E-NEWSLETTER – December 2011
Allow me to take this time to wish you all a very Happy Holiday season. May I please suggest that we all take a few minutes right now to consider and appreciate all the many blessings and loved ones in our lives. And let’s vow to make sure these blessings and loved ones are never taken for granted.
May you bathe in the warmth and love of this time of year.
This Month’s Selling Principle:
How to Control Most Any Argument
Would you like to know a simple way to control virtually any argument? I’ll assume you just shook your head “yep!”.
First and foremost, we need to keep in mind that two of the most basic of all human needs are to be valued and understood. Virtually every one of us have these two needs in common. Next, we need to understand what an argument actually is. An argument is simply two people trying to be valued and understood at the same time.
In your mind, go back to the last party you attended. Now, try to remember the two guys in the corner who were arguing all night long. As the first guy was talking, you could almost see the wheels turning in the second guy’s head. He was going over and over in his mind what he was going to say when it was his turn. When the first guy was finished, did the second guy begin by paraphrasing back to the first guy what he thought was said? Nooooo! The second guy just starts right in on explaining his point of view. What do you guess the first guy is thinking? Yep! He’s thinking, “I guess this idiot didn’t hear me the first time…I wonder how I can say it better next time it’s my turn to speak?” When the second guy is through explaining his views, does the first guy paraphrase back to the second guy what he had heard? Nope! He just starts right in with his new and improved way of explaining what he had said to begin with. The poor second guy is now forced to think of a better way to make himself heard and it goes on and on like this forever or until one of them decides the other is just too closed minded or stupid to understand.
Sound familiar? Okay, then here’s how we can control most any argument; let the other person be valued and understood first. We can accomplish this by using the skills of Active Listening and Agreement Framing.
If we are allowing them to go first, aren’t we controlling the situation? But something else magical happens. By allowing the other person to feel valued and understood first, we open them up to listening to us, to listening to our point of view. What we are doing is pacing their need to be valued and understood, pacing their need to be listened to. We must first pace the other person (build rapport) before we can have any real chance of leading them to our point of view. Which, of course, is the right one, they just don’t know that yet.
Active Listening is a skill familiar to most sales people, so I won’t take the time to cover it here. If it’s new to you, it is explained in detail in the article entitled: The Two Things Every Customer Wants From Us posted in the Articles section of this website.
Agreement Framing is simply stating our point of view beginning with whatever the other person has said that we also agree with. In other words, after first paraphrasing back ALL of their points of view (which is the last step to Active Listening), then even if we disagree with 90% of what the other person has said, the first thing we focus on should be confirming the 10% that we do agree with. This, coupled with Active Listening, goes a long way to breaking down people’s defensiveness.
Dr. Stephen Covey, author of the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says it this way, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is very sage advice in my opinion.
Next month we’ll cover the skills of pacing and leading in more detail. But in the meantime, this is how we can control almost any argument that will ever happen again in our personal or professional lives. Take this to work with you and most importantly, take it home with you too. I’m confident you’ll be very pleased with the results you’ll get. Finally, please remember this, the next time you find yourself having an argument with some idiot, just make sure the other guy isn’t doing the same thing.
Until the next time, be well, do good work, and keep in touch!
Michael D. Hargrove
“Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you.”
“Health and wellness isn’t a matter of doing–it’s a matter of being.”
Dr. Paul Pearsall
Objection of the Month: “I don’t need a salesperson.”
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. “Relax Ma’am, I assure you I’m so salesman. Actually, my sales manager reminds me of that fact just about every day!” (Then after they stop laughing, we introduce our self or use one of the other techniques.)
b. “You know Sir, it sounds like you’ve had a bad experience at another dealership before. May I please make a suggestion? Let’s simply do this, if you agree not to treat me like the last pushy salesrep you had to deal with, I’ll agree not to treat you like the last rude customer I had to deal with. Does that sound fair enough?”
c. “Ma’am, I knowYOU have an intimate knowledge of what you want and need and I have an intimate knowledge of what this particular dealership can offer you. We can save each other a lot of time and grief by comparing notes and working together. Shall we try?”
d. “Sir, what do you do for a living? What are you expected to do in your job?” (After our customer responds we say), “In my job, I’m expected to treat each customer with respect and assist them in any way I can to make their shopping experience as pleasant and efficient as possible. Will you please allow me to do my job?”
e. “That’s fine, Ma’am, here’s my card. I’ll just lay back here a few feet from you, that way if you need me to open up a car for you, or if you have a question, I’ll be close enough to help out.” (Then we wait until they invite back over to them with a question or to open up a car.)
f. “Ma’am, did I do something to offend you or am I just catching you on a bad day?” (We need to look stern, frown, and move closer to them when we ask the first part before the word “or” and then step back, relax, smile and shake our head slowly “yes” when we ask the second part. Use this one only if the customer is being rude to us. When she says she’s having a bad day, she’s opened herself up to us.)
g. “It seems to me you’ve had a bad experience with sales people before. What happened?” (Now we let our customer vent and simply listen to them. Once they’ve stopped we say), “You know what I don’t like about sales people?”, (and we add one thing we don’t like about sales people that they didn’t mention. Then we say), “You know, not all sales people are the same. Some are even pleasant and helpful. Will you please give me the chance to prove that to you?”
h. “It’s obvious to me that you’ve been mistreated by a salesperson before. What happened?” (We let our customer vent and simply listen to them. Once they’ve stopped we say), “You know, that’s so unfair…”, (and then we pause and hold our thumb and pointer finger an inch apart. Then we say), “It’s that tiny little 97% of pushy car sales people that ruin it for the rest of us!”
Next month’s objection will be: “This is the first place we’ve shopped.” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We become what we think about. And when we’re possessed by an exciting goal, we reach it.”
by Andy Rooney
I’ve learned…. That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
I’ve learned…. That when you’re in love, it shows.
I’ve learned…. That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
I’ve learned…. That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I’ve learned…. That being kind is more important than being right.
I’ve learned…. That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I’ve learned…. That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
I’ve learned…. That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I’ve learned…. That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I’ve learned…. That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I’ve learned…. That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I’ve learned…. That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
I’ve learned…. That money doesn’t buy class.
I’ve learned…. That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned… That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned…. That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
I’ve learned…. That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned…. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I’ve learned…. That love, not time, heals all wounds.
I’ve learned…. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I’ve learned… That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I’ve learned…. That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
I’ve learned…. That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I’ve learned…. That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
I’ve learned…. That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
I’ve learned…. That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I’ve learned…. That I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.
I’ve learned…. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I’ve learned…. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I’ve learned…. That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
I’ve learned…. That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.
I’ve learned…. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
I’ve learned … That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.
I’ve learned…. That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.
And a short story we shared this time last year with very positive response:
A Christmas Story
by Nancy W. Gavin
It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas—oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending…the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma—the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black.
These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears.
It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.”
Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That’s when the idea for his present came.
That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.
On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me.
His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.
For each Christmas, I followed the tradition—one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal it’s contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad.
The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.
May we all remember each other, and the Real reason for the season, and His true spirit this year and always. God bless—pass this along to your friends and loved ones.
Copyright © 1982 Nancy W. Gavin
“Take good care of yourself, your family and friends. Make your life anything you wish it to be.”
New Life Summary
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automobile Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“I would recommend even the most experienced sales manager to attend this training. We all fall off track. Michael Hargrove’s training puts you back on track.”
Gurdeep Randhawa, Selma Auto Mall – Sales Manager
“I now have a much better understanding of the car sales business.”
Robert Noyes, Weber BMW Fresno – Client Advisor
“Overall the course was great. I will definitely use some if not all of the material covered and given. I would recommend this course to others. I think I will grow my practice based on the information and material covered.”
Ignacio Samaniego, Zamora Automotive, Merced Toyota – Sales Associate
“This is my third time attending and once again Michael has given me great inspiration and motivation to expand my career.”
Juan Diaz, Merced Honda – Salesperson
Date(s): February 7th & 8th, 2012
Location: University Square Hotel (formerly the Piccadilly Inn Fresno University)
4961 North Cedar
Fresno, CA 93726
Date(s): Mar. 20th & 21st, 2012
Location: Owyhee Plaza Hotel
1109 Main Street
Boise, ID 83702
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