Saturday, December 20, 2008

A lucky 13 things you can do to sell more cars


My 3 Kids

Try these 13 things for 1 month and watch the sales roll in.

1) Don't prequalify.  If someone is on the lot in this bad economy and cold weather, they are there to buy a car.  Let the banks decide if they can buy--not you.

2) Be aggressive--catch everyone you can.  Watch the lot like a hawk and greet people outside--if you wait until they get inside, someone else may beat you to them.

3) Follow up on every unsold prospect.  Do a "great news" to everyone when they leave and have new information to give to them when you call (more rebates, more for trade, new model in, manager wants to see the trade, etc.)  Use a program like my CSA 2008 or even a simple legal pad (I use this method a lot--easy to scan over, I write SOLD when I sell them and it makes me feel great!)

4) When you sell someone a car, find out what their family members are driving and if they are in the market for a car.

5) If you can't close someone, keep trying.  It may take 5 "No's" before you hear the yes.  If you still get a no, do a turn over to your manager.

6) Use a proper greeting.  "Welcome to Biff Motors--my name is Marv--and you are...?"  They will then give you their name.  Continue asking questions to control the sale.  "Who's the lucky one who gets the car--you or someone else?"

7) If someone says they want to think about it, study it, pray on it, talk to their wife, check their financing, talk to their banker, check with their son, check their horoscope, sleep on it or anything similar--it is an excuse to leave for 1 of three reasons...they don't like you, they don't like the car, they don't like the price.  It is usually the price.  Find out what the problem is (ask them--is it the car, the price or something I said or did?)  They will usually tell you price.  Isolate the objection, turn it into a budget, help them find money in their budget (gas savings, insurance savings, savings because of new warranty) and close them.

8) Build rapport with 100% of the people you talk to before you try to sell them a car.  Find something in common.  Get them to laugh (very powerful.)  Smile a lot.  Make them your friend and they will find a way to buy from you.

9) If you are talking to a husband and wife, realize that the wife usually wears the pants and makes the decisions.  Talk to her more than him and she will respect you because quite frankly, most salespeople talk to the men more.  Shake her hand first, etc.

10) Take any deal--whether it is a mini deal or otherwise--they may refer someone to you who will pay full sticker.  That happens to me all the time!  If you know you can sell someone a car, sell them!  I had an idiot manager that would let people leave with "1 point of reserve" and under-allowing on their trade--stupid, stupid, stupid!  If it comes down to it, a $100 mini will pay your phone bill and might get you a "Spin" so take the deal!

11) Give everyone a great demo.  I like hooking my IPhone up to the stereo during the test drive--works great.  Make them fall in love with the car.  Focus on what makes them hot--if they like "style" talk about the looks, not the side-airbags.

12) Do not talk price until you build rapport, find out their wants and needs, choose a car and do a great demo.  If someone walks in wanting a $150 payment and you ask them what their payment range is and get $150 as an answer--2 things will happen.  You will, in the back of your mind, want to flush them and they will back you into a $150 per month corner.  If you do a great demo, build rapport, etc. first--they $150 may become $350.  I hear it all the time--"I came in here wanting to spend $200 and spent double that."  Hell, when I bought my house I set a $100,000 limit and spent $30,000 more for less equipment than I originally wanted (I wanted a finished basement, 2 bathrooms, sliding door to garage--did not get those things...)

12) If someone asks for something that you don't have (like a color for example), don't say, "No, but I can get you one."  Use a dealer trade as a last resort.  

13) Keep positive!  Quit reading and watching the news--there is nothing good on there.  Go to work to sell cars, not hang out in the huddle and make friends with under-achievers.  Have a great attitude.  You have one of the few jobs where you can make a couple of grand a day if you work hard enough.  I have made $3000 in a day before (my personal record)  I know people who don't make that in 2 months.  I know it's tough right now--I sell cars in Michigan and we have officially been in a recession since 2000 or something like that--so I know how hard it is, I promise.  I have decided that I am going to make 100,000 next year selling cars--that is my goal.  I am going to do everything on this list and I will do it.

Have a nice holiday season!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Use the IPod or IPhone to Sell a Car!

One day--I got stupid. I was at Best Buy and happened to see the I-Phone. I still had over a year in my Sprint contract and knew it would cost $200 to break my contract but you know what? I met a salesperson that I liked and trusted--he showed me some cool things on the I-Phone and I bought on the spot. $399 + $200 to break the contract. I made a $500 spur-of-the-moment purchase decision. You know what else? I got my wife to put it on HER Best Buy card!

This article is not about the great job the salesperson did or how to get people to buy on the spot.

This article is about doing a little extra on your demo to build value and rapport.

Lets turn the car back 22 years--it's 1987 and I'm a 19 year old punk buying a new Toyota Tercel. The salesperson didn't let me drive and ordered me the wrong color, forgot to add air and the car came in without a radio. Looking back with 13 years of car salesperson's eyes--he probably needed a unit to hit a bonus and told me that my car was in and just sold me something else off the lot.

This article is not about switching people from one color to another nor is it about switching people on equipment.

This article is about doing a little extra on your demo to build value and rapport.

OK--what about the Toyota salesperson? Well, he didn't let me drive, when I told him it was the wrong color he told me, "If you don't like it--walk home." Wow! Why do I remember him? I remember him because when we went on the test drive (and only he drove) he put on racing gloves. The 86 Tercel was the boxiest car you could get and this dude put on racing gloves. In my mind I said, "Wow--this car looks like a race car!" and I bought it.

OK--what does all of this have to do with an I-Pod?

A lot!

Most of the new cars have a little phono-plug where a person can plug in their I-Pod. I decided the other day that I was going to plug in my I-Phone while on a test drive to show off that little feature. You know what? I have done it 3 times and sold all 3 cars!

The cool thing was on Saturday. I had a guy that wanted payoff ($17,400) for his truck and it was only worth $12,500. He was adamant. I somehow got him to drive and asked, "Do you have an I-Pod?" He said yes.

"What kind of music do you like?"

"Rock."

I pulled out my I-Phone and plugged it in. "We're about the same age--I also like Rock. You know what? Nothing tests a stereo like Pink Floyd." His eyes lit up. "What's your favorite Pink Floyd album?"

"Dark Side of the Moon."

I plugged it in and we happened to be in an Impala that had a Bose system. He messed with the base and treble and cranked it up and it sounded great! There was no way he was not going to buy the car after setting his radio up.

I had a lady today--"What kind of music do you like?"

"Country."

"Well, you won't find any country on this phone," I joked. So, I played a little Led Zeppelin through the phone and pre-set all of her radio stations to the XM country stations as well as her FM one. She loved it and bought.

I think I may be on to something here!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Update for CSA 2008 Coming Soon!

Hi, Everyone! Hope all is going well.

I've been working on a new update for CSA 2008. Fixing a few bugs and I've added a new feature that allows you to easily backup your data without having to browse-to and copy folders. If I get froggy, I'll also add the ability to import your data from a spreadsheet.

I'm also working on a new manual for CSA 2008 that should make a lot of things much clearer.

Please check back from time to time for updates.

Marv

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Car Sales Assistant 2008 Video Tutorials

Hi--I have just finished some video tutorials on how to do a few things on Car Sales Assistant 2008. There will be more to follow. If you would like to see something in particular, please let me know.

video
How to Log a Customer
CLICK HERE to Download the Full Size Video in WMV format.

This short video explains how to log a customer into CSA 2008. It also shows a quick overview of the customer screen including the difference between a phone up, prospect and sold customer as well as what all the check boxes do on the customer screen. This is the heart and soul of CSA 2008 so this video is pretty much a "must see!"

video
How to Make Phone Calls to Customers and Prospects
CLICK HERE to Download the Full Size Video in WMV format.

CSA 2008 automatically schedules follow up phone calls for your phone ups, prospects and sold customers depending on when you want them to be created. The phone ups show on the left side of your main screen as the number of calls that need to be made. Click the number and you will see a list of people who need to be called. These people will remain on the list until you actually call them. When you call them, you must "Complete the Phone Call" to take them from the list. This also gives you the option to leave notes as to what you talked about so you can build rapport with your customers.

video
How to License Car Sales Assistant 2008
CLICK HERE to Download the Full Size Video in WMV format.

When you download the fully-working trial copy of CSA 2008, it works for 14 days. To continue using it after this time, you need to purchase it. After purchasing it, the program must be licensed since it is copy protected. Your data that you enter will still be there.

I know copy protection is a pain but I have put a lot of time and effort into my software and I don't over-charge for it. If I didn't have copy protection--well, you know what would happen. One person would buy it and the rest of the dealership would get it for free. ;-)

More to come!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"I Need to See if I Have a Job Before I Can Buy a Car."

"I need to see if I have a job before I buy a car."

I hear that daily. I sell cars in Michigan and it is no surprise that if the Big-3 disappears, so will Michigan. Most of the jobs here depend on one of the Big-3--whether it is a supplier, restaurant, car dealership or your average car salesperson (GULP!)

Well, I find it very hard to believe that the government will let that happen. After all, the Big-3 pretty much helped win World War 2 with its manufacturing base and GM helped save this country's economy after 9-11.

So, why the wait?

Well, to put it bluntly, a third of $25 Billion is enough to give, for example, GM a couple of months before they run out of cash. Our government that can spend $20 Billion a month in Iraq to help people who pretty much by now hate us wants to make sure that they don't throw away month that may cause the war to end (by lack of funds) one month earlier.

In other words, they want to make sure they get paid back. They want the Big-3 to be able to change their business practices so they no longer lose money but can pay it back. This will of course require concessions with the UAW, suppliers, excess dealers, etc.

You know what else it will require?

They will need to sell more cars!

OK--now we get to the meat and potatoes of this article.

Right now, I am doing nothing but calling customers. Unsold prospects, previous customers, etc. They are all telling me they want to wait until they see if GM is still there before they buy or if they will have a job.

I think GM will get their bailout and I think they will strive to sell more cars because right now, dealerships are not buying cars from GM and guess what--dealerships are really GM's customers, not the average consumer. The only way dealership will buy more cars is if they sell the ones they have right now (or at least think they will sell the ones they have right now.) Surely, someone at GM will be smart enough to see the relationship and make it worth it to buy a GM car, truck or SUV.

SUV? What's that? Oops--gas is back under $2.00 per gallon so I went back to my old ways. Sorry about that...

Car, truck or crossover.

What does that mean to you?

It means this: start a "vehicle shopping service" for your customers.

What is a "vehicle shopping service?" It's simple. You ask your customers what they want, when they want it, how much they want to spend and tell them that you check the programs daily and will call them when it is the optimum time to buy. When it becomes that time (after all of this blows over) then call them all and say, "Now is the time!" and you will sell a ton of cars.

I know it's stressful right now. I sold 15.5 last month--made a lot of money, led the dealership in the roughest market in the country (Michigan) and have exactly 0.5 out right now, November, 23. But I keep plugging away making my calls. When all this blows over, I will probably have a 30 car month.

It is hard to stay positive but we must. We are a rare breed. We have huge highs and huge lows but if you can make it through these lows and learn some great habits, you will have some VERY HUGH highs in the future.

Also, it is a great time to use a program like my Car Sales Assistant 2008 follow up CRM software. For time time being, I am offering a 25% off coupon because I know times are tough (and I only have 0.5 cars out... ;-) so use coupon code TAKE25 at checkout to get the discount. This is only for a limited time, by the way.

Here is a link to my store where you can purchase if you'd like...

Whether or not you use my software, I appreciate you reading this blog. Hopefully you can find one little tidbit to help you make a sale and get you through the roughest patch we will ever see in our careers.

Marv

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Feel, Felt, Found

Want a quick and powerful method to overcome 90% of the objections out there?

Here you go--it is called feel, felt, found. How does it work? It would be easier to give an example.

CUSTOMER: I will not buy because the car is red.

YOU: I understand how you feel. I had a customer last week who felt the same way. You know what he found out though? He found out that he could settle for any color if the deal was good enough--he saved thousands of dollars and just called me yesterday and told me he loves his new car.

OK. Lets try another one.

CUSTOMER: I can't buy until the stock market picks up.

YOU: I understand how you feel. I had a customer just last week who felt the same way until he found out that the deals are excellent right now because of the bad economy. When the economy picks back up, the deals won't be nearly as good so you might as well take advantage of the savings and do business right now.

Get the picture?

Anytime someone has negative equity in a trade, I can honestly understand how they feel because I have had--on average--$4500 in negative equity in my last three trades and I am in the car business!

If anyone ever complains because they can't afford a payment, I certainly understand how they feel because I support a wife and two kids with only my income and I understand what it is like to be on a budget.

This is a very powerful close--probably one of the most powerful. Please remember that sometimes, people will make a statement like "That is a high payment" and it should be treated as a statement unless they turn it into an objection like "I will not buy the car because that is a high payment." Then you can blast them with feel, felt, found, overcome the objection and hopefully find a bank to approve them.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

CSA 2008 Downloading and Updating just got easier!

I finally broke down and bought a good install building program to make installation of CSA 2008 as well as the updates easier.

If you have ever had trouble downloading Car Sales Assistant 2008, you can now download it here.

Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP
http://www.carsalesassistant.com/software/CSA2008_Setup.exe

Windows Vista:
http://www.carsalesassistant.com/software/CSA2008VistaSetup.exe

To update to the newest version (3.0.2) download and run the updater program
http://www.carsalesassistant.com/software/CSA2008_Update.exe

Marv

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to be Successful in this Economy

By now, I'm sure you have seen the results of the media and presidential election created bad economy. I know I have. By the way, this is my 4th election selling cars and they are bad times economically! Why? Because you have two guys running who are spouting nothing but negativity against each other all over the mass media. You have presidents spouting something they know nothing about (economics) saying "If this bailout doesn't pass, we will be in another great depression!" Uh--it passed and the stock market is tanking... You have CEO's of auto-makers worried more about selling fewer cars and saving a few bucks per car thank how to sell more cars! Wow--how did we get from there to here? Was it just people buying homes they couldn't afford? Was it me talking a bank into approving someone who had no business buying a car? Was it a war that jacked up fuel prices that made broke people broker? Was it lack of leadership? Was it the media? Yes--all of the above and more.

Today, when I was getting ready for and walking to my car, my neighbor came up to me and asked, "How are you selling cars when banks are not financing them anymore?"

Thanks, media!

"I sold 4 in the last 2 days," I answered.

"Wow--how in the world did you get them financed?"

Thanks, media!

"Just like all the ones for the last 12 years," I explained. "I take their credit information, submit them to a bank, and get them approved."

Maybe the banks have tightened up, maybe not. I haven't noticed. Everyone who has come in front of me and wanted to buy a car has gotten approved with the exception of one guy who wanted to buy a Corvette with no credit, no job, etc. The so-called credit crunch made no difference for him.

Now granted, banks are tightening up but don't you have more than one bank you can submit a customer to?

OK--how to be successful in today's "bad" economy.

  • Stay away from the newspapers, news on tv, the internet--they have nothing good to say.
  • If someone walks on the lot, greet them, do a great job building excitement and value and sell them. I promise you this--they would not be wasting the gas to come on the lot if they weren't interested.
  • Stay away from the other salespeople--let them have their huddles talking about how bad it is. Walk right past them and grab every "up" you can.
  • Tell customers it is a great opportunity. 12 years in the car business and I have never seen deals like the ones we have (over $8000 in rebates on certain vehicles).
  • Maybe use the credit thing as a close. "If I can find a bank that still has money, would you like to get some of it before they run out?"
  • DO NOT CHECK TO SEE HOW MUCH YOU HAVE IN YOUR 401k! You will just depress yourself. It will come back--just like it does EVERYTIME it falls (which has been about 20 times in my life alone and I am 41 years old.)
  • Do a better job following up. 2 out of 4 of my sales in the last 2 days were from repeat customers and I have a few more in the works.
  • Smile all day--it is catchy!
  • Send out a post card to everyone in your database letting them know that you still have money to loan and that rates are cheaper than they have been in a long time.
That reminds me--my wife got a new credit card in the mail--the old one expired. You know what they guy on the phone asked? "Do you have any balance transfers? I can give you 1.9% for 1 year." Wow--what does that tell me? They would not be offering 1.9% if they were almost out of money.

Lastly...

  • Get ready for the "BOOM!" It will happen like it always does after a bust. I don't care which person wins next election--America will have a new and fresh outlook and there will be a boom.
Thanks for reading my ramblings and go out and sell a car today!


Monday, October 6, 2008

10 Tips for New Car Salespeople

I had someone just email me with 3 months in the business and asked me for some tips and here's what I emailed him in no particular order. If I would have known these years ago, I would be way better off today.

1) Stay away from other salespeople--especially below average ones. They will try to get you down to their level.

2) Treat everyone on the lot as a buyer. Never pre-qualify

3) Put everyone you talk to into CSA 2008.

4) Send something out every month to the people in CSA 2008 (postcards work great)

5) When someone leaves the lot and doesn't buy, call them as soon as they leave and leave a message on their home phone. "I have some great news--call me back as soon as you get this." If they are interested, they will call you back. Great news can be more for trade, new rebate, another car they can look at, etc.

6) Start high in negotiations--it's easier to go down than up.

7) Take every deal--mini or otherwise. They might refer someone that you can make some money on.

8) Test drive with your customers. If not, they will conspire against you.

9) Use a good greeting like "Welcome to ABC Motors. My name is Justin and you are...?" "John." "Nice to meet you John. Is this your first time up here or have you been here before?" Remember: He who asks the questions controls the sales process.

10) Never give up on a customer until they say NO at least 5 or 6 times. If they say NO 6 times, do a turn-over (TO) to your manager.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Update for Car Sales Assistant 2008


Hi, Everyone!

Been a very busy person--was salesperson of the month last month, am now leading the dealership in new car sales for the year and even started a two out rally in the 7th in softball today that got us the 4 runs to win the game!

But that has nothing to do with this post. Just wanted to brag a little bit!

Well, I now have a new update for Car Sales Assistant 2008 up and running. You can download the update here and if you are not sure how to update, please check out the tutorial here.

I've fixed some bugs and crashes and added some new cool looking menus (click the picture above to see them.) By the way--the kid in the pic is my son Alex--still too young to buy a car but cute none the less.

Please keep the bugs coming to me so I can squash them and thanks for all of your patience when waiting for fixes. I have been working hard on a new huge HUGE HHHHUUUUGGGGEEEE program that is about to hit in the next couple of days--something that I am very proud of.

Haven't purchased CSA 2008 yet? Visit my store and watch the sales happen!

http://store.carsalesassistant.com


Marv

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Importance of Follow Up

In my 12+ years of selling cars, I have never seen it slower in regards to the number of "fresh ups" that come into our dealership. Nothing seems to work--advertising, bill boards, direct mail, etc.

So--what do I do to sell more cars?

Well, I follow up with everyone that I have talked to at the dealership.

I use a combination of my Car Sales Assistant 2008 program and a legal pad. The program to help me keep track of contact and the legal pad for an "overview" of the people I have talked to. When I get someone back in, I write SOLD with a big black magic marker--it kind of gives me positive reinforcement! Plus--it looks cool when the manager comes by.

Why is follow up so important?

Well, here are some truths about people that come up on your lot.

  • For the most part--they are in the market for a car.
  • For the most part--if they came to your lot, they are at least considering something that you have to offer.
  • For the most part--if they come on your lot, there is a huge chance that they will be buying something within the next few weeks. Some sales trainers have stated that most will buy within a couple of days but my experiences have stated within a few weeks.
  • For the most part--you have an 18% chance to sell someone who comes on your lot.
  • For the most part (getting tired of the "for the most parts yet?" It will be a given for now on...) That leaves 82% of the people who came on your lot who didn't buy.
  • If you do a good job following up on those 82% of the people--any one of them you get back on the lot, you will have about a 50% chance of selling them a car.
Wow--what does that mean in mathematical terms?

If you talk to 30 people in a month, you will sell about 6 on the spot. Out of the other 24, if you do a halfway decent job doing follow up, you might get a third back on the lot--so, 8 will come back. Out of those 8, you will sell 4 (on average.) Can you see where this can be important yet?

OK--I am sitting on 8 cars right now (it's slow here in Michigan--as of yesterday, I was leading the board with 8...) Out of those 8, 4 were "be-backs" that I got back up and sold. Actually, my closing ratio for be-backs is higher than 50% (you can track it with my software) so I work real hard to get people back up to the dealership.

I see people all the time who catch an up and if they don't sell them, their ego gets in the way and they assume that the people just couldn't buy, etc. Well, they are dead wrong and they are losing sales by the dozens.

OK--here are some concrete steps you can take to increase your sales IMMEDIATELY!

  • Treat everyone you talk to as a buyer. They would not be there wasting their time (for the most part--sorry) unless they were at least "thinking" about getting a car.
  • If they don't buy, give them a "great news" call. "Hey Jim--I have some great news--call me as soon as you get this message." When they call back, "Great news--I have another manager that wants to take a look at your trade. When can you bring it by--right now or later this afternoon?" Remember--if they come back--you have a 50% chance of closing them on the spot.
  • Send them a thank you letter for stopping by with a business card in yours since they probably threw yours away or added it to a pile.
  • If the don't come back--call them again from time to time but always have new information for them--such as new rebates, a great used car you just got in, a new car with the color they really wanted, etc.
  • If they don't call back after 3 calls, I assume they have bought somewhere else or do not want my product. Sorry--I don't call until they "buy or die"--there are too many others to call. I do give them a final, "Do me a favor--if you are out of the market, please call and leave me a message on my voice mail so I can quit calling you." (Mention the voice mail because that is non-confrontational--they may not have the guts to tell you live over the phone.)
  • Put them into your master database like the one on CSA 2008. Send them something once a month. I have had people come back literally years later and buy off of me. "I bought somewhere else but they treated my like crap," I hear a lot.
  • I send out postcards (easy to print with CSA2008--sorry about the plugs for my software--it really does help people sell tons of cars.) because they are easy to read and don't look like all the other junk mail we all get.
Well, just some quick tips--do some follow up on everyone (except for those who cannot buy) and you will be amazed about how many extra cars you will sell a month.

Marv

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Update for Car Sales Assistant 2008

Hi everyone--just finished another update. Thanks to those who were kind enough to email me your data files so I could use real data to figure out what was causing the problems.

The newest version of CSA 2008 is now 3.0.1 and the build date on the main screen should read 9/9/08. Here are the fixes in this update... (By the way--if you already own CSA 2008, the update is free...)

Here is a link to my tutorials including the one on how to update...

  • Fixed a bug that caused a crash if it took you more than 60 seconds to type in the text for a pop up message reminder.
  • When you were viewing a customers address file--if you clicked on one of the grids (vehicles in family for example) the window would pop up and not be in the right spot. Fixed!
  • Fixed the stats where it seemed as if data (sold customers for example) were being counted twice.
  • Fixed a small bug that I just noticed. If you are typing a commission and close the window without leaving the commission box, it would not add it to your total money made. Now as you type, the total is updated on the fly.
I just want everyone to know I try to fix them as they come. Sometimes it takes a while (like the stat bug--that had been "bugging" me for months) and sometimes the fixes come in my sleep but please feel free to email if you find more.

Thanks,
Marv Chomer

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Attitude and why it is Important

If there is one thing that can make or break a sale, it is your attitude. Let me give you an example of what happened to me recently.

First--some back story.

I live in South Eastern Michigan in a suburb of Detroit. As of right now, we have about the highest unemployment in the country, more foreclosures that just about anyone, a customer base of people who like to lease without any leases for the most part, pollution, crime, potholes, a baseball team that is out of the running, etc.

OK--with this on my mind, I greeted a young couple the other day and showed them a few cars.

They came back today and bought a car from me. Why? Because the dealership they left me for didn't have it in stock and I did.

Whoa! They left me for another dealership? What happened?

Well, the girl told me today that when she first met me, she thought I was "mean." She said that I didn't smile at her and seemed like I hated my job. At that time, she told her husband that "she wanted to find a different dealer (salesperson.)" So, they left and shopped me at another dealership.

Thank God I got another chance! Wow! I have been on a "roll" recently and have sold a few cars in the last week so needless to say, I was smiling when they came back. We talked a little--cracked some jokes, etc. when she dropped the bombshell on me that she thought I was "mean" the other day--but that she thought I was "nice" now because I was smiling.

This has really been bothering me this evening. I'm starting to wonder how many other people that my attitude has turned into a no-sale.

Ever go to a mall and have a clerk that hates their job? You can always tell--they say, "Can I help you?" when you can tell that they just want the clock to hit 9:00 so they can get the hell out of there.

Ever order at a fast food restaurant and get someone with a total frown preparing your food? I wonder if they spit in it? Hmmm...

I can give a million more examples but how about one more.

Lets say you have been dreaming about a certain new car. You did your research on the internet, got some brochures, told your friends and family about it, saved up a good down payment--you know--your first new car. You go up to a dealership and a dude catches you with a frown on his face. "Can I help you or get someone for you?" he asks--you get the vibes that he doesn't think you can afford to buy the car because you pulled in with your old "beater." He looks tired and smells like cigarettes. What do you do?

"Just looking!" as you get the hell out of there.

OK--same scenario but the dude at the dealership is smiling like he is happy to see you. "Welcome to Biff Motors! My name is Charles--and you are...?" He extends his hand and gives you a pleasant handshake. You cannot help but to smile back and it seems like you have known this dude forever.

What this boils down to is this. If you have a bad attitude--FAKE IT! Find something to smile about--whether it is your kids, the weather, the vacation you just took or whatever! If it helps--imagine a $300 dollar bill on their forehead right between their eyes. See if that helps.

I would have lost the sale today if it weren't for the inventory situation here in Michigan. I am very sure of that. The people I sold did not like me, trust me or believe me--at least not until the second change I miraculously got with them. They turned out to be very nice and very easy to close. I made enough to pay my phone, cable and internet bill for the month.

My goal for September is to smile at everyone, be nice to everyone, assume everyone is there to buy a car (and that they CAN buy a car) and to stay away from the negative outside influences... you know what I am talking about...

  • The "huddle"--other salespeople will never buy a car from you. They are evil--stay away from them!
  • The news--I can give a care less if Sarah Whatever's 17 year old daughter is pregnant. Gas is high--I don't need to be reminded. GM is hurting--I don't need to be reminded. McCain can't remember how many houses he has--I can care less. If I had a wife worth $100 million--neither would I!
  • Any talk about money, or lack-of thereof...
  • My managers--unless I'm working a deal.
  • The fantasy football talk--get the hell away from me! Not in it, not interested in it, can give a care less if you have Peyton Manning this year!

Want a great attitude? Think about something that makes you happy. In my case, my kids and the trip we just took to Mackinac Island, Michigan--that is Lake Huron on the right of the bridge and Lake Michigan on the left of it--pretty cool, eh?

NOTE: The camera made my gut look bigger than it is--I promise!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Huge Car Sales Assistant 2008 Update Online


Hi, everyone. Happy Labor Day. I have been spending my labor day laboring to add and fix a few things with Car Sales Assistant 2008. I am happy to say that I have a new update online. If your build date is not 9/1/08 and your version is not 3.0.0 then I would suggest updating to the newest version.

CLICK HERE to view a tutorial on how to update to the newest version of CSA 2008.

Also, I have extended my labor day 20% off sale through Friday, September 5, 2008. All you have to do is purchase stuff from my store by CLICKING HERE and enter LABORDAY as a coupon when you check out to get the savings on your total order.

Here is what has been updated/fixed in this new build.

  • I re-wrote the follow up system from the ground up. It now works right and you can make changes to your follow up schedule on the fly and they will work immediately.
  • I added a "pop up" messaging system. You can set reminders for yourself or for your customer and they will pop up at the given time that you schedule them (as long as the program is running.)
  • I fixed some problems with dates not saving.
  • The stats were not working right if you (for example) talked to a customer last month and sold them this month. That is all fixed now so the stats should be 100% correct.
If any other bugs pop up, please let me know.

Thanks,
Marv


New Store is Here!

My new Car Sales Assistant store is up and running!

CLICK HERE to purchase my Car Sales Assistant 2008 software!


Also, I am looking for affiliates to show around my program. Sign up at my store and you will get your unique URL to pass along to friends/co-workers and if they buy, you will get a cut.

Hope to see you there soon!

Marv

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Car Sales Assistant Store Coming

Well, to better serve you, my customer (or perhaps a future customer) I have taken the plunge and hooked up for a new service to maintain my store that I sell my products on. It will be at store.carsalesassistant.com and will be up in a few days.

I was using paypal, then I switched to a cart system called Zen Cart and I feel that both were confusing to me and to people who wanted to purchase my software. So, I have hooked up with a company that specializes in shopping carts--it cost me around $200 to set up and will cost me $30 per month but I think it will be well worth it.

Here is something cool that you will be able to do once it is up. You will be able to sign up as an affiliate of mine and if you direct your buddies to my website and if they purchase some of my stuff, you will get paid $$$. I get a ton of referrals and believe in rewarding people who send me business.

Thanks for your patience over the next few days. You can still purchase right now but it (quite frankly) is very confusing.

Best regards,
Marv

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why do People Buy?

Why do people buy cars? OK--it's late, I didn't sell a single car in the 13.5 hours that I "sold cars" today (a misnomer since I didn't sell anything!) and I'm trying to stay awake watching the Tigers play the Rangers (and dozing off while doing-so) so what I'm trying to say to you is I will give some of the reasons that people buy cars but please forgive me if I leave something out.

OK--once again for all of you people who aren't bored to shit yet--why do people buy? Tell you what--since I am so tired, bored, sleepy, buzzed, high, drunk, stupid or whatever qualifies...I'll put it into a nutshell...

People buy for emotional reasons.

OK--but wait. I just saw a commercial for GM that states that people want better gas mileage, want fewer fill ups, want to save at the pump, etc. That sounds pretty logical, not emotional.

OK--don't get me wrong. Some people will buy for logical reasons but I want to talk about most people--you know--the ones you will sell cars to most of the time.

People buy for emotional reasons and justify their purchase with logical reasons.

OK--prime example. I had a customer once get a new car and bury $5000 in negative. Why? Because she wanted to save money on gas. OK. To spend $5000 in negative equity to save money in gas--what is wrong with this story? Well, it turns out she just got divorced and her ex just bought a new car and she wanted to "one-up" him. Why did she mention "saving gas?" Well, to justify her purchase. The emotional reason she bought was to "show him up" but she didn't admit that to me--I just got it via conversation. Of course, I brought up gas mileage when I sold her the car but I also focused on how cool she would look in it and how her ex would be jealous, etc.

I once knew a dude who went to look at cars. The salesperson (deducting that this guy didn't have a love live) asked him, "Do you have a girl friend?" They guy said no. "Well, if you buy this car--you will!"

Wow! I hope that dude is still selling cars and I'll bet he is making a killing!

I see people trying to talk people into buying cars for logical reasons. "This car gets X miles per gallon. " or "This car has ABS brakes."

OK--lets break it down. Would "This car gets X miles per gallon" convince you into buying a car?

Me neither.

What if the salesperson said, "This car gets X miles per gallon so you will have more money to take that nice vacation in Florida that you were talking about?"

What would convince you to want ABS brakes? Because they are there or because they can prevent your loved-ones from getting hurt in a car accident?

OK--bed time but let me finish with this. Focus on the emotional reasons that people buy. Talk to them about how they deserve a new car because they work so hard--talk about how their friends are going to be jealous--talk about how happy they will be taking the car on that trip to Florida--what ever gets them to smile and be emotional (smiling is the by-product of an emotion of being happy by the way.)

Good night, good luck, Go Tigers, God Bless and Rock and Roll!

Why Contact Relationship Works

I am a full time car salesperson but I am also a software developer who sells Car Sales Assistant 2008, a follow up program designed especially for car salespeople. Therefore, I think I am pretty qualfied to share a few tidbits with you.

I don't know if you have noticed a change in the car business, but I sure have. GM just dropped a bombshell on us Chevrolet salespeople in Michigan by basically killing leases. What does this mean? Well, people will still buy cars but for us where I live, it is going to be a little bit tougher.

Thank God that I have developed some pretty good techniques for customer relationship building. Since there will be fewer and fewer fresh ups until people get used to not leasing, it is now more important than ever to develop relationships with your current customer base. Also, it is important to have a good system and (shameless plug coming) I would recommend my software. You can download it here and check it out for a free trial.

OK--shameless plugs aside, what do you do with a CRM program once you get it?

  • Call every customer you have sold about every 90 days. Some people say every 30 days but I think that is too much--if someone called me every 30 days, I would feel pestered and dread the call. Now, if your manager says every 30 days, do it!
  • Why call every 90 (or 30) days? Because odds are that sooner or later, someone in their direct family will be in the market for a car.
  • What if they aren't? Odds are that they have a friend in the market for a car.
  • Send a birthday card!!!! CSA 2008 makes it easy. Our dealership generates a computer printed letter and you know what? It looks like it's computer generated. Get a nice birthday card! I didn't get a single card in the mail this year (my birthday is June 21st if you want to send me one next year) but guess what--if someone would have sent me one, I would have really appreciated it and if that someone was in the sales or service business, I would have found a way to do business with them or at least find a family member or friend to do business with them! (Very important.)
  • If someone leaves without buying, call them and thank them sincerely for stopping by. I have never gotten a thanks for stopping by call but would kinda feel obligated to at least consider someone who takes the time to do that.
  • Send a letter thanking them for stopping by with a business card in it. You know what else? Make it hand written so it looks like you take the time because you care!
  • If they buy somewhere else, thank them and ask them to give you another shot next time around.
OK-I know I ramble. Back to the title of this article. Why Contact Relationship Works. It works because not many people do it effectively! If you do it, you will stand up in crowd and sell more cars.

Some personal success stories recently.

  • I called an orphan owner about 10 months ago and called every other month and talked to her. Guess what? She brought her son up and he bought a car from me a week ago today.
  • I called someone who bought somewhere else and said, "I just wanted to thank you for calling me and letting me know. Most people will not do that and I really do appreciate it." You know what? I'm sure no one else has ever thanked her for buying somewhere else. Maybe I'll get another shot from her.
  • I had a guy who wanted to lease a car for $230 per month. Well, leasing is done but I still kept in touch with him. You know what else? He is coming up on friday to purchase a certified used car.
What is boils down to, if your economy is rough like ours is, there is nothing else going on so what else can you do to kill the time?

  • Call people. Let them know to tell their family and friends about you.
  • Let them know that to you, they are more than a sale but a friend.
  • Ask them what kind of car they want next time around so you can "keep and eye on the programs and contact them when it is the right time to get their next car."
Rambling done. That's how I write. Thanks for reading this blog!

Marv

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How to Handle a "Special Finance" Customer

First of all, a definition: Special Finance: a customer with bad credit who cannot get financed through conventional methods and who has a large chance of having their next vehicle get repossessed. If they ever get approved, their interest rate is going to be sky-high and it will probably not be their dream vehicle.

OK--here are some techniques to handle this large and growing customer type.

1) Never tell them they are approved over the phone. If you do that, they usually get the attitude that they can now buy whatever they want from whomever they want.

2) If they tell you they have money to put down, ask if they really have it. For example, I had someone once tell me to "figure it with $2000 down." I turned around and asked, "Do you have $2000 to put down right now?" They said, "Uh--no, but I will in 6 weeks when I get my tax return." Your job is to sell them a car RIGHT NOW, not 6 weeks from now.

I love when a Special Finance Manager gets someone "approved" but it is not a deal that can be structured with your particular customer. "Hey--I got your guy approved but he needs $8000 down." Uh, no. That is a B.S. call--that is the banks way of saying "No." Now granted, some special finance customers can come up with that kind of money but we are talking about a small, small percentile of them. That is also like a salesperson saying, "I sold that guy a Corvette. He said he'll take it if the payment is $250 per month. I sold him--he just can't buy." Uh, no. You did not sell anyone anything. The deal has to be structured where...

a) The customer accepts it
b) Your manager accepts it
c) Your customer buys it (busting bugs, burning that all so expensive gas!)

3) If you get them approved before they come up, find out what vehicles you can sell them with the money they have down and more importantly, WITH THE PAYMENT THEY WANT! If you have a 2003 Trailblazer that is $300 and they want to be at $300, why would you try to sell them a 2005 Trailblazer at $500? Makes no sense whatsoever!

I used to work with a guy--probably the best used car salesperson that I had ever met. He told me he would get the leads online, get the people approved and have the car they could buy ready for them--all cleaned up and looking shiny. When they pulled up he would say, "This is your car and this is your payment." He also told me (and I believed every word) that he averaged around $5000 front end gross a pop and that he rarely ever made less than $15K per month. Anytime I saw the guy, he was on the phone working customers, working customers in person and working the finance guy on his customers--except the few times I saw him in the lunch room eating a lunch that he brought (I never once saw him leave for lunch.) Super hard worker--I wish I had 1/2 the work ethic that he has!

OK--now for the big thing. What if they people don't want one of the cars you have "picked out" for them? What if they want a Suburban (for some reason, people with bad credit always want the high-dollar vehicles) and you can only get them approved on a Blazer?

I like to call it the "Shot at the Doctor's Office Close."

Here's how it goes.

"Mr. Customer, I understand that you want a Suburban. I can get you worked out on a Blazer."

Customer: "The Blazer's too small. I want a Suburban."

You: "I just want you to understand that they will not approve you on a Suburban at this time. What I would recommend is getting the Blazer--they will approve you on it and it's a great opportunity for you."

Customer: "How's that?"

You: "It's kinda like going to the Doctor's office to get a shot. It hurts for a bit but in the long run, it keeps you healthy. Getting this Blazer is like getting the shot. It will hurt for a while but in the long run it will make you healthier because if you pay it perfect, you will help reestablish your credit. It's actually a great opportunity for you and quite frankly, I think it will be a mistake to look a gift horse in the mouth."

Then I like to add: "You will pay it perfect, right?" If they say "yes" then they just agreed to buy the Blazer.

This works really well if the payment is higher than they want to pay. "They higher payment is like getting a shot..." You get the picture.

Well, everyone, good luck and good night! I'm gonna hit the sack and have sweet dreams of my recent vacation to Mackinac Island and the surrounding area. Here is a nice picture with some soft colors that I took yesterday at dusk.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Nice Vacation "Up North"

One of the coolest things about living in Michigan, besides the "cool" economy and the "cool" way that everyone is getting rid of leases is being able to go "up north." By up north, I mean in our beautiful upper penninsula.

Right now, we are staying in St. Ignace which is right over the Mackinac Bridge (a 5-mile long bridge--one of the largest suspension bridges in the world.) This was my first time crossing the bridge. It is overwhelming to say the least! You first see it from miles away and you are instantly shocked at how big it is. I even felt a moment of deja vu as if I had seen this view before, perhaps in a dream. You go over and see Lake Michigan on the left and Lake Huron on the right. The water is blue in the middle--as blue as the ocean (and these are fresh water oceans in their own right) and green on the edges. Sailboats smoothly criss-cross at a leisurely gait and the air smells great--as if filtered by the lakes themselves. Absolutely stunning!

Here is a picture of my daughter Melissa--miles away from the bridge overlooking Lake Michigan.



It's kinda neat here. Even though my brain tells me that it's Michigan, my mouth speaks otherwise. For example, I saw a guy last night at a bonfire with a Detroit Tigers hat on. I said, "Wow--a Tigers fan," and then realized that I was still in Michigan and there were still Tigers fans here, regardless of our record and chances at a playoff berth.

They have a bonfire every night here--people sit there, kids roast marshmallows, adults drink a few beers under the beautiful night sky--not a bit of pollution--light or otherwise.

A couple of funny things I saw--one mother kept telling her kids "only one roasted marshmallow because they charing causes cancer." I think I heard the word "cancer" come out of her mouth about five times. This morning at the continental breakfast, I watched one of their kids drop his jelly-covered bagel and it fell jelly-down on the floor. He picked it up and kept eating. "He dropped that on the ground, jelly-side-down," I told his dad. His dad smiled and said, "You need to learn to quit worrying about things," as he winked at me. Wow--a little protest against his wife who was easily at the other end of the worrying-spectrum? Perhaps so!

My one year old son being a one year old--sleeping, crawling around and nothing much else. Now my daughter on the other hand--she has probably made around 5 friends (all her "best friends" she keeps telling me.) Last night, her and a girl bounced around the campfire singing Hannah Montana songs and pretending they were making food out of the sand.

I met another guy who told me that they have a hunting camp about 1.5 hours from here. "We killed a bear," he told me. "I had a guy cook up the neck meat and it was very good." Count me out!

So you can put a face to the words of this blog, here I am also over looking the Mackinac Bridge. I'm trying to explain to my six-year-old daughter how to take the picture as she snaps it.


All in all, it feels very good to get away. The car business is getting very stressful in Michigan with our sour economy and the fact that most of our customers lease and leasing is going away. Might be the time to switch over to selling used cars! Oh well.

I'll try to get some more pictures tonight--maybe the stars (hope it's clear) and maybe the bridge with all the lights on.




Monday, July 28, 2008

Earning the Right

The other day, I went to get a hair cut. I walked into a place I had never been at and the girl working at the counter said, "Welcome to hair clips" (or whatever it was called.) So far, so good--great greeting!

OK--I looked around at all the girls and saw that they all had pretty bad hair cuts. Oh oh!

The one started asking me information--phone #, address, full name and all I could think about was, "Great--gonna be stuck on a mailing list."

"Hey--how much do you charge for haircuts?"

"Eleven dollars."

"Cool!"

She sat me down and asked what I wanted and I told her. "Yeah--I usually go to my barber but we were in the neighborhood."

Then she said something that really turned me off. Before the first gray hair on my head was cut (not all gray--bits and pieces) she said, "Looks like we earned a new customer."

Hmmmm--I don't know why that statement put a bad taste in my mouth--maybe it was the fact that she assumed that she had my future business before even cutting my hair. In my opinion, she hadn't earned the right to assume that she had earned a customer until he cut my hair.

Needless to say, she hacked up my hair and chopped into the mole on the back of my neck. "Oops--I nicked your mole!" No shit!

I don't know. Maybe she was saying "We earned a new customer" because of the fact that I had never been there before. One thing for sure is that I will probably not go back in there.

OK--what the hell does this have to do with the car business?

How many times have you done a decent greeting, asked a few questions and went RIGHT TO THE PRICE? Have you earned the right to go for the close or are you jumping the gun?

I don't always follow every step the sale. I sold 2 today and only one of them test drove the car. Guess what? The one who drove nickled and dimed me to death (a nice friendly mini deal) and the other one didn't negotiate at all and actually bought a bed liner and a few back end products (about 8 mini deals-worth of $$$). I am a firm believer that when someone is ready to buy, they are ready to buy. But I always make sure they are there to do business before I jump through hoops and get the price, etc. for them.

Wow--I am rambling today. Hope I have earned the right to gain you as a loyal reader to this blog.

Marv

Thursday, July 24, 2008

10% off Coupon to Celebrate new Store

I am proud to say that I have a new web store up and running. I sell my Car Sales Assistant 2008 there. Right now, not only am I selling it for $69.99 per copy (it normally sells for $89.99).

Not only that, but from now until 7/31/08, you can take an additional 10% by using this coupon code when you check out. The code is TAKETEN

Here is a link to the store:
http://store.carsalesassistant.com

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Website Construction

Over the next couple of days, I'll be moving www.carsalesassistant.com over to a new server so it may be down from time to time.

I have many plans for this website including...

  • A forum for salespeople
  • This blog will move there
  • Free software for salespeople to use online (lease calculator to begin with)
  • A new shopping cart
  • More tutorials on how to use CSA 2008
Please check back to this blog for updates and news.

Marv

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dealing with Stress in the Car Business

I once heard that the average car salesperson lives to be 54 years old. I find it hard to believe because I have only had 2 car salespeople that I knew of die while being car salespeople. One was in his sixties and a smoker with heart problems and one was almost eighty years old (and still just about outsold all of us!)

Of course, my experience is limited--I have only worked at 4 dealerships--7 years at one, 5 years at my current one and 2 with 3 months each.

One thing I know for a fact is this: The car business can be stressful!

I have always said that there is nothing worse than a bored car salesperson and my definition of a bored car salesperson is someone who is not selling cars.

OK--here are some quick tips to get rid of stress in the car business.

  • Smoke a cigarette every chance you get. Not only will it make you feel better but it will make you look cool to people of the oposite sex. (just kidding...)
  • Actually, do the opposite. Try to be healthy! I am a little overweight but I am taking steps to fix myself. Let me tell you a little story...
I am 41 years old and about a month ago, I was playing softball. We had 2 outs and I had a full count. The pitcher threw a pitch and it was about a good of a strike that I have ever seen. I looked back to the umpire and he said, "Ball three--take your base!"

I said to myself, "Wow--this is my lucky day!" I trotted over to first base and my buddy Cory came up to bat. I stood on first waiting for Cory (who is a right handed batter) to blast the ball somewhere into left field when all of a sudden, he hit a line shot and it was coming straight at my head! I had time to say "Oh" when it blasted me on the side of the head and knocked me down.

Here's what I remember...

  • Looking at Cory
  • Cory blasting ball and it curving at my head
  • Me saying "Oh"
  • Ball blasting the side of my head--just below the temple and above the jaw.
  • Me getting knocked down.
  • Me seeing people looking over me and me getting up.
  • Me going to emergency room
What I don't remember is the 5-10 seconds of me laying on the ground, unconscious as my feet kicked.

I went to the emergency room, scared shitless--you see, I NEVER go to the doctor. I had fears of head trauma, brain damage, x-rays, cat scans, etc. I was OK, though but the doctor noticed that my blood pressure was a little high.

"You need to be on blood pressure medicine," he told me.
"Can't I just lose a little weight?"
"No--you really need to be on them. I'm going to give you a 3 day supply and then I want you to go see your regular doctor."

Needless to say, the pharmacy must have misread the script and they gave me a 30 day supply so I waited and waited until the 30 days was up and then set an appointment to see a doctor--scared shitless again! Remember--41 years old--the time when doctors really get excited to have you as a customer!

OK--to make a long story short, this doctor disagreed with sticking me on blood pressure medicine and told me to lay off of salt, take water pills and watch what I eat. He also drew blood to check my "thyroid, kidney, liver, cholesterol, etc." Once again, scared shitless--not of the blood (I have donated and have no probs with needles) but with waiting for the results because...

1) I sell cars and we eat like shit
2) I sell cars and we deal with a lot of stress
3) I am probably 30 pounds overweight (in my opinion, that is)

I went today and guess what--my top pressure was 20 points lower and my bottom was 10 points lower and I am in perfect shape according to my blood!

Guess what--back to stress. It has always been on the back of my mind... "Is my cholesterol too high? God--is my liver OK? I do like an occasional drink, you know..." Once again, laying off of salt and watching what I eat has dramatically relieved stress. I feel great and I sell better. Especially knowing that I am pretty healthy.

OK--back to ways to relieve stress...

  • Stay away from the newspaper unless you are reading sports. There is never any good news in the newspaper--good news doesn't sell papers, bad news does.
  • Do not ever watch local news. All you will hear about are kids dying in fires, murders, rapes, oil prices, war, scandals, etc. You know what? You already know gas is high--you don't need the newspaper to remind you.
  • Stay away from below average salespeople--you know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that blame all the stuff from the local news on how bad it is. You know what? I made the mistake last month of reading how GM is cutting production of trucks and how people aren't buying them. I almost believed it and almost went back to delivering pizzas but then I put it out of my head. You know what else? I sold 17 cars last month (not bad in Michigan as bad as things are here) and 11 were Silverados, 1 was an Avalanche and one was a $55,000 Suburban.
  • If someone is about to get fired, stay away from them. You have your own family to worry about--hate to sound self centered but getting caught up in someone else's affairs won't help you sell cars and provide for your family. Want to know who is about to get fired? Watch them--they are the ones who do whatever the managers say--fill the brochure racks, clean the counters, line up the cars, move the blockers, not sell cars.
  • Don't take your job home. Put it behind you.
  • Take your days off and do something fun with the family. I love to take my kids swimming at a local pool. And for some reason, women in bikinis love to come over to see my 1 year old son if you get my drift (glad my wife doesn't read this blog!)
  • If a manager is stressed or in a bad mood, avoid him! Shit rolls down hill--remember that.
By the way, I hope you don't mind me using the word "shit" in this blog. I think I have said it around 5 times already in this article and I don't use it to offend anyone--it is part of my normal shitty dialog so please just listen to what I, the biggest shithead in the world has to say without having a shitty attitude about it! ;-)

OK--back to stress...

  • If you are healthy enough, play sports. I play softball and once in a while, paintball (great for relieving stress! You get to shoot people and everyone has fun!)
  • Try this one. Find a dark area on a clear night in the middle of nowhere. Put a blanket out and lay on it and just look up at the majesty of the night sky. You may see some meteors (shooting stars), some man-made satellites go by (the move pretty fast and change brightness) but you will just melt away in all the beauty that the heavens have to offer.
  • Call some of your customers--especially happy ones so they can tell you how much they love their car. It always makes me feel good when I make others feel good. If someone is unhappy, make them happy.
  • And finally, sell a car. Nothing relieves stress like putting some iron over the road and making some money.
Thank you all for reading my ramblings--I do appreciate it. By the way--I use this blog as an outlet to relieve some of MY stress!

Marv Chomer
Creator of Car Sales Assistant 2008
Follow Up CRM Software for Professional Salespeople
Only $89.99 per Copy (1 Mini deal will pay for it by the way...)
CarSalesAssistant.com

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Update of CSA 2008 is Online 7/5/08

Hi--as of 7/5/08, the newest update for Car Sales Assistant 2008 is up and running. If you have anything less that 2.0.7 7/5/08 on your mane page, download and install the update.

The main fix was a crash when logging a new customer ("error in follow up NEWROW") as well as the screens not lining up when creating a new address or customer.

Also, I am taking people down to be affiliates to sell copies of my program for me. Please contact me if interested--it will be an easy way to make some extra $$$!

I also added a "start page" that gives a good overview of the program. You can disable the start page at any time.

You can download the update here. You will then need to unzip it (open it) and copy all of the contents into your CAR SALES ASSISTANT 2008 folder that is either in your WWW.CARSALESASSISTANT.COM or NOVAEONA SYSTEMS folder in PROGRAM FILES (hope I'm not confusing... so here.)

1) Double Click MY COMPUTER or COMPUTER for you Vista users.
2) Double click C: Hard drive
3) Double click PROGRAM FILES
4) Look for either WWW.CARSALESASSISTANT.COM or NOVAEONA SYSTEMS. Double click it.
5) Double click CAR SALES ASSISTANT 2008. Copy the contents of the file that you downloaded (after opening it) into this folder and over write the files when prompted.

You may need to re-license the software but I think you will love the change--I know I do.

If you haven't downloaded the full program yet, you can download it here. Open the file after downloading and double click the SETUP program to install. Follow all the prompts.

Marv
www.carsalesassistant.com


I'm Updating Car Sales Assistant

Hi, Everyone!

I have been hard at work updating Car Sales Assistant 2008 and just wanted to let you all know what is going on.

  • I am aware of a problem with Vista machines where you can't choose a letter or a picture--the program just goes into la-la-land. It is a problem with the copy protection I am using--it is conflicting with the Windows based open dialog. I am working with the people who created the copy protection to get a fix going. As far as I know, it is only a problem with Vista, not XP, etc.
  • I never was a big fan of how the windows in my program interacted. You could move the main one and the customer ones would stay in the same spot. Well, I just learned how to make a window (form) within a window (form) and it looks nicer, you can now minimize the whole program, etc.
  • I have a deep down feeling that the follow up is not working right so I am re-writing it from the ground up. Here is what is going to be cool about the new system. Lets say you want to add a 30 day letter. In the old way, if you already created your letters, it wouldn't add a new one. Now, if you make a change to your follow up schedule, it will effect all of your customers which is a good thing.
  • I am trying to implement a follow up every X amount of days like a call every 30 days for example.
  • I am going to be adding pop up message reminders. I had this feature in CSA 2007 and everyone seemed to love it (and are asking for it) so I will be adding it. Here is an example of what it will be able to do. If you have an appointment set for 10:00am, it will pop up 15 minutes early to remind you--kinda like the appointment scheduler we use on cell phones.
Also, I will be adding some new content to my website such as...
  • A free online lease or payment calculator
  • A free forum for salespeople to get together and compare notes, techniques, recipes, etc.
Finally, one more thing that I will be adding is this...

Gas is high right now, money is tight so here is your chance to make a few extra $$$'s! I am going to be adding a referral system where you can have your buddies check out my program. If they buy, you will get $$$ from me--the more that buy in a month, the higher your commission rate. I get a ton of referrals and I think the people who are kind enough to show others my program should be rewarded, don't you?

With a partner, we are working on an online version of Car Sales Assistant where you can do your business from ANY computer (home, work, etc.) More on that later.

And finally, I am working on a dealership version of my program that will sell for a lot of money to you and I (but not to dealerships) so the payment for referrals on this one will be a lot of money--we're talking hundreds of dollars if you show it to your dealership and they hook up.

For all of you who have found bugs and been patient while I worked on them, I bow to you and give you sincere thanks.

Marv Chomer
www.carsalesassistant.com


Friday, June 27, 2008

How to Sell a Car

Right now, we have 0% for 72 months on pretty much everything and we are a freaking madhouse! People are scrambling for what's left and it is dog eat dog out there!

It's been a very busy few days and today a guy came in and said, "I want a price on a truck." So, I sat him at my desk and was about to give him a price--I was about to go from step one in the sale process to step 10! You know what? I caught myself by looking at his shirt--he had a Myrtle Beach shirt on and my wife and I have been talking about taking the kids there. More on that later.

I started asking questions about his wants and needs (step 3) and he told me a couple of things...

1) He told me he was going to get a price and then shop at the Saturn dealership because he had heard about the Vue
2) He told me that he had a friend at another Chevy dealership who had sold him his last three vehicles
3) He told me that he wasn't going to buy today because he was going to wait a couple of months and because his wife wasn't with him.

In other words, he gave me three good reasons for me to believe that he wasn't going to buy today. I almost gave him a price then when I silently reminded myself that this guy was here for a truck and we make, in my opinion, the best truck in the world.

I then said, "I can give you a price right now but the price won't mean anything unless you see how nice of a truck you are looking at. Let me go get it."

We went on a test drive and remember his Myrtle Beach shirt?
"Hey--you've ever been to Myrtle Beach? We're thinking about going there." This question began a ten minute conversation between this gentleman and myself about Myrtle Beach. We talked about fishing, how the sand looks, how warm the water is, what stuff kids can do there, his time-share, his other place up north, etc. and I was totally interested in what he had to say and I think it helped me make a friend with the guy--I genuinely liked talking to him and I think the same for him.

You know what happened next? He trial closed himself for me and overcame all of his own objections without me saying a word about the truck. "Man--I really like this truck! My wife is gonna bitch at me but you know what--I do this every time--I buy a vehicle and bring it home to her." Oh wow--how often does someone come right out and tell you they are going to buy a truck--before even getting a price no less!

Needless to say, I sold the guy the truck--one of three that I sold today. I almost set up the next guy to sell him--if I would have done what this guy had wanted and if I would have been lazy like I almost was, I would never have sold this guy. The next dealership would have beaten my price and I would have probably convinced myself that "that guy was just shopping, he already was friends with someone at another dealership, he was still two months away from being ready to buy and his wife was never going to let him buy a truck." Instead, I got this guy the truck of his dreams and got compensated for it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Importance of a Commitment

I saw a salesperson go up to a manager the other day and say, "This guy wants to be under $250 per month." The manager then asked, "Will he buy right now if we get there?" The salesperson nodded. The manager got there, the salesperson went back to his customer and then came back a few seconds later and said, "He said it's too high."

Whoa! One of three things just happened...

1) The customer lied
2) The salesperson was confused
3) The salesperson didn't get a commitment to purchase with the offer.

I'm sure it was number 3.

Why is a commitment so important?

  • Because it shows your manager that you are doing your job
  • It shows your manager that the customer is serious
  • It mentally takes a customer from "I'm just looking" to "I just agreed to buy a car." In the customer's mind, they make an offer and I'm sure they assume most of the time that you will accept the offer so they believe they bought a car. This is important because the stress level drops when people finally make the decision to buy.
  • It helps in negotiation
  • It helps in overcoming objections. "Jim, you said you would buy the car right now and we are only $0.50 a day away...surely you can give up 2 cigarettes a day to own this beautiful car, can't you?"
Now let me make a statement. I have never been a big fan of starting out with, "If terms are agreeable, will you buy the car right now?" That puts too much pressure on the customer and makes them assume that you are going to negotiate on "terms" instead of "value".

I am more of a fan of doing our job right (good greeting, building rapport, asking questions, finding out their hot buttons--focusing on them, a good test drive, a trial close and assuming that they are going to buy.) Then, it is easy to tell them a price and sometimes pretty easy to get full sticker (it happens a lot of you follow the basic steps of the sale.)

If, for some reason, they do not hook up and "first pencil" then I get a commitment.

"What did you have in mind?" I may ask.

"Uh--we were hoping to be under $200."

"Up to...?" I ask.

"Ummmm. Up to $220."

"No more than...?" I may interject...

"Hmmmm. No more than $235."

I usually try one more raise (Every $30 is a $1000 on a lease) "So--if we get close to $235, are you ready to take this car home RIGHT NOW?" I put the "right now" big and bold so you can see it. Never say "today" because "today" ends at midnight and there are a lot of other dealerships and "little birdies" between now and midnight.

OK--when I ask that question, people usually say some form of "yes" whether it is a nod, a weak "uh huh" or whatever. If they say no, find out the objection and overcome it.

You might think now is the time to present the offer to your manager. Not yet. Before you go to your manager, make sure it is a real commitment. I call it the "3 Step Commitment".

After getting the initial commitment, I will say, "OK--now what 'right now' means is that if I get there for you, you will buy the car 'right now' and take it home with you...OK?"

They usually nod or give an objection. Then I re-phrase it and say it again.

"The reason I'm saying that is because sometimes people say they will take a car 'right now' if I get a deal where they want to be. I work hard, get it there and then they give me an excuse not to take it like they have to 'think about it' or something. That makes me look bad to my manager so I just want to be clear that we are clear about what 'right now' means--right?"

They will say "yes" or give an objection.

OK--I guess there is a 4th step. Get a signed commitment--it mentally tells them once again that they are buying a car. Sometimes I even get a deposit to "show my manager that you are serious--it will make him give you a better deal."

Here's what you say to get a signed commitment. You write down the offer and have them sign under it and you say, "Here--this is what we talked about--you said you would take the car 'right now' if the payment was around $250. Sign this so I can show my manager that you are serious. It will help me help you get a great deal."

They will either sign or give an objection.

Speaking of the word "sign"--I have read a billion sales books that say to never use the word "sign" but I am comfortable using it with customers. I am also quite comfortable calling "pre-owned cars" "used cars." I am also comfortable calling credit apps credit apps, etc. Sometimes I get professional and call credit apps "customer statements" or saying, "Approve this" instead of "sign this" but I have never noticed, in my case, either way working better or worse than the other. But you know what? I'm probably wrong and the billion sales books are right! ;-)

Cool--glad we could have this little chat this morning. I'm about to head out and use these techniques today and hopefully sell a couple of cars. I have two appointments today, they both want to buy trucks even though gas is $4.00 a gallon around here and I sold a $55,000 Suburban, his and her Silverados and an Avalance on Monday. A nice 4-car day--think I may do 2 today so that will be a great start to the week!

Marv Chomer
www.CarSalesAssistant.com

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How I got a Prospect to Come Back

The other day, I had a guy looking at a truck. He gave me every indication that I was going to sell a truck. "If you lower my payment from my lease to a 0% purchase, I'll buy a truck right now. Man--my wife is gonna kill me!" Two buying signals there, by the way. 1) Saying he will buy a truck right now and 2) that is wife is going to kill him. So, we drove the truck and when we got back, I lowered his payment $60 per month and he said, "Well, I gotta go talk to my wife about it." I, of course, tried to overcome his objection (talk to wife) and then he dropped a bomb on me--he had another trade-in, his wife was driving it and he wouldn't be able to get it up to the dealership until the next day.

So, he left and I called him a few minutes later. "Hey--I was talking to my manager about your truck that you are trading in and he wanted to know how many miles it had on it." He told me and I said, "He seemed very excited about it--what time are you going to bring it by tomorrow?" He never committed.

So--the girl who sits next to me asked what his name was and I told her. She turned to the girl who sits on the other side of me and said, "Told you--I knew I recognized him."

"You worked him before?"

"Yeah--about 3 years ago. He stroked me about three or four times and bought somewhere else."

Hmmmm...

Well, needless to say, the next day he stiffed me--he didn't show up. Towards the end of the day, I called him and left him a message like this.

"Joe, this is Marv. Sorry I missed you today. I know you promised that you would come by and I know I promised that I would be here when you did but I was in and out all day and since I know that you are a man of your word, I want to apologize for not being here. Someone said that saw a truck that sounded like yours so I really feel bad that you drove all the way up here and that I broke my word and missed you. Can you give me another chance and come by tomorrow?"

Needless to say--he did. Of course I didn't really miss him--he never showed but I called him out on him being a man of his word and it worked.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to Hold Gross

I'm still sick over the new Indiana Jones movie but decided to move on and share with you some tips on making more money so you can afford to see bad movies.

Being in the car sales follow up software business I get a lot of people who ask me advice. A big question is, "How do I hold gross?" Here are some tips.
  • Don't talk about price until you have earned the right to talk about it. By earned the right, I mean built rapport, asked questions, landed them on a vehicle, demo drive, trial close, etc.
  • If they are adamant about price, acknowledge it and then change the subject. "Oh--that car is around twenty-one. Speaking of that, were you wanting that car or one in a different color?"
  • Hit them high when you give a price and negotiate down if you have to. You can always go down but it is very hard to go up.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for it (gross)--you will never get it if you don't ask for it.
  • Be confident when you ask for gross. Don't ask weakly. I used to work with a dude in Tennessee and here was how he presented his price. "Uh--the price is $22,000. We have to start somewhere." Wow! We have to start somewhere? He was basically telling the customer that the price was a starting price and that he was going to discount it.
  • Close customers on payments instead of price. Odds are that if they like the payment, they won't ask the price.
  • Convert customers to leasing so you can show them a lower payment and therefore hold gross. By the way--you can sell a car for over sticker and leasing makes it easier.
  • If someone asks for a discount, pause for a second (so you don't fall into the discount trap) and justify the price. "Mr. Customer, these are the hottest cars around and we are selling out of them. As a matter of fact, we could probably sell them for a $1000 more but we don't want to gouge our customers like the gas companies are gouging us."
  • If they make you an offer that is a great deal for you--don't hook up immediately. Try to bump them a little so they don't think they left money on the table. I once had a customer make an offer and I immediately accepted it and he frowned and said, "You're making too much money on me." That will never happen again, I promise you!
  • Show rebates as a discount. "This car is $16500 and we have $3000 off so you can buy it for $13500."
  • Close them with an either/or. Lets say sticker is $20,000 and the car has a $2000 rebate of 2.9% financing. Present it like this: "Mr. Customer, you can buy the car for $20,000 at 2.9% or for $18,000. Which would work better for you?"
  • Work them for a lot of money down. Watch how fast price doesn't matter if they negotiate money down.
Well, like I said--a few good tips--hope they help you. Please don't forget that I sell some great CRM follow up software for car salespeople! Go Red Wings/Pistons/uh--Tigers?!?!?

Marv
www.carsalesassistant.com

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Weekend Sale

Hi!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am running a Memorial Weekend Sale--Car Sales Assistant for only $69.99 per copy (normally $89.99 per copy.)


Also, you can purchase by visiting my website here.

Thanks a million!

Marv

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'm Just Looking

When asked what car salespeople would love to learn, most will say, "How to overcome 'I'm just looking.'"

One of my first jobs in sales was at Sears selling computer, early cell phones (the ones that were about as large as a shoe-box) and other home/office equipment. At one point, I told a fellow worker that if one more person said "I'm just looking" then I was going to quit. So, I went up to a customer and said, "Can I help you?" and they said, "I'm just looking." Argh!

I didn't quit like I said but believe me, I was at wits end and I wanted to.

OK--what is the moral of this first part? The moral is if you ask someone if you can help them, they will answer "I'm just looking" about 95% of the time!

So, the first way to overcome "I'm just looking" is to make sure your customer doesn't say it. Here is a good way to do it--to have a great greeting. Here are the steps to a great greeting.

1) Approach your customer with a smile and with confidence. Don't pretend you are not headed towards them as you get closer and don't frown (for God's sake!) while approaching them.

2) Smile and say, "Welcome to Marvelous Motors! My name is Biff, and you are...?" They will give their names.

3) Very nice to meet you! Is this your first time up here or have you been here before?

4) After they answer, keep asking them either/or questions, maintaining control and building rapport.

The second way to handle "Just looking" is to realize that it is simply a reflex action and that people are never "just looking." Yesterday, I saw a lady and her son outside and I went out there and greeted them on the lot. I slipped and asked if I could help them (whoops!) and the lady said, "I'm just looking." Luckily for her and me, I ignored it. Why was it lucky for me? I sold her a car. For her? She got the car of her dreams.

Speaking of the lady--I almost put my foot in my mouth with her. She told me that she kept coming back to the tan car as she looked at a tan Cobalt. I said confidently, "Well, Janet--if there is one thing I have learned is that your first choice is always your right choice--just like in school. If you are taking a test and change your answer, the first one was always right." I smiled--man I was so smooth. Until...

...Until her son said, "Actually, her first choice was a Ford Fusion."

Without missing a beat, I smiled and softly touched her on the arm and said, "I meant your first choice on OUR lot." They both laughed and 10 minutes later, I was doing the paperwork. Phew! Almost created an objection!

OK--back to "just looking." If someone ever says, "I'm just looking" then here are some things NOT TO DO!
  • Don't ever say something stupid like "I'm just selling."
  • Don't ever say something stupid like, "It'll cost you a dollar to look." (I work with a guy that says that all the time and he is consistently on the bottom of the board.
  • Don't ever do something stupid like say, "OK--I'll be right in here if you need me," as you leave them alone. Remember that "just looking" is a reflex action. Heck--I say it all the time out of habit when I am at a store to buy!
OK--if they do manage to squeak out a "just looking" then here are some ways to get past it.
  • Ignore it.
  • Say, "You sure picked a beautiful day to be looking at cars. By the way, who is the car for... you or someone else?"
  • Say, "Great! Are you looking at cars or trucks?"
  • You get the picture.