THE SALES PROCESS ISN’T WORKING ANYMORE.
“The sales process is no longer alive.” This is something I constantly hearing from various experts. And I’m not sure if these people have ever worked in sales or if they’ve ever been on the other side of the desk. The process, however, is not dormant. Don’t get me wrong: it’s changed and evolved over time, and hopefully so have you, but it’s far from dead. Consider some of our most successful sports teams. The triangle offense was used by the Lakers and Bulls under Phil Jackson. Love them or hate them, the Patriots are a force to be reckoned with. Every successful sports team follows a set of procedures. They know exactly what they’ll do in any case. They’ve written a play about it!
a set of acts or steps taken to accomplish a specific goal.**
The moment where you have to complete the steps of the sale (whatever they are to you) in a specific order is where the wheels may start to fall off. I’ve worked in stores with seven stairs, ten steps, twelve steps, and fifteen steps…and it always comes down to the same issue. We want to sell a car and believe we know how to do in the best way possible. I’ve been preaching these three stages for years:
1st, get to know your client.
2 – place them in a vehicle
3 – Place them in a comfortable position.
I realize this is incredibly simplistic, but the game of cars and trucks is straightforward. Mine will most likely need to be completed in the sequence listed above, but after you start adding in all of the other processes that need to be completed, you may mix and match these three in any way you like and still obtain the intended result.
1 – Have a conversation with your customer. Why is the consumer in this location? What do they make a living doing? Let’s engage them in conversation and ask them questions as though we genuinely care about them!
2 – We must, without a doubt, land on an automobile. Preferably one that is currently available… However, we must now select a vehicle that they will purchase and drive.
3 – Bring them inside and place them in a comfortable position. Outside or standing up, you can’t negotiate with them. Let’s sit them down in a professional manner.
If the salesperson is unable to progress at any point, the manager must intervene. Hopefully, he’s already given an early manager introduction, and all he has to do now is join the conversation and see if his knowledge can help bring the conversation to the next level.
According to statistics I recently read, 72 percent of purchasers arrive on the lot knowing exactly what automobile they want to buy. I’ve also heard that 85% of purchasers don’t buy the first automobile they inquire about. As a result, even as a conservative estimate, these figures strongly suggest the need for a salesperson. We can move customers along the process without irritating them if we have the correct staff on the floor and behind the desk.
The vehicle dealer makes a mistake if their sales process is so tight that they won’t show someone a number till they test drive it. They’re even willing to squander a prospective sale if they don’t want to do things their way. “If you want numbers, we’ll need to run a credit report.” Why not crunch some figures and use their estimated credit score? Everyone now has a credit card that can display their credit score at any time.
We must recognize that in today’s world, customers are accustomed to doing business how and when they want. We used to be able to control the entire sales process as vehicle dealers, but that is no longer the case. It’s past time for us to grow up. Is there a short and lengthy method to conduct business? Yes. But, guess what? If the consumer wants his transaction assessed in the end and then see how that affects the numbers, guess what? That is how we must proceed. Are we going to try to explain why we shouldn’t do it that way? Of course we are, but it will not lead us to lose a deal.
In the end, I don’t believe the sales process is dead, but I do believe our rigid perception of it is. It has to be a lot more fluid than we now allow. We must keep in mind that there are an endless number of ways to skin a cat, and we should not place too much emphasis on how it is done. Great job if our salesperson can sell a car while not strictly adhering to the procedures of the transaction.
“But that green pea has no idea what he’s doing!” I can almost hear someone exclaim. Why are you letting him to take ups then? Who is to blame for this? They should be fine if they understand that the goal of our process is to establish some rapport, place them on a car, and then set them down so that either they can finish a transaction or the manager can come over and assist them in closing a deal. “But what about the dealer’s reputation?” someone else asks. “I can’t have a bunch of salespeople out there doing whatever they want.” “Who are you hiring?” I’d have to inquire. Again, who is to blame if there are a slew of criminals on the loose? Because they should be doing what the customers want, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it?
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