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If People Only Knew


Something EVERY DEALER needs to address in a sales meeting.

Your average salesperson sells what 10 – 12 cars a month? According to NADA that is still the national average.

But my question to you as a dealer or operator, “Who is accountable to either motivate or hire someone to motivate your staff? What happens when that sales person becomes jaded as many consumers are right now about the state of the economy?” A dealer told me today that his top salesperson at a Chevrolet dealership who has been there more than 10 years came up to him so frustrated about what customers are telling him that he wanted to quit. The dealer was telling me this to convey how customers are reflecting negatively on the current economic climate and how customers are having a bigger negative impact on his sales people than they’ve ever had before. He quoted, “When these guys are making 10 to 12 phone calls and follow-up calls a day and every customer asks, “Are you guys going to stay in business? or You better give me a better deal since you all are about to go out of business,’ sales people can easily get discouraged.” This is the beginning of what we at Strong call, “the brotherhood of the miserable.”

We kicked around a few ideas and discussed the pros and cons of changing his message, and intense merchandising strategy, to create a campaign around the positive aspects of why to buy today. We agreed that we shouldn’t change our marketing direction and platform without more thought and decided we should both think more about the idea.

After two hours on an airplane, and passing an airport TV that showed Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Governor giving a speech about the “New Republican Party” I had a thought. Every dealership needs to arm their sales associates with what has made politicians successful for years: “TALKING POINTS”. As a dealer or GM you know how to sell your way out of the current market and you also know how to motivate people – you wouldn’t be where you are if you didn’t.

The premise is simple: Once a week in one of your sales meetings roll out the “Talking Points of the Week” explain how politicians use them and refer to the days when Bill Clinton would never give an answer that wasn’t scripted. Print out your “Talking Points” and give sales people 3”x5” size cards that show them several things to use to turn a positive into a negative.

It is nothing more than overcoming objections, which is the key to closing any deal you are working. Overcome objections and do it by arming your people with what you want them to say.  Pre-load their lips with what you want them to say and they will start to believe it.

Did you know that experts are predicting the recession will be over by May 2009?! I didn’t know it either, but if you create a positive statement, people will repeat it.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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