E-Newsletter – December 2012
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:
The Importance of Naming Techniques
What’s in a name? As far as overcoming objections, closing more sales, and our paychecks are concerned, for most of us at least, everything.
Whenever I am asked how to handle a particular objection or selling situation, I usually start out by asking my clients to first share with me what it is they currently do so I can add a few new tools to their toolboxes and not waste their time covering what they already know. Only after they have exhausted their own lists do I start to “teach” them new techniques.
Quite often, after going over a solution or strategy they hadn’t brought up before, I hear someone say (usually under their breath), “Oh, I already knew that one!” To which I usually reply, “Just because we’ve heard something before doesn’t necessarily mean we know it. I mean, if we can’t recall it quick enough to use it (like with a customer or in this meeting, for instance), then we don’t really know it, do we?” For training purposes at least, unless information is actionable, learning does not occur.
That’s why, before giving my suggestions, I almost always ask them to write down the name of the technique. If it’s a classic technique, familiar to most professional sales people, the name already exists (i.e. “The Puppydog Close”, “The Ben Franklin”, “The Red Herring”, “The Lost Sale Close”, “The Secondary Question Close”, “The Instant Reverse Close”, “The Sharp Angle Close”, etc.). Sometimes, I suggest a name based on key words or the underlying selling or psychological principle involved. And that’s where the premise of this article comes in. Naming our tools makes it easier for us to recall and use them. Naming them becomes especially critical if we are committed to having seven or eight different techniques for each of the most common objections or situations we encounter.
Now, having that many options available to us would certainly make our professional life much easier, but having multiple techniques at our disposal also presents a different kind of challenge; keeping them accessible. It would be like a mechanic who only owned a few tools. If they only had one wrench, then they would simply have to say, “Hand me the wrench.” But if they have a full set of wrenches, they’d have to know what to call it, “Hand me the 3/16ths please.” Another way to think of it is this. If your library only had five books, then who needs titles? All you’d have to say is, “I think I’ll read the blue one again.” But if your library contained 1,500 books, then they’d better have titles or your library is essentially unusable.
The same thing holds true to our practices. If we only know a handful of closes, then who cares what they’re called? “I’ll just use this one again”, is all you’d have to tell yourself. But when our toolboxes get filled with 150 different techniques, then they’d better have names or we’ll never be able to recall them in time, making them essentially unusable.
Next time we learn a new technique, we need to take the time to learn it’s name also. If it doesn’t have a name, then we need to create one for it. For me, simply picking a few key words is all that’s needed to help me instantly recall the entire technique after I’ve taken the time to familiarize (identify the selling or psychological principles in play), personalize (change it to match my vocabulary, my personality, my delivery rhythm, my selling style, etc.), and anchor it (role play it until I own it).
So, consider owning seven or eight different ways to handle each of the common situations we find ourselves in, and by that I mean mastering them, knowing them cold, knowing them well enough that just a couple of key words brings it back to full recollection. Making that commitment will not only make us more effective closers, but it will help us to stay more relaxed, to listen to our clients more effectively, and to have a lot more fun. It will also go a long way to helping us become highly trained professionals earning a highly trained professional’s wage. Sounds like it might be worth the extra effort, doesn’t it?
Until next time, be well, do good work, and keep in touch!
Michael D. Hargrove
“Man’s mind stretched by a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Objection of the Month: “I don’t want/need to drive it.”
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. “That’s okay, no problem, I’ll drive!”
1a. then we just go ahead and switch places halfway through the demo route.
b. “You wouldn’t pay $200 for a pair of shoes without trying them on first would you? Let’s not make the same mistake with a $30,000 car.”
c. “Do you like spending time with salespeople? Neither do I really. Please let’s just take this for a quick spin so I can get a little time away from these guys.”
d. “You know, Mr. Customer, there are only two things that are FREE at any dealership and one of them is the first ride in your new car. And when we get back, may I bring you the only other free thing? Do you like yours black or with cream and sugar?”
e. “There are several critical contact points in making your decision. One of them is where the rubber meets the road. Another is where the seat meets your backside. Let’s make sure you get a chance to experience both, shall we?”
f. “Do you know what P.D.I. means? It stands for pre-delivery inspection. It’s literally the single most important service your car will ever receive. This is where a factory trained technician goes from the front to the back of the car making adjustments and checking levels. This becomes a base point for your car’s personality for the rest of its life. You see all these Accords? Each one drives a little different based on how it was PDI’d. Let’s see if you can tell the difference.”
g. “Look, this thing’s got ________ miles on it. Let’s just make sure no one’s hit a curb with it.”
h. “Have you ever baked anything before? Then you know there’s a recipe that needs to be followed for the dish to come out right, isn’t that true? We can experiment with the minor ingredients, that’s actually the fun of baking, but if any one of the main ingredients are missing, the recipe won’t come out right, right? Well, there’s a definite recipe to making an intelligent car buying decision, and the demo ride…is one of the main ingredients. Let’s make sure this recipe comes out right, shall we?”
i. “Ma’am, I wouldn’t ask you to buy a car you haven’t driven.”
j. “Have you ever seen a movie twice? Did you see different things the second time? Let’s drive this a second time just in case, okay?”
k. “A car, just like a wedding ring, is a major purchase. Unlike a wedding ring, however, a car can’t be resized. So, let’s take a moment to make sure this one fits just right, shall we?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I need my wife/husband.” 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.
“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”
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
I’ll Never Understand My Wife
by: Steven James, from the book A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul
I’ll never understand my wife.
The day she moved in with me, she started opening and closing my kitchen cabinets, gasping, “You don’t have any shelf paper! We’re going to have to get some shelf paper in here before I move my dishes in.”
“But why?” I asked innocently.
“To keep the dishes clean,” she answered matter-of-factly. I didn’t understand how the dust would magically migrate off the dishes if they had sticky blue paper under them, but I knew when to be quiet.
Then came the day when I left the toilet seat up.
“We never left the toilet seat up in my family,” she scolded. “It’s impolite.”
“It wasn’t impolite in my family,” I said sheepishly.
“Your family didn’t have cats.”
In addition to these lessons, I also learned how I was supposed to squeeze the toothpaste tube, which towel to use after a shower and where the spoons are supposed to go when I set the table. I had no idea I was so uneducated.
Nope, I’ll never understand my wife.
She alphabetizes her spices, washes dishes before sending them through the dishwasher, and sorts laundry into different piles before throwing it into the washing machine. Can you imagine?
She wears pajamas to bed. I didn’t think anyone in North America still wore pajamas to bed. She has a coat that makes her look like Sherlock Holmes. “I could get you a new coat,” I offered.
“No. This one was my grandmother’s,” she said, decisively ending the conversation.
Then, after we had kids, she acted even stranger. Wearing those pajamas all day long, eating breakfast at 1:00 P.M., carrying around a diaper bag the size of a minivan, talking in one syllable paragraphs.
She carried our baby everywhere — on her back, on her front, in her arms, over her shoulder. She never set her down, even when other young mothers shook their heads as they set down the car seat with their baby in it, or peered down into their playpens. What an oddity she was, clutching that child.
My wife also chose to nurse her even when her friends told her not to bother. She picked up the baby whenever she cried, even though people told her it was healthy to let her wail.
“It’s good for her lungs to cry,” they would say.
“It’s better for her heart to smile,” she’d answer.
One day a friend of mine snickered at the bumper sticker my wife had put on the back of our car: “Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is a Work of Heart.”
“My wife must have put that on there,” I said.
“My wife works,” he boasted.
“So does mine,” I said, smiling.
Once, I was filling out one of those warranty registration cards and I check “homemaker” for my wife’s occupation. Big mistake. She glanced over it and quickly corrected me. “I am not a homemaker. I am not a housewife. I am a mother.”
“But there’s no category for that,” I stammered.
“Add one,” she said.
And then one day, a few years later, she lay in bed smiling when I got up to go to work.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing. Everything is wonderful. I didn’t have to get up at all last night to calm the kids. And they didn’t crawl in bed with us.”
“Oh,” I said, still not understanding.
“It was the first time I’ve slept through the night in four years.” It was? Four years? That’s a long time. I hadn’t even noticed. Why hadn’t she ever complained? I would have.
One day, in one thoughtless moment, I said something that sent her fleeing to the bedroom in tears. I went in to apologize. She knew I meant it because by then I was crying, too.
“I forgive you,” she said. And you know what? She did. She never brought it up again. Not even when she got angry and could have hauled out the heavy artillery. She forgave, and she forgot.
Nope, I’ll never understand my wife. And you know what? Our daughter is acting more and more like her mother every day.
If she turns out to be anything like her mom, someday there’s going to be one more lucky guy in this world, thankful for the shelf paper in his cupboard.
“If you and the one you love are both early risers, or if evening schedules prevent sunset viewing, try finding a special place to watch the sunrise. Instead of reviewing the day and seeing it come to a close, reflect on the promises each new day provides. Start the new day by saying “I love you.””
Arterburn, Dreizler, & Dargatz
“Take good care of yourself, your family and friends. Make your life anything you wish it to be.”
New Life Summary
Upcoming Public Events:
The Art of Closing: Negotiation Skills for the Automobile Sales Professional
Date(s): Dec. 20th, 2012
Location: Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel
2611 East E Street
Tacoma, WA 98421
Retail Automobile Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“What a fresh new delightful approach to selling! Great content. Plus we get helpful CDs, workbook, and e-mail support?!! AWESOME!”
Brian M. Sanfilippo, Sales Consultant – Selma Auto Mall
“Great job, Michael! This is still the best workshop for the professional automotive salesperson or sales manager!”
Jack Sommerville, Sales Manager – Honda North
“Year after year, this workshop gets better and better, every time! Michael is great and has lots of new information every time. And the chicken was awesome!”
Mark Jump, Sales – Lithia Ford of Fresno
Date(s): February 5th & 6th, 2013
Location: University Square Hotel (formerly the Piccadilly Inn Fresno University)
4961 North Cedar
Fresno, CA 93726
Date(s): Mar. 19th & 20th, 2013
Location: Owyhee Plaza Hotel
1109 Main Street
Boise, ID 83702
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