August 2011, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive
Don't Let Them Pass You By
Just the other day, I witnessed a salesperson sitting at a desk reading the newspaper. I watched at a distance while at least five guests came walking out through the service waiting area into the showroom. Not one of those guests was greeted with a warm and sincere smile, nor were they offered any information on current incentive programs.
I suppose that the salesperson assumed since the guests’ were in service, there was no apparent reason to show any excitement. I watched the salesperson sip coffee while guest’s walked over to the brochure counter and perused through the material. I watched a husband and wife who had just dropped off their late-model car for service walk the new car lot. I wondered what could be so captivating that it could keep that salesperson from greeting a guest.
The service drive started to back up as a variety of years and models rode in through the drive. Not once did this salesperson even glance up from his captivating article. It was obvious the salesperson was so immersed in the article he didn’t hear me approach from the side. I peered over his shoulder to see what the article was written about, and I was taken aback. The article title was something like (and I’m paraphrasing here), “How the economy has affected the automobile business.”
I must have startled him because he turned to look at me like he had seen a ghost. I simply said, “Isn’t it ironic?”
He responded by saying, “What do you mean?” With my index finger about to punch a hole in the desk, I pointed at the article. I could tell there was no indication the salesperson knew what I was talking about by his blank puzzled stare.
I said, “You’re reading an article that talks about how things are slow, and I’ll bet you are in agreement with the article. Am I right?”
With an air of confidence the reply was, “Yea, the article hit it on the head. No one is buying anything now.”
“You’re correct!” I said and paused for an agreement.
Just as if I had given permission, the salesperson added, “People are scared of the economy these days.”
I had to explain the irony in the situation since this salesperson hadn’t begun to realize the opportunities. Guests are coming and going every minute of the day with at least the idea of being sold on the dealership. All that salesperson would have to do is show the value and relate how the new product could benefit the guest. Chances are at the very least, that would provide multiple opportunities to practice a quality presentation.
If the product was good enough to present and demonstrate the value, there might be a chance to offer the guest an upgrade. In fact, with the factory incentives it’s quite likely that the guest might be able to upgrade their car for less money. That would be a benefit; would it not?
Look, the truth is that there are plenty of guests out there who would like to know what the value of their vehicle is. That value might help determine if it were possible to upgrade to a new product with little or no money down. Instead of waiting for something to happen, next time go out and make it happen.
You might have to show your product multiple times in order to get the chance to offer an upgrade. It has been said that it’s better to be proactive than not active at all. I'm not sure who said that, but I'm sure they understood the power of motion. Moving forward towards an objective is often more efficient than waiting for the objective to come to you. Do not allow yourself to sit idle while opportunities continue to pass you by. You have to be willing to see the opportunity in order to take advantage of it.
Vol. 8, Issue 6