I can do it without my sales manager. I'm not incompetent, I know my customer better than my manager does.
If I introduce my manager I will look as if I lack authority. My customer will dislike the pressure. My manager will just scare or push the customer away. Then I'll have no chance of them ever coming back to buy. I'm better than my manager; I should even have his job. I'm the greatest sales person that ever lived. I need help from no one. I'm not being paid to get my manager every time I get a customer.
In my early days, my sales were good for a rookie. But ironically my sales dropped as I got more confident with my ability. My selling skills were improving, my product knowledge was great, my negotiating was better and my CSI/SSI scores were high. I even wore better suits and shoes.
Everything was on track for a good year. What happened? I analyzed everything and found one element missing. My manager. Where did he go? He didn't go anywhere. He was right where he had always been, helping to sell more cars. I just didn't think I needed his help anymore.
This was my problem. The solution? From that day forward I involved my manager with my customers. My sales went back up.
Get your sales manager involved
This month's sales meeting is on sales manager involvement, or team work.
There are three points in the selling process that you should get your manager involved in. Here they are, as well as easy ways to excuse yourself from the customer and work with your sales manager:
During the selection process
If you cannot find a vehicle for your customer or if you feel you cannot go any further with the customer, excuse yourself.
Tell the customer: “Mr. Customer, just give me one minute, I'll be right back.”
At this point, 99% of your customers will wait. Immediately go and get advice from your manager. Work as a team. The end result might be a possible change in vehicle selection, a demo drive for the customer or the start of negotiations. The next step you take with the customer will be a team effort. Even if it's just for you and your manager to say, “Thanks for visiting our dealership.”
After the demo drive Point
What to do if the customer wants to leave the dealership?
A lot of customers get nervous after the test drive. They know what might occur next — they might buy a new car. It can also be that they do not like the vehicle they drove.
Whatever the reason, tell the customer:
“Mr. Customer, just give me one minute, I'll be right back.”
At this point, 80% of your customers will wait. Immediately get some advice from your manager, again.
During the negotiations
If you have reached the point where you “the sales person” can go no further with the customer in discussing the deal, excuse yourself.
Tell the customer: “Mr. Customer, just give me one minute, I'll be right back”
Go to your manager and explain how the negotiation is progressing. Keep it brief and relevant. You and your manager will determine if your manager will talk with your customer or how you should proceed in the negotiations.
Introducing the manager during negotiations
If your manager is going to see your customer, introduce him or her as follows: “Mr. Customer, this is our sales manager (name). He/she will be able to explain the figures to you.”
Leave the manager with the customer. Do not stay with them.
The sales manager, after “how-do-you-dos?,” can start with the customer by saying:
“I hope (salesperson) has explained everything to you and has been helpful in your new vehicle selection. I wish I had more time to get to know you better, but I'm sure you would like to get the final figures. So just to confirm everything with you, everything is OK with the vehicle you have chosen? The MSRP on the vehicle is $_____.”
The manager will continue closing and finalizing the sale.
To all of you sales people:
Work with your sales managers, they like it.
To all of you sales managers:
Talk to more customers. It will be worth it. Game on.
I hope this sales meeting has assisted in working more with your sales managers. It's all a matter of skilled professionals working as a team. A good example is the Detroit Red Wings. Have a great summer and keep your head down and your eye on the ball.
Darin B. George is president and founder of the Automotive Sales College which recruits and trains new and experienced sales people, and holds sales and service advisor courses. For a copy of our in-dealership services, call 1-888-681-7355.