E-Newsletter – October 2012
This Month’s Selling Principle:
The Importance of Daily Role Playing
Lawyers, at the top of their game, hire companies like Courtroom Sciences, Inc. to role play and practice in mock trials before ever taking big cases to the jury. Actors and musicians, at the top of their games, rehearse for weeks before they get in front of an audience and continue to rehearse long afterwards. The rule of thumb for professional speakers is eight hours of preparation for every one hour of presentation. Professional athletes practice way more than they ever play their sports. Surgeons have to “practice” their craft for ten years before ever getting paid to perform and continue to study and learn new techniques throughout their careers. Airline pilots practice for hundreds of hours to gain their certification. Even hair stylists in many states have to “practice” for 1600 hours before they can become licensed to give a $45 haircut! It’s simply ignorant (or at least arrogant) for any of us to believe that we don’t need to practice our own craft too. Yet when I poll the learners at our workshops throughout the U.S., maybe only 5% (at best) say they role play every day.
When we sell a car we earn one commission. The average transaction takes about two hours and the average commission is about $250 (your numbers may vary) and, unless we follow up consistently, that’s all we’ll ever make on that two hour investment. Yet, when we role play a new skill, closing technique, or objection strategy, we pick up a tool that will earn us money, month in and month out, for the rest of our careers.
When we break down the “average work day” at the dealership, the average shift now is about nine hours long. We spend roughly two to four hours working directly with clients and most will tell you that they spend about an hour doing some part of the follow up and long term marketing process. And what do we spend the rest of the time doing? Things that won’t make us any money like; jaw-jacking, smoking, joking, watching TV, napping, reading newspapers, etc. Now, I’m not saying that that stuff isn’t important, but can’t we get it all done in…let’s say…three hours?! That would leave us one hour to spend practicing our craft. And when we do that, how much more money do you think we’d make per month? Per year? The number, when you do the math, is staggering.
A simple “peak performance truth” is this; the team that practices together, wins more often. I’d like to see us practice our craft for at least one hour per shift for the rest of our careers. That still leaves us plenty of time per shift to waste, doesn’t it?
Here’s how to make role playing effective and fun—> How To Make Role Playing Effective And Fun
And here’s how to familiarize, personalize, and anchor new techniques —> How to Quickly Personalize and Master New Techniques
My hope is that role playing will come to be considered just as essential to our income and success as taking an up. Please do get to it!
Until the next time, be well, do good work, and keep in touch!
Michael D. Hargrove
“ For decades great athletic teams have harbored one simple secret that only a few business teams have discovered, and it is this: to play and win together, you must practice together.” Lewis Edwards
Objection of the Month: “Just give me your best price.”
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. “Of course you want the best price. Smart buyers always do. The price of any car varies, however, with each bit of equipment the car has. You’ve asked me a question that’s impossible to answer without first knowing a little more about what you want. Were you looking for a lot of power equipment this time or just basic transportation? You know, that’ll affect the price.”
b. “The best price is determined by the availability at the time we decide to do business. First let’s find just the right van for you, Jim, then we’ll work out the very best figures we can. Did you say that you wanted a light color or a dark color?”
c. “It’s sounds to me like you want to save money just like the rest of my customers. Well, there are two ways I can help you do that, Mr. Jones, it’s the outside part and the inside part of my job. The outside part is where together we find just the right car for you (so you’re not paying for stuff you don’t need, or missing stuff you gotta have) and the inside part is where I help you and my manager reach an agreement on the numbers. I’m really good at both parts of my job. Will you give me the chance to prove that to you?”
d. “All final figures are determined by management and the customer. I’m the agent that first makes sure you get the car that best fits your needs and then works hard to get both you and the manager to agree on a figure. So, let’s first make sure this is the right car for you and then we’ll go inside and reach an agreement! Did you want an automatic or a five speed?”
e. “Sounds like you’re ready to do business! C’mon in, bring your checkbook and I’ll have you out in this car in about twenty minutes!” (Then we turn and walk towards the showroom. If our customer balks we say:) “You’re right. I am getting ahead of myself aren’t I? Did you want a two door or a four door?”
f. “Before we’re done, not only will we discuss price but we’ll also talk about down payments, monthly payments, interest rates and numbers on your trade-in. Okay? And I’m going to invite you to make your final decision on the numbers and the numbers alone. Not because I’m a nice guy (although I am), not because of the store’s reputation (although it’s outstanding) but only on the bottom line. Fair enough? Now tell me Ms. Customer, what do you like about your current car that you want to make sure you also get in your next one?”
g. “I appreciate your vote of confidence but I don’t think I’m a good enough salesperson to earn your business on price and price alone. So, let’s make sure we find the car that best meets all your needs too.”
h. “Let me surprise you with what we can do for you! Can you be a little patient?”
i. “Mr. Client, I won’t waste your time. If we can’t make the numbers work, I wouldn’t even expect you to do business with us. That’s fair isn’t it?”
j. “Let’s take all the time necessary to make a sound decision, okay? And remember Sir, you’re the one in control and no one can spend your money for you!”
k. “That’s the easy part of my job, adjusting numbers. We adjust numbers all day long. What I can’t adjust, however, is your taste. So first, let’s find just the right truck for you, then I’ll show you just how easy it is to do business with us. Fair enough?”
Next month’s objection will be: “Give me your best price but I’m not buying today.” 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.
“Income seldom exceeds personal development.”
Knowing When To Make Your Point and When To Shut Up
Upon hearing one of his students use the expression, “I don’t know nothing about it…” a teacher took the opportunity to explain about double negatives and correct grammar to the class.
The teacher explained, “In the English language a double negative makes the statement positive, so your assertion that you ‘don’t know nothing about it’ is actually an admission that you do know something about it.”
Encouraged by the interest in this revelation among certain class members, the teacher went on to demonstrate more of his knowledge of world languages: “Of course not all languages operate according to the same grammatical rules, for example, in Russian, a double negative remains negative, although perhaps surprisingly, there is not a single language anywhere in the world in which a double positive makes a negative..”
At which a voice from the back of the classroom called out ironically “Yeah, right..”
Creative Management Strategies
A school head was alerted by the caretaker to a persistent problem in the girls lavatories: some of the girl students were leaving lipstick kisses on the mirrors. The caretaker had left notices on the toilet walls asking for the practice to cease, but to no avail; every evening the caretaker would wipe away the kisses, and the next day lots more kisses would be planted on the mirror. It had become a bit of a game. The head teacher usually took a creative approach to problem solving, and so the next day she asked a few girl representatives from each class to meet with her in the lavatory.
“Thank you for coming,” said the head, “You will see there are several lipstick kisses in the mirrors in this washroom..”
Some of the girls grinned at each other.
“As you will understand, modern lipstick is cleverly designed to stay on the lips, and so the lipstick is not easy at all to clean from the mirrors. We have therefore had to develop a special cleaning regime, and my hope is that when you see the effort involved you will help spread the word that we’d all be better off if those responsible for the kisses use tissue paper instead of the mirrors in future..”
At this point the caretaker stepped forward with a sponge squeegee, which he took into one of the toilet cubicles, dipped into the toilet bowl, and then used to clean one of the lipstick-covered mirrors.
The caretaker smiled. The girls departed. And there were no more lipstick kisses on the mirrors.
“To succeed in business, it is necessary to make others see things as you see them.”
John H. Patterson
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automobile Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“I really appreciate the sharing style (of this workshop) and all the professional advice garnered. Great ideas, strategies, and tactics!”
Anthony King, Sales – Infiniti of Scottsdale
“Quality materials and strategies for today’s automobile buyers!”
Dan Wickham, Salesperson – Tempe Honda
“After being let go from Larry H Miller Hyundai, I was ready to throw in the towel on the industry. This course today made me believe that I honestly have not reached my true potential so I’m ready to rock and toll for 2012 and many years to come!”
Paulo Telles, Sales Consultant – Telles Inc.
“I learned lots of new items to help close more deals and work with my sales staff. I was also reminded of things that over time you lose. Great job!”
Tory Walton, Sales Manager – Power Nissan Chandler/Autonation
Date(s): October 9th & 10th, 2012
Location: Shilo Inn Airport Hotel
11707 NW Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Date(s): Dec. 4th & 5th, 2012
Location: Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport North
1515 North 44th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85008
© 2012 by Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution is strictly forbidden by law. Besides think of all the bad karma you’d earn.
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