"Knowledge breeds confidence...
Confidence breeds enthusiasm...
...enthusiasm sells! "
Confidence is the salesperson's armor. To be effective as a sales person, you must be able to portray a sense of confidence in your product, as well as, in your ability to deliver value to the customer. A healthy dose of confidence will deflect the arrows fired at you by an impatient customer that wants to get right to price. Being knowledgable about your product, dealership and your value proposition will give you the confidence to give an enthusiastic presentation and keep you firmly on your track to the road to the sale.
Charles Almand, President of Trident Protection Systems, shared wisdom with me on helping sales people become confident in public speaking. He said "Imagine yourself in front of a large group of people in an auditorium, about to give a talk on a certain subject. In scenario 1, you have little command of the subject you are going to speak about. Undoubtedly, you will be nervous and lack confidence which will affect how you deliver your information. In scenario 2, you have a complete mastery of the topic. The people in the audience have actual paid to come and listen to you based on your status as a recognized expert in the field. Your confidence in your knowledge and preparation will come across as enthusiasm and passion for the subject. That energy is what sells your message".
I once had the privilege of attending a speech given by the great boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard. The most applicable point that I took away that day was Ray's fanatical insistence that in boxing, no matter how great your natural talent, you still had to do the "road work". In boxing he said that the "road work" meant that you must train with weights, shadow box, run, jump rope, stretch, rest and eat correctly to prepare your body and mind. Preparation leads to the knowledge that breeds confidence.
As in boxing no matter how much natural sales ability you have, you must do the "road work of our business to lead the board. In the car business, you must know the product, understand human psychology and social status, master closing techniques, know how the numbers work and be able to convincingly explain your dealership's value proposistion. To sell a car and make gross profit you must confidently present and demonstrate yourself, the vehicle and the dealership in a passionate and enthusiastic way, that persuades the customer to say yes! Product and presentation knowledge come before before success.
A pitfall caution: confidence and creating your own shortcuts.
The road to the sale has, in various forms, been around since the first car was sold. Your dealership has a sales process for a reason; if followed correctly it leads to car sales. Being over confident brings with it as many problems as a lack of confidence. The biggest problem I see in salespeople with too much confidence is creating their own shortcuts to the process. Often they truly believe that they have found a better way. Short cutting cheats the customer out of the perception of value that the process was designed to instill and cost the salesperson and the dealership gross profit. When shortcuts are taken customers tend to focus only on price instead of value. Don't confuse ego with preparation.
Do the "road work" and prepare yourself. Automobile sales and financing has the potential to pay a very high level of compensation to a knowledgable, confident and enthusiastic professional.
Go and make more coin, today!