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3 Pro-Tips to maximize your happiness in the car business...

I've had several calls over the last couple of weeks from folks that were unhappy about their current situations, for various reasons, and looking for help securing a new position. Recruiting assistance is an important reason Dealers choose GB&Co. and I am always looking to help. More often than not people are looking for someone to listen and give them perspective; I do my best.

The reasons they call are varied but usually fall into one of three types of complaints:
1. "I have to make money. I can't afford to work here."
2. "This place sucks. Johnny went over to XYZ dealership and is making $$$"
3. "If I left, this place would fall apart; I do everything."

Having placed literally hundreds of sales people, sales managers, F&I managers and G.M.s, I can tell you that there are thoughts to consider before you get frustrated and plan your escape...

Enter my advice:

1. Have a realistic opinion of your own value...
I have never met a person in any position in any dealership that...

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On value...

Scott Adams, creator of 'Dilbert' and author of 'How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big'

The best financial advice I ever got was "Price yourself high and see what happens." Humans aren't good at knowing their market value. When I started doing paid speaking engagements I had no idea how to price myself. A mentor told me to quote an absurdly high price. The client accepted it without hesitation and offered to pay my travel expenses as well. I no longer underprice myself.

 

Great advice. It also heavily applies itself to how to determine pricing for all of the F&I products you offer for sale on a menu or the first pencil on a car deal worksheet.

Think about it...it's all in your head...

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2nd face T.O. in the box...

Does your team use a professional 2nd face t.o?

What does your second face turn look like?

Do you use 2nd Face T.O.'s in your F&I department?

If you do not, then your issues are beyond the scope of this article...

A good second face t.o. like any selling strategy should be based on a well thought out game plan.

A sample plan follows:

You should have parameters worked out in advance for when a 2nd face will be employed. You should also decide if you plan on rolling gross back to close products. Know what the minimum profit amounts will be when the turn is handed over; a floor that the 1st manager will not go below before requesting a turn.

Next: you must have valid reason to bring another face into the deal.

Fortunately, there are plenty of valid administrative reasons to do so. Here's just three:

1. Check that the cash down has been properly documented and reciepted.

2. All paperwork to this point is signed and nothing has been omitted.

3. The trade title has been collected,...

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Confidence comes before performance...

"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...

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Selling is a social sport...

Selling is a social sport.

When you step on the field (lot) to take an up, you are entering into a situation that is controlled by social dynamics. 

Let's say you approach a customer that's looking at a car in the front row. Walking up to her you extend your hand and say "Hello, welcome to Mega Dealership, my name's Buster."

Guaranteed; what are the next three words out of her mouth?

"I'm just looking..."

Now, lets change the dynamic a little. Same customer, same venue, but this time when you walk up, she knows that you are the banker that has the power to approve or deny the loan on her new car. Do you think she might treat you differently?

Why? Because as a salesperson, you begin the conversation with a lower social status than the customer. The banker, at least for the moment. (until he tells her the terms of the loan) has a stronger status than the customer because she will most likely yield control over the conversation to him because she wants information about the car...

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A simple success plan...

Car Guys and Gals are the hardest working group of sales people on earth!

Often working six days a week, 12 – 15 hour days with sometimes no day off, car people work in a stressful environment. Car people must generate the highest levels of profitability, volume and CSI.

At any moment in the Car Guy’s day he might be showing a customer where the Parts Department is, while a referral waits at his desk, F&I is paging him (because he missed the new car mileage), he has a call waiting on line 4 as he ducks into the lunch room to try and choke down just one bite of ice cold pizza and his manager is calling him out onto the lot because he thinks he is trying to avoid snow removal.

Oh, yeah…his wife is still on line 4 wanting to know why he isn’t headed home for Johnny’s Christmas play.

Most car people will never reach their true potential or the level of success that they desire because...

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Respect...

Recently, I was speaking with a manager that I know and he made this statement.

“I don’t care if my people like me, as long as they respect me.”.

I can’t disagree with him more.

I have heard this flawed logic before from a barbarian manager that I worked for.

He used that position to misuse his authority and abuse his employees for years before the karma police showed up, put him in cuffs and to the sound of applause, hauled him off the scene.

What goes around, comes around.

Sowing and reaping.

Treat others as you want to be treated.

We have all learned these truths as children.

The bottom line is that if someone says they respect someone without liking them; that is called fear.

They are really saying that they fear that person.

People want to buy from people that they like.

People want to work for people that they like.

People generally respect people that they like.

Champion football coach, Lou Holts says it best.

Lou says, silently people ask...

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On quoting payments...

Your customer should have agreed to a payment before they go to F&I.

Why?

Because F&I is in business to make a profit, sell products and deliver cars.

The old school says that F&I should close on the payment. That was true back in the days of “reverse disclosure”.

Reverse disclosure involved a three step process;

1. F&I quoted the “loaded” payment in the “box”

2. F&I started signing paper to pass time and let the customer “come down from the ceiling”.

3. F&I began having the customer sign the product contracts with a statement like “If you car breaks down, you’ll be glad to know that you will only have a small deductible.” and then on to the next form.

The Car Guy, has confidence in the fact that he has sold the car. He knows that the customer isn’t going to blowout. He worked with his desk manager and landed the customer on the right car, the first time. The Car Guy Desk...

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On working cash down...

Are you setting your customers up to put more cash down?

Sales people were once required to solicit additional cash down from their customers on every deal.

The standard set up went something like this: “Most of my customer usually put 20-30% down. In your case that would be $5-6000. Maybe you would be comfortable with more?” Just plant the seed and shut up.

An old maxim said that the down that you collected often equaled the comissionable gross. I’ll bet it’s still true.

However you phrase it, getting additional down stroke does nothing but improve the deal. It puts the customer in an equity position sooner and makes it easier to get the paper hung.

If you have gotten out of the habit of working cash down, get back in the habit today, on your next deal!

Read, apply and make more coin, now!

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Why weak sales managers don't push leasing...

What are the potential benefits to a customer of leasing a vehicle?

1. Shorter term
2. Less money out of pocket
3. Smaller monthly payment
4. Guaranteed future value of the vehicle

The dealership also benefits from a shortened customer trade cycle, a clean used vehicle source, a steady stream of repeat customers with a properly managed portfolio and higher new car grosses per unit.

It can be a win/win for the dealership and the customer.

Yet daily, I see the weak sales managers of the world resort to what I now call “Defensive Leasing”.

Defensive leasing begins with the (weaker than a tea bag in the ocean) sales person not following the road to the sale. He buys into the customer’s story about having driven 10 of them all over the city. The weak sales person then cuts all of the corners on the road to the sale. Thinking that he is the chosen one, who will now close them on payment, Mr. Nestea, sales person approaches Mr. Earl Grey, the sales manager, at...

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