There’s a 6 Car A Month Pile Up on the Road to a Sale!

Most people in this business have not been in this business long enough to know how much the shopping and buying process has changed because of the internet. …Remember when every Saturday was chaos and mayhem where every sales person got at least 8 “ups”?… Those days are gone forever my friends.
Has the customer’s buying process changed since the internet? Has yours? I know mine has! Everything from properties, to supplements, to workshops, to groceries, to used cars, to computers, to watches. My shopping process is not anything like what it was 25 years ago.

The reality is that our sales process has not changed significantly since the internet. Everybody talks a big talk regarding this. We have inserted some technology into our process in some cases using iPads and the like, but all that really does is put lipstick on a pig. It gives the perception of us being “with it”, but then the same old “Road To A Sale” or sales “Basics” or “Path To Success” prevails. Slowing the buyer down (what other retail stores today actually try to slow down a buyer??? It’s laughable actually), inefficient, boring, generic FAB, inappropriate questions, staying off price. I could go on and on.
The buying road has changed, and so has the buying basics. Isn’t it time our sales process catches up with the buyers? Have you been into an Apple store lately? My goodness!! They have figured it out!! How does your showroom experience compare with the Apple showroom experience? And I’m not talking technology. In some cases our inappropriate use of technology for the sake of technology has hurt us.

I can say as a trainer, a sales person, a customer, someone who sends friends into my friends showrooms to buy cars and also someone who cues up Mystery Shoppers, as an industry we need help.
I walk into these new multi-million dollar showrooms, where so much time and effort has been put into smart showroom design, lay out and aesthetics…and I listen and watch. I watch them watching 1980 sales training videos in the midst of the most modern showrooms reinforcing what doesn’t really work any longer and I see sales people doing the same old deadly habits they have done for years. The look of indifference or skepticism they give their traffic, the slowing down and dissipating of the customer’s nervous buying energy, the lack of enthusiasm, the total avoidance of price or jumping right to specific numbers on their computers 5 minutes after saying hello, the poor body language, walking talking brochure FAB sales presentations, scripted owner follow-up, Sales Managers that hide in their offices, F&I that takes way too long…it goes on and on.

Do I sound frustrated? I am. The worse thing for my business is bad trainers regurgitating old process and stuff that no longer works, teaching things they have never done or would never do themselves now — things that “should work” on paper, and might even look to work by Sales Managers or other front line observers, but a quick head-heart-gut check with sales people and you can quickly find out how broken the 1980’s crap is. Most sales people are frustrated everywhere because they aren’t making any money. And the ones that are, are NOT following the old road to the sale stuff. Just ask them. It’s so funny to hear a manager complain to me that their top sales person won’t follow “The Steps” and they want to know how to get them “on the program”. Ummm… hellooo…maybe they have figured out a better way and that’s why they are the top performer!!? Makes sense, no?

If you are a Sales Manager, and you came through some old-style sales process stuff when you started, I know how comforting exposing your team to the same stuff that made you successful can be and I also understand loyalty. But what you may not realize, is that the market has shifted substantially for your sales people since you sold cars full time. And maybe more so since your trainer sold cars. Don’t believe me? Try to sell cars today yourself using that old stuff day in and day out. Or better yet, have your sales trainers try to sell cars today using the stuff they are teaching your team. As my friend Joe Girard says, they may be ATANA’s — All Talk And No Action.

I love being independent. I love selling cars today. I love having a close friend and sounding board that sold 6 cars a day for 15 years. I love that I’ve trademarked my sales processes. I love taking classes. I love teaching what I love selling cars today. I love having a close friend and sounding board that sold 6 cars a day for 15 years. I love that I’ve trademarked my sales processes. I love taking classes. I love teaching what I learn. I can say what I want and say what’s true. My alliances are with one group and one group only…the professionals in our business that want more and are willing to change themselves and their processes to get it. It’s hard to change a culture. Especially a culture that is run by multi-millionaires.

Communities are great for affirmation but terrible for change. I have the best customers on the planet. I’m grateful for every one of them and they know it. So many dealerships, so little time.
Come to a class soon so I can put my money where my mouth is. Ask me to sell cars in your showroom to your customers. Enroll in MarinoTV so you can bring you and your team to the next level. I believe you can teach old dogs new tricks, if the dog wants to learn some. I’m always looking for short cuts and best practices. Are you?

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