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?
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
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. “Folks, you like the car don’t you? It’s equipped the way you want it, right? It’s a color you can live with for the next few years, right? This dealership is one you’ve done business with before, correct? And I’ve treated you in a professional manner, haven’t I? Well, then folks, my job now is to simply make it easy for you to take action on a decision you’ve already made. Follow me.”
b. “The best price is determined by the availability at the time you decide to do business. And there are other variables too; like the time of the month, how easy the car is to replace, how it’s equipped, what bank or factory incentives are in place at the time, your mood, the manager’s mood. The best price is not some arbitrary number anyone can just toss out to you. Now, if you’re ready to put this shopping chore behind you, I’m ready to negotiate the very best terms possible on your behalf. Are we ready?”
c. “By insisting on a ‘best price’ quote without a commitment to buy today, what customers unwittingly do is force their salesperson to either guess about the numbers, or even worse, lie about them. I’m simply not willing to do either. What I AM willing to do, however, is to make it easy for you to start to enjoy your new car. May I show you how? Great, follow me.”
d. “You know how negotiations work, right? In order for ANY negotiation to be successful both parties have got to feel like they’ve won, isn’t that true? Well then, let me ask you this, how do you win, sir? You’re going to win by persuading my manager to give up potential profit in the form of a discount. How does my manager win? That’s right! My manager wins by making a profit in the form of your business. In order for us to get you what you want, we must be in a position to give her what she wants. Otherwise, we’re not negotiating from a position of strength. But when she knows she’s at least got a chance of earning your business, we’ll then have the leverage we need to get her to do what we want. Does that make sense?”
e. “Do you know how I get paid? Commission, that’s right. You know what the best part of commission sales is? The more excited I get you, the more money you pay, the more money I make! Isn’t that awesome?! Okay, maybe not for you. But do you know what the best part of commissioned sales is for you as the customer? Well, what do you think I get paid if you DON’T buy the car? That’s right, nothing. And you’re not going to buy it unless the price is right, are you? So, it works to BOTH of our advantages to negotiate from a position of strength. Now, doesn’t that make sense?”
f. “Look, I’m always willing to discuss numbers with my customers because that’s the easiest part of my job. First let me ask you though, is there anything else standing in the way of us doing business together today?”
g. “After showing you what we can do, if you still decide not to do business with us, well then, that would be our fault folks, not yours. Fair enough?”
h. (If our customer tells us this at the greeting, we can say,) “I hear that a lot, folks. What I’ve found is that most of my customers simply want to find a car they’d like to own, get figures on it, and then think about it. Is that what you folks had in mind? Okay, I’d be happy to help you with that!”
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 [email protected].
“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
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)
“I attend Michael’s training every time it’s available and I always learn something new that I can use immediately and tools to practice. I love the monthly newsletters too!”
Paul Gregory, Sales Rep. – Mercedes Benz of Fresno
“WOW!! Every time I have taken one of his classes it really opens more tools to my toolbox. I would strongly recommend this workshop to anybody that want to make the difference in your life of someone else’s.”
Sam S. Chheng, Sales Consultant – Selma Auto Mall
“Truly valuable objection training, especially the first three minutes (of a sales transaction).”
John Mobley, Sales Consultant – Ron Smith Buick/GMC
Date(s): December 12th & 13th, 2022
Location: Shilo Inn Portland Airport
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Portland, OR 97220
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Date(s): February 5th & 6th, 2023
Location: Hilton Garden Inn Clovis
520 West Shaw Ave.
Clovis, CA 93612
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