E-newsletter – August – 2015

MySuccessCompany.com E-NEWSLETTER
August 2015


This Month’s Selling Principle:

The Two Things Every Customer Wants From Us


What is it that each and every customer wants from us? And no…it’s not $100 over invoice!head shot active 4b

Since the dominant buying motive differs from customer to customer, what could these two common needs be? It’s this:

Two of the most basic of all human needs are to be valued and understood.

It’s what our spouses want when they have to tell us about the book they’re reading, it’s what our kids want when they show us their latest “boo-boo”, and it’s what each and every one of our customers wants every time they walk through that door. We’ve heard it before; our customer doesn’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.

I have found that one of the most effective ways to help our customer feel valued and understood is through a skill called active listening.

There are four elements to active listening. They are:

1) attentive body language,

2) verbal attends,

3) leading questions,

4) restating.

Let’s take a look at each of these elements.

Attentive Body Language. By this I mean open posture, good eye contact, lean slightly forward, smile, nod our head occasionally, and raise our eyebrows sometimes. We need to avoid finger tapping, folded arms, looking away, looking at our watch, shifting our weight too often, yawning, and nodding off. It’s important we remember the formula 55-38-7. In 1967, in a study done at UCLA, professor Albert Mehrabian found that, in face to face communication, 55% of our message is conveyed through physiology, 38% is through tone/tempo/volume, and only 7% is conveyed through the words we use. So we need to pay close attention to what we tell our customers through our body and through the way we say things.

Verbal Attends. These are little verbal clues that let our customer know we’re interested. Things like “I see” or “uh-huh” or “really?” or “go on” or “sure, sure” etc. Just verbally letting them know “Okay buddy, I’m with you.” Remember: to be interesting, be interested.

Leading Questions. These are designed to do two things. First it lets the other person know we’re interested and second it helps them to completely express their idea, complaint or concern. Questions like “then what happened?” or “how did it make you feel?” or “anything else?”, etc.

Restate. We all probably already do this. That is paraphrasing back to the other person what we thought they said to us. Doing this will help us to eliminate any misunderstandings, it allows us to exclude from any further discussion irrelevant or undesired points and it confirms to the other person that we actually were listening! Most importantly, it gives them the opportunity to feel valued and understood. Once we’ve paced their most basic of all human needs, then and only then can we hope be able to lead them in any way.

Active listening is not simply waiting for our turn to talk. It’s not interrupting the other person to let them know that we know what they’re talking about. And it’s not interrupting a customer to let them know how our product or service fulfills a need they just shared with us. Active listening is being present, without prejudice, and without any agenda other than helping the other person be valued and understood.

Most of us only listen passively and active listening requires a little more effort. So, just like anything else we want to do well, it too will take a good amount of practice. I assure you, however, it will be time well spent.

The skill of active listening has made me more money than any closing technique or any whiz-bang sales strategy I know! It’s also a skill I encourage you to take home with you. Contrary to popular belief, home is not the place we all go to when we’re simply tired of being nice to people.

My hope for you is that, like it has for me, the skill of active listening will help to improve every relationship in your life.

So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove

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“Man does not only sell commodities, he sells himself and feels himself to be a commodity.”
Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (1941), 4.



Objection of the Month: “We need to shop other cars first.”

These are just a few of the most common strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America and attended by thousands of the top sales people in our field. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on overcoming this particular objection and it’s not intended to be.

a. “What other cars do you need to shop? (Let’s assume they tell us the Accord and the Maxima.) Have you pretty much narrowed it down to our car, the Accord, and the Maxima?” (Wait for their response, then say,) “Well, then, good news! (Pause) You can’t make a bad decision. All three of those cars will give you the __________ and the ____________that you’ve told me was important to you, and all three of them are hands down reliable. They all should give you many years of trouble free service, so you can’t mess up. Look, Ms. Customer, I know you weren’t expecting to do business with us today, and that’s okay, but c’mon in and let me give you a basic idea of the numbers. That way you can make an intelligent decision. That makes sense, doesn’t it?”

b. “So you’ve got other cars to compare ours with. Then may I ask you a question? What were you hoping to find in those other cars that you’re not getting from ours?”

c. “You’ve found the right car, in the right color, with all the right equipment, and at the premiere dealership in the city, and it’s in the general price range you were hoping for. Tell me, Mr. Customer, have you ever lost your keys?” (Or we can use “the remote” or simply the word “something”. We wait for their response, then ask,) “Remember what that was like? Searching frantically all around the house, under sofas, in drawers, under pillows, remember how that felt?” (Wait for their response, and continue,) “THEN…you finally find them. Whew! Remember how that felt? (Give a big sigh and act relieved. Wait for their response, then ask,) Let me ask you, after you find them, do you keep looking?” (They usually say “No”.) “Well, sir, what are you thinking about doing here? You know you like it, so why don’t you just go ahead and get it”.

d. “What other cars were you thinking about shopping? Great. Follow me, I’ve got some comparison guides inside that should prove very helpful to you.”

e. “What other cars were you thinking about shopping? Great. Follow me to the previously owned section of our dealership and let’s do some side by side comparisons.”

f. “What other cars were you thinking about shopping? Great. I’m very familiar with all three of those competitors, very worthy competitors too, I may add. Allow me to share with you some of our products strengths AND weaknesses compared to those you’ve just mentioned, it may save you some time.”

Next month’s objection will be: “How much discount can I get?” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to editor@bluinc.com.

“I only play well when I’m prepared. If I don’t practice the way I should, then I won’t play the way I know I can.”
Ivan Lendl



On Success:

The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
Conrad Hilton



Upcoming Public Events:

Retail Automotive Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
Expanding Our Digital Footprint: How to use Video & Social Media (in the car biz)


“Great! I expected a lot and it exceeded my expectations!”
Peter Newman, Sales – Alan Webb Nissan

“Eye opening into an untapped market – looking forward to see how this is accepted / becomes the norm in the auto industry.”
Dan Roemmich, Sales – Broadway Toyota Scion


Date(s): Sept. 8th & 9th, 2015
Location: Shilo Inn Portland Airport
11707 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Click here for more info on the 1 Day Sales Pro’s Workshop
Click here for more info on the Expanding Our Digital Footprint Workshop

Date(s): October 13th & 14th, 2015
Location: Shilo Inn Portland Airport
11707 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Click here for more info on the 1 Day Sales Pro’s Workshop
Click here for more info on the Expanding Our Digital Footprint Workshop


Here’s our entire schedule of upcoming public events–> Schedule Page
Here’s ALL of our client’s comments (good & not so good)–> Comments Page

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