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AS+DE August 2011 Featured Editorials

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Page 2: AS+DE August 2011 Featured Editorials

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sales & training solutionMarshBuice

familiarity is as adog returning toits own vomit

Are you tired, frustrated, and had enough? Are you thinking about throwing in the towel? Before you cry out “No mas!” or begin whistling “The Thrill is Gone,” go into the bathroom and look in the mirror. What you see is the sum of your past decisions and actions or lack thereof. When you walk out of the bathroom, the direction you go begins your future.

The one thing that is good about the past is the lessons learned. Often we return to our past like a dog returns to its own vomit — it is familiar, and because of its familiarity, as vile as it may be, it always goes back. What got you “here” will not take you “there.” The reason why you might be frustrated and not seeing the results you once did is because you are returning to familiarity instead of venturing into the unknown; you are playing it safe. When you play it safe, you are comfortable and become complacent; complacency robs action; lack of action leads to erosion; erosion

leads to unemployment. The cycle of “leap-frog” then begins jumping from job to job; swinging like a blind fighter into the darkness of self-confidence and doubt-hoping to find the person you once were. Your DNA has not changed, you are no less talented than you once were, but I’ve got news for you: Yesterday ended last night.

If you were a computer, what operating version are you running? Are you operating Me 1.0 or a newly updated version Me 5.1? New updates replace the older ones, causing your operating system to run faster, stronger and more efficiently. Technology is ever advancing. Apple did not rest on its laurels when they introduced the iPod. They turned technology on its head, breaking conformists’ views of how things are and mandated how things are now going to be. They crushed the way music is sold, and with the introduction of iPad, will likely make laptops obsolete. Like every company, Apple must constantly tweak, poke, prod and probe because they realize today’s invention will quickly become yesterday’s news. Introduction is re-invention; your problem is not the economy, it is your lack of invention.

Think of this recession as a reset-tion, a blank canvas of sorts. Every industry, every person gets a mulligan; we each get to start over. It is one big reset button. If you think about it, we are all on the same ship, just on different decks. Now standing before you is opportunity and invention. It is now time to reinvent yourself and seize your opportunities. If you are selling cars the same way you have always sold them, update your version. New updates are tweaks to older, outdated versions; some systems may need to be scrapped all together. Every two years, most vehicles are “refreshed;” they are not total makeovers, just tweaks such as new technology and softer bodylines. They change due to consumers’ demands. Every four to five years a new body style

replaces the older version — even if it is a hit, the manufacturer reinvents a better version. If the buying public demands newer versions of what you are selling, don’t you think they expect the same from you?

At the core of effective selling is reinvention. We all have “hit the wall” moments in our lives. These are moments, experiences such as the loss of a loved one or job, foreclosure, divorce, bankruptcy and obesity. These moments are bookmarks in our book titled Life; it is at these points where we have to make a choice to reinvent our lives for the better. Some learn from experience, while others never recover. If you don’t like the direction your life is heading, change it. Your life doesn’t have to be that of a train forging ahead on the tracks someone else laid. You have the ability to derail at any moment and go a different direction — a direction in which you chart the course of these un-chartered waters.

We have a rare opportunity in our lives where everyone gets to begin again; now marks your new beginning. It is your time to reinvent yourself in order to reach your full potential. The opportunity for reinvention exists for everyone willing to venture from the known into the unknown; some will take the leap, others will return to familiarity as a dog to its own vomit, blaming everyone and everything else besides themselves.

As Max Dupree wrote, “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” There are no more Mondays in which to begin something; begin it now and do not stop until you end up with now spelled backwards… won. I will see you next time on the newly paved black top.

Marsh Buice is the sales manager of Mark DodgeChrysler, Jeep. He can be contacted at 866.535.5006,or by e-mail at [email protected]. p

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leadership solutionTonyProvost

How do you desk your deals? Do you even desk deals? Either way, it is inevitable that you get to a point in the sale where you have to talk about the deal and the make-up of the deal. If your process is set up where you send a salesperson back and forth two and three times, ask yourself why.

Does it make you feel good after the third time to come out from behind the desk, go in the deal, talk with the customer, save the customer another $100, $200 or $300, then ask the salesperson “Why couldn’t you do that?” Here’s a better one: “In a couple of years, with experience, you will learn how to close like me.” Does this process sound familiar? If so, wake up. You’re a dinosaur, and this type of sales process is extinct.

Salespeople deserve all the credit. They deserve to be trained to think, help make decisions and close deals with knowledge. They need to understand every aspect of the sales process. In most cases today, the

customer has more knowledge of the product then the managers do, and in almost every case, the salespeople know 100 percent more about the product than management. But, in some twisted way, they take direction from someone that knows less about the product, and gives the product away. In any other business, this would not happen.

So, let’s get ready to rumble. Clear the air and start fresh. Managers and sales staff, you are now one in the same. Two heads are better than one. Let’s put it together. Sales staff meets and greets. Management meets and greets. Explain to the customer that everyone is here to make their visit a pleasant experience. Find out up front if they have a trade. Don’t be afraid. Walk with the salespeople, show them service and explain how that department works. Manager, customer and salespeople, go over the trade. Drive with the customer. It’s called bonding.

A great manager will have all the ingredients to make the sale. Now, everyone can get involved in the walk-around. Let the salespeople go for the demo ride. What impression do you think this will have on your customer? I guarantee you, they’ll love you already. By the way, that whole process takes 15 minutes, tops, and everyone gets to experience the road to the close.

Managers, I promise you that this will be the game changer. You put the customer in an Altima. Write the deal-price of your car and subtract the trade and any incentives for the car they are interested in. Now, the trade is what you want to take it in for. Give the customer several down payment options — $2,500, $3,500, $4,500, etc. Give the customer terms for 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66 and 72 months on each down payment. You love to pencil deals; start using the lead. Also, if they are on a new vehicle, give them a lease option. The more you write, the better the close. Your energy and enthusiasm will make the deal.

This next step is huge. Take the vehicle you are on and go down a model with the same equipment. If it is a used car, have a vehicle about $2,000 or $3,000 with similar equipment. Pencil five different down payments and 10 choices for payments. You will never lose the deal over money. Why? You have an alternative vehicle. We are no longer discounting vehicles to no profit, then staying in the close for 20 minutes to close a no-profit deal. We are now closing on the customer’s affordability and the store’s profitability. Yes, we are writing more. But now we have total purpose behind the pencil.

Think about it. If you were hungry and I had six sandwiches, all peanut butter and jelly, but you were allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t take a sandwich. Now, if I had six different types of sandwiches, you would not only take one, but maybe even two. Payments and down payments work the same way. Sometimes the customers will like a couple of the choices you will give them, and ask your opinion on which way to go. Now, that’s a power pencil, one that closes the deal. Your people will love this process — and so will the customers. Oh, by the way, you do not spend as much time on your price or the trade. The store will sell more cars, make a lot more gross and have fun doing it.

In closing, when managers and salespeople work together like this, salespeople come to work pumped up. Salespeople will help management out all the time. They will run through walls for you. Managers now are totally involved in the process; this prevents any type of controversy with the sales staff. Your involvement keeps you sharp.

Tony Provost is the president, GM, and trainer of Nissan of Bourne in Buzzards Bay, MA. He can be contacted at 866.296.4098,or by e-mail at [email protected].

don’t fight it, just write it

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