal. If we surrender, or accept an offer too quick, the buyer may reconsider their commitment, thinking maybe they left some money on the table.
Just like when delivering the initial proposal, salespeople need to project the final raise as "good news". That again is where monitoring the salesperson's readiness while desking the deal and coaching them for maximum effectiveness before returning to the customer comes into play.
Here’s a hypothetical example.
Scenario: If you need another five hundred in the deal, whether from selling price or five less than the customer requested for the trade, remind the salesperson of the importance of how they deliver the message, and to conclude with a strong closing statement.
The more "OK" the salesperson is, the more "OK" the buyer is likely to be. When delivered as "good news" and the posture of the closer is confident and assumptive, the better the chance the buyer will go with the flow and proceed with the commitment.
Will everyone simply sign up with little or no rebuttal? Of course not. However, many will go with the flow and "OK" the deal.
The best tool of leadership is to lead by example. Seize every opportunity to use this same strategy in front of the salesperson when performing a T.O.
A sample of this concept is available in the new version (coming soon) of the Sales Management & Leadership module of eAutotraining. To discuss any management and leadership issues, feel free to contact Richard directly at 888.300.4629.
RELATED: The Best "Last Two" Questions to Ask BEFORE Getting the Proposal
Richard Keeney, Co-Founder
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is the leading provider of Automotive, Boat & RV Sales, Service & Management Training Solutions.
Photo credit: By Jcomp - Freepik.com
We all do better after rehearsal. This is an absolute must when working with newer salespeople. To that we say, trust, yet verify. Start this strategy now and immediately improve this critical part of closing deals.
Some clients didn't realize they had some salespeople who were, let's say…less than effective when presenting the initial proposal. This could even give some managers the opportunity to praise others, which helps their confidence every time! Either way, they all feel like they have a better handle on something that they had taken for granted.
Remember…this is about development and building confidence. It should be dealt with in as positive a light as possible.
1. Eye contact?
3. Assumptive posture?
4. Do they ask for the business?
5. Words used, tone and body language?
6. Are they prepared to respond versus react when hit with the most common
7. Is your salesperson sold on the deal? Replace any fear with an assumptive
and courageous posture.
Need help with your role-playing training efforts? Call The Mar-Kee Group 888-300-4629.
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is proud to celebrate 20 years of outstanding Sales, Service, and Management Training.
The T.O. strategy has been around for quite some time, yet at some dealerships it’s not an “all the time” thing. Some salespeople view it as a friction point with management. Some handle it very well. They are grateful for the opportunity to get additional support as a final effort to close a sale.
It is important to communicate to salespeople that management needs to have the option of speaking with customers 100% of the time before they leave. They also need to work with their people to smooth out the transition to management.
When you say option, it may be a good idea to explain that management needs to leverage their time and won’t always opt to do the T.O.
Otherwise you will have those who think (and say) that the 100% philosophy is what is demanded yet not followed through on.
Below are great tips to use in an occasional sales meeting. Salespeople need to understand all of the benefits so they do it for their reasons, not just because you said so.
• T.O. stands for “Turn-Over” and “Total Opportunity”
• Should always be done (attempted)
• A second face can work wonders
• Makes a great impression on those not “closing” at this time
• Increases the chance of a return visit
• Provides customers with another contact should the Salesperson not be available later
• Partner with another sales team member as a backup plan
• Great gesture of appreciation for customer
• Customers will sometimes tell others what they won’t tell you
• Someone with a fresh approach and open mind-set may help the situation
• Common ground with customers can occur in many cases
• Some customers won’t close until final word from an authority figure
• Should always be done with class and professionalism
• Forget the ego - Get help often!
• If it closes easily - You have done your job
• Needs to be done in a timely manner
• Minimize ‘fire alarm” T. O.'s
• Say “Hold on just a second” – “I have an idea” or “I just thought of something.”
• Do not take customers to the command center (sales desk) without permission
• Even if another salesperson closes and you split - a half deal is better than no deal
• The T.O. is not only for the end of the visit
• Do it first for your reasons, and yes, it is also a responsibility
A sample of this concept is available in the new version of the Sales Management & Leadership module of eAutotraining. I invite your call. Should you ever want to discuss other sales gross enhancing ideas, I'd love to help! Feel free to contact Richard directly at 888.300.4629.
RELATED: How NOT to Ask For the Business (Some Humor Intended) by Richard Keeney
Richard Keeney, Co-Founder
The Mar-Kee Group
The Mar-Kee Group is the leading provider of Sales, Service & Management Training Solutions to Automotive, Boat & RV Dealerships.
Do you have a few showroom guests that object to a write-up, even after they’ve demoed a vehicle? Maybe even some who resist taking a demo drive because they don’t want to be put in that write-up situation where someone might ask them to buy. Some do all they can in order to avoid being put in a situation where they may feel obligated. It’s human nature.
Assuming you have current and accurate performance statistics, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to adopt a new strategy where you can track and compare the improvements over time?
Some things will never change. It’s about comforting the guest, so that more of them feel safe about going further down the road to the sale. When you read this simple, easy to use script, put yourself in a customer’s shoes for a moment. Might you feel less pressure, therefore giving the salesperson less “push-back” to coming inside for a proposal.
Sometimes this script will help when it appears customers are apprehensive about going the distance when you are trying to get them inside for a proposal. Whatever the scenario; a shy showroom guest, a service customer or if you see an opportunity away from the dealership and the salesperson is doing the prospecting job that you wish everyone would do, it’s an option.
You just need people to get better at eliminating customer resistance. After all, fear not, this is simply a free, written proposal (known to you and I as a write-up!)
Additional sales strategies are available in the new version of the Sales Management & Leadership module of eAutotraining. I invite your call. Should you ever want to discuss other sales gross enhancing ideas, I'd love to help! Feel free to contact Richard directly at 888.300.4629.
Customer: “Do you think they’ll paint the back bumper and put two new tires on it?”
Salesperson: (Treats the question as an objection and takes path of least resistance) – “I’ll go ask.”
The Salesperson has pretty much validated the request as doable. At this point, to not fulfill the request gives the appearance of being uncooperative. Of course, the Salesperson wants the deal and feels the customer’s request will not keep management from putting it to bed. After all, they do this all the time, right?
The following are immediately inherited:
• Increase in dealer’s expense, which lowers gross
• Carry “post-sale” reconditioning luggage — and it gets heavy!
• Consumption of Salesperson’s time over the next day(s)
• Provide a loaner car (hard to sell it if it’s not there — don’t forget to re-detail it!)
• Take chance that Customer may not be happy with the recon job (here we go again!)
Customer: “Do you think they’ll paint the back bumper and put two new tires on it?”
Salesperson: “I don’t blame you for asking, yet please know every vehicle we have is priced according to its precise mileage and condition. I’d be happy to get an estimate for you and we can simply add it to your investment, or you might drive it a bit and then decide if it’s still important to you. Which way would you prefer to go?”
Assuming positive outcome for a moment, expect the following benefits:
• Customer feel they've received an attractive deal with zero room for giveaways
• Protects the gross
• Salesperson’s productivity over the next few days has not been impacted
• Avoid dealing with the customers discontent with the reconditioning work
• Management is proud of Salesperson☺
• Great for Salesperson’s confidence
Role-playing is also a great method to help Salespeople stay poised and in control. Remember, some Customers will still demand accommodations. However, keep in mind it’s just a question, not necessarily an objection.
A sample of this concept is available in the new version (coming soon) of the Sales Management & Leadership module of eAutotraining. I invite your call should you ever want to discuss other gross enhancing ideas, I'd love to help! Feel free to contact Richard directly at 888.300.4629.
Photo credit: FreeImages.com/Mike Johnson
Does your Desk Manager's or Manager’s body language work for the cause? Or is it counter-productive and negatively alter the confidence and self-esteem of some Salespeople?
How were you received? You immediately knew if your timing was good or not. Did the Desk Manager act as if they were excited to see you? Did the Desk Manager hang up on their Sea-Doo mechanic or did they hold up a finger (index) and physically swing in their chair to finish their important chat?
If they were on the phone, did they ask the other party to forgive them, that they had somebody important that needed quick assistance? Saying, “I’ve got to go. I’ll call you back”? Did they “shoo” the people (not working a deal) away from the desk because someone with a deal took priority over anything else?
Sure, it can be taxing to desk deal after deal, multiple deals at a time, or trying to engineer dismal stuff into viable stuff. Sometimes, Desk Managers forget what it’s like to fight those battles on the pavement. They may forget about dealing with stand-offish, distrusting, and sometimes rude customers.
(Somewhat) jokingly, we used to say newer Salespeople have to hang tough because they’re going to get beat up by everybody. Beat up by the customer, beat up at the desk and beat up at home for the long hours and uncertain income. Pardon the melodramatic rant, but try to be empathetic with their situation.
I’m not saying to kid-glove your Salespeople, but avoid the mentality that you need to be tougher. Remember, one of your roles is to develop human beings into strong, confident sales professionals. Have they had enough quality training or do they even belong in the position? The best place to determine training needs is STILL at the desk. Now is not the time to quit on them because that would be the quick and easy thing to do.
• Make strong, helpful statements with your body language
• Smile often at the desk. It tells Salespeople this is a partnership
• Show them that you have confidence in them
• Never again shut someone down during a deal
• Don't ever humiliate Salespeople, especially in front of others
Transfer your positive energy and watch your Salespeople transfer that same energy over to the customer. That’s what effective leaders do.
Additional employee confidence boosting material is available in the new version of the Sales Management & Leadership module of eAutotraining. I invite your call. Should you ever want to discuss other leadership strategies, I'd love to help! Feel free to contact me directly at 888.300.4629.
RELATED: Tightening the T.O. $pokes by Richard Keeney
1996 was the year we rolled the dice. Thank goodness we didn’t know all that we would be up against, which we now know was a blessing, or we may never have powered forward.
The first time David and I walked into our newly leased empty building, he remembers the first thing I said, and it echoed…”How long did we lease this place for?”
I want to give a quick mention of our background. David was the corporate recruiter and trainer for a seven franchise dealer group, and I was the general manager of the Honda store. We had many discussions for a year or so regarding the possibility of starting a training company.
Well, the dealership owner informed me one day that he had sold the Honda store and if I didn’t mind, would I keep everything together, produce in the interim, keep everyone’s spirits up, oh, and please liquidate the pre-owned inventory as quickly as I could, and while doing so please be a good steward of his money.
I’m not the most educated guy in the world, but I am loyal and had a good bit of pride in what we had built over the previous years. Stay I did, and 90 days later I did the walk-through of the store with the new dealer and management team. What a blessing in disguise. Here I sit writing about The Mar-Kee Group’s 20 year anniversary!
I’ll never forget the statement the dealer’s son made in the walk-through of the facility. He stated that the first thing they were going to do was get rid of that leasing crap we had been doing. We had gone from 10% lease penetration, to 49.8% with an average of a 30 month term, and loving the short cycle return business. Anyway, the next day we opened the new, vacant office of The Mar-Kee Group.
David and I spent the next few years building the Success - One Idea at a Time program. This became a 64 VHS tape, 244 brief video sales training library, and we also began doing a good bit of in-dealership sales and management training.
In 2005, much earlier than dealers were ready to make the paradigm shift, we began building and offering the online program, eAutotraining.
I am incredibly proud of my partner, David Martin, and his accomplishments with over 10 NADA speaking appearances, and a great many Australian Key Note appearances. He has delivered our message in an extraordinary fashion and we are both proud of what we have provided to so many front line salespeople, who too often are left to survive and thrive on their own merits.
From my humble beginnings as a salesperson for three years, and then given the opportunity to perform at every variable management position over a period of nineteen years, to then go on to partner in building a training company where so many have given their trust and put their confidence in, well, I do take some pride in that.
First and foremost, we were not generic trainers trying to figure out the car business. We were car guys, with torn tee shirts, getting into the training business. One thing about car people, they know if you know or not, if you’ve paid your dues. They know immediately if you have real solutions for the things that take place every day in the dealership world. With that in mind, our business approach delivers the messages in brief segments, incorporates role play, and provides printed course materials along with testing.
Another way that we have been able to remain relevant is the fact that we never stop revising and adding the most up-to-date information for our valued clients. Also part of the successful business partnership is mutual respect and the balance we bring to the table.
In closing, I will say that a lot has transpired over the 20 year journey….from VHS, to DVD, to online training. A few times we, along with the rest of the world, have weathered some economic storms, yet keep coming out on the other side, powering through and staying excited about helping others put “The Art of Selling” back into the dealership.
The Mar-Kee Group
26248 Equity Drive
Daphne, AL 36526
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