Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The "Great News" Call

When I first started selling cars, I never really had any formal training except a few tips here and there but one thing I was taught was to call everyone back after they left without buying and ask them if they had any questions. People usually said "no" and I usually left it at that and rarely ever had a be-back come back and buy.

Wow! How many hundreds of sales and thousands of dollars have I missed out on?

OK--a quick tip. When someone leaves and pulls out of the lot, call them immediately and leave them a message on their answering machine.

"George, this is Biff at ABC Motors. I have some great news! Call me as soon as you get this message. 555-1212." and hang up. Be very enthusiastic with the call.

OK--let's call this a test to see if someone is interested in what you have to offer. If they call back, they are interested. If not, they probably aren't.

Now--what kind of great news do you have for them when they call back?

1) You have another manager that wants to check out their trade and you really believe you can get them more money.
2) You think you can get them a better deal and save them a couple of hundred bucks.
3) You got more rebates.

You get the picture.

Of course, set the appointment immediately after telling them what the great news. I have another manager that wants to see your trade. I think he may have a buyer for it and he will put more money in it. When is the soonest you can come by--right now or later this afternoon? Always give options when setting appointments.

Of course, I sell cars for a living and know that they will almost always ask--how much more will you give for my Yugo?

Bypass it like this: I don't know--he seemed really interested in it so lets get it up here as soon as possible before he changes his mind. So--can you bring it by right now or later this afternoon?


So--around 2:00 or would 3:00 be better?
You get the picture.

Just a quick tip today--try it on everyone who leaves and you will probably get 20-40% come back up and 50% of be-backs buy on the spot. So, call 10 people back with a great news call, 2-4 will come back and 1-2 will buy. Talk to 50 people a month and that will be an extra 5-10 cars a month!

Thanks for reading my blog--I really appreciate it! Also, I know there are a few problems with Car Sales Assistant 2008 as far as installing and we're working on it so please be patient--I think it is a great program and once a wring out a few things, it will be even better.


Monday, January 28, 2008

What can we Learn by Being a Buyer?

I once walked into a furniture store to get a refrigerator. Notice what I just said--I walked into a furniture store to get a refrigerator! Mine had just died and gone to refrigerator heaven and I NEEDED ONE! I walked in with my wife and they had a nice lady at the door who welcomed me there and told me to make myself at home.

Great meet and greet!

We walked around and went straight to the refrigerators. A few seconds later, a guy walked up holding a yard stick of all things and started asking us a few questions. We told him that we were there to get a fridge and he started laying on the features of certain models while wildly swinging the yard stick as if he was a general directing his troops. Not only did he not ask questions to get our wants and needs--he freaked the hell out of us!

OK--so far not so good but I was still there to buy so I gave him the time of day--until...

...until my wife walked over to a washer a dryer (we didn't need one) and said, "Wow--this one looks nice." He came over a started swinging his yard-stick-sword and told us that he would get us a great deal if we bought both the washer and dryer.

"Uh...we're here for a refrigerator."

"If you buy all three you will get a fantastic deal!"

OK--time to get the #$@%^# out of there. "You know what? We're just looking and need to think about it."

"What would it take to sell you all three of these?"

"Uh--I'll need to sleep on it, talk to my banker, I have an uncle in the business, I only have 15 minutes and will come back, I'm just looking and I need to study it a bit--and just for the hell of it, I think I need to pray on it."

"OK--here is my business card. Make sure you ask for me if you come back."

I take the card and think to myself, "Not in a #$%@# million years!" but say, "I sure will--you did a great job!"

We started for the door and I over heard the manager ask, "What are they doing? Where are they going?" Wow--by this time, I was feeling like a number. Out of the corner of my eyes, I heard yard-stick man say, "Ah--they were just wasting time--they aren't in the market for anything" as he swung the yard-stick my our general direction as we left and headed towards Sears and bought a fridge on the spot.

My boss was friends with the guy that ran the furniture store and I brought up this story in our sales meeting and made him promise not to say anything to his friend (the same manager that asked about us as we ran out of the door) but of course, he did rag on his buddy and the guy did call me a couple of days later and asked, "Hey, Marv--you still looking for a refrigerator?"

"Nope--bought one at Sears."

"For how much?"


"Man--I could have gotten you a better deal."

Sorry, dude--train your salespeople and watch what happens on the floor--not just what happens when people leave. Of course, I didn't say that to him--I said, "Well, I might need a washer and dryer--I'll come by and see you."

So, what can we learn about this little true story?

1) Ask questions. The yard-stick-dude never even asked me what was important about a refrigerator.
2) Never assume. He assumed that I wanted a washer and dryer and I did not!
3) Never pressure someone UNLESS you have zero chance of selling them in the future if they leave. Subtle pressure is fine but know when not to swing the bat!
4) Do a proper T.O. to your manager--don't let him see your customers walk out and have to ask about them. I like to say, "Before you leave, I would like to introduce you to someone so if you ever have a question to ask when I'm not here, you'll have someone to ask." I hear people say all the time, "Hold on--I have to let you talk to my manager before you leave!" WTF!
5) Don't swing a yard-stick.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Minor CSA 2008 Update on 1/22/08

Hi, everyone.

I've been working on a minor update to CSA 2008 and thought I would share with you what it will have.

1) Added the ability to print Addresses or Customer/Prospect data sheets

2) Fixed a major error when trying to print your daily letters (Thanks, Terry!)

3) Fixed a major error with follow up not automatically being created (Thanks Anne-Marie!)

4) Some people wondered if their data was being saved in customer screen because there was no SAVE button. Actually, it was automatically saved when you clicked "Close." I renamed the button to Save/Close to make it clearer.

5) Fixed the pull down menus on the search screen and took away the search button from the customer screen (it is always on the main toolbar so it is ambigious to have it twice--thanks again Terry!)

6) Some people were worried that their customers and addresses weren't being saved because they didn't see them when they clicked "Sold" or "Addresses". I had both buttons only show people created within the last 90 days so if you logged a customer from last year, it didn't show up unless you searched for him. I changed that to showing ALL customers now so it will be less stressful. Keep in mind that your list may get big over the years so you may want to click a quick link or do a search for specific people first.

7) When installing CSA 2008, it made you download the NET 3.5 framework from Microsoft and install it first--this should not have happened and was a stupid mistake on my part--that should be fixed in the next install package--sorry about wasting your time!

Please contact me if any other nasty bugs pop up and thanks in advance for the help!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Car Sales Assistant 2008

Hi, everyone!

The release of CSA 2008 went pretty smoothly. There were a few small bugs found that will be fixed this weekend. Also, when installing, it downloaded a thing called .NET 3.5 when it wasn't supposed to so sorry about taking away 10 minutes of your lives!

I'll be working like a madman this weekend to fix the bumps in the road. Please contact me if you have any problems to report.

Thanks again!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Car Sales Assistant 2008 Now Available!

Car Sales Assistant 2008 is now available for download via my website at www.CarSalesAssistant.com

You can PURCHASE CAR SALES ASSISTANT 2008 right now!

It sells for $89.99 per copy or $49.99 for an upgrade from a previous version (must have proof of purchase.)

Here are a couple of screenshots--hope you enjoy the program! It will help you sell more cars and make more money.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Car Sales Assistant 2008 is Ready for Release!

The program is done and ready for release. I have purchased a good copy protection program (cost me $300!!!) and am waiting for a registration code so I can use it. That is all I lack to getting CSA 2008 up and running on my website. It may take them 24 hours to get back to me but either way, CSA 2008 will be up and running within the next day or so.

Please note that CSA 2008 does not have email support yet--it will in its first upgrade. Upgrades will of course be free to people who purchase it. It also doesn't have functions to import your data or from earlier versions of CSA (they will also be in an update.) I left these out so people can start using the software right now--it is the beginning of the year and we all have new years resolutions to work out, diet and sell more cars!

Thanks for your patience and I look forward to serving all of you in the future.\

Marv Chomer

Friday, January 11, 2008

Go Into the Light! There is peace and serinity in the light!

The end is almost here and the wait is almost over! The manual for CSA 2008 is done. All I have to do is a little more testing and find copy protection. The program will be up by Sunday 1-13-08!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Car Sales Assistant 2008 Status

The program is pretty much done. All I have left to do is write the manual and find adequate copy protection. The import functions may or may not be ready by release date but they won't be much longer.

Thanks for your patience! This is the most ambitious project of my career so hopefully the wait will be worth it.


Friday, January 4, 2008

The Power of Obligation

Want to sell more cars? I didn't think so--neither do I. You know why not? Because I am by heart a very lazy person and sometimes I don't "give it my all" when dealing with a customer.

It's simple--all we need to do is make a friend and we will sell a car. All we need to do is break the natural barriers that people have when they walk on the lot and we will sell more cars. All we need to do is find some way to obligate our customers and they will find a reason to buy from us.

OK--forget the first paragraph of this post. I know that we all want to sell more cars but believe me when I state this--and I am as guilty as everyone else--we don't do everything in our power to sell more cars.

The title of this post is "The Power of Obligation." What are some things we could do to obligate our customers to buy from us?

1) I like to buy them a drink. We have a drink machine that sells pop for $1.25 a bottle in our waiting room (or "Coke" for all of you southern folks--I lived down there for a few years myself.) I work with people who flatly refuse to buy a drink for a customer because if the customer doesn't buy--the salesperson just lost $1.25! I buy them a drink even if I know that they cannot get approved. Why? Simple--most other salespeople won't and you never know--they might have a strong co-signer. If I have a customer that doesn't seem to want to listen to me, I'll buy them a drink because who is going to walk out with a full bottle of pop that they didn't pay-for without at least listening to what you have to say while they drink it? This technique is used on a larger scale for the "Time Share" people--they give you a gift like a free night or concert tickets and all you have to do is listen to their sales pitch. They even tell you that you don't have to buy--just listen. "What's the catch?" you ask them. None. The law of averages states that if enough people listen, some will buy. If you purchase enough pops and it gives people more time to relax and listen, more will buy.

2) Spend time with the customer--a lot of time. Get to know them. Do a good demo. Show them around your dealership. Take them on a good test drive. Ask them questions. Get them talking about themselves!!! This obligates them. You are no longer the crook trying to take their money but you are becoming their friend. I have customers who have become better friends and have disclosed many personal things about themselves that they probably haven't disclosed to lifelong friends. They are great customers and they send me ton of referrals. I would do anything for them and vice-versa.

3) I know the numbers--if you let someone leave the dealership you will probably never see them again--at least not 80-90% of them. I believe in doing everything in your power to sell a car but you know what? Never make them feel bad for leaving or never let them leave being mad at you. When they leave, I immediately send them a letter thanking them for their time--by the way ( I do sell software so I have to put a plug in for it...) Car Sales Assistant handles this automatically. CSA 2008 will even handle it better (still a couple of days out but will be out very soon...) Don't make the letter seem like a form letter... you know the type... Dear John Jacob Smith, Jr. , thank you for visiting me at Biff Motors, Inc. We appreciate your considering leasing/buying the blah blah blah. I know I sell software that prints such letters but you know what? Do a better job writing them than your dealer can. You know what's important to your customers--they don't. Hand write a little P.S. at the end--be sincere! Other salespeople won't do it and it will obligate them to you.

4) Use your customer to self evaluate yourself. This is tough because we never like to hear what we did wrong. If you are sincere about it, they will appreciate it.

5) Complement your customers. I don't care how much you hate the person you are dealing with, you can always find something to complement them on. Whether it is their children, their vehicle, a watch they are wearing, the sports team on their hat--find something and be sincere about it. I love complements--don't you? I once was looking at computers (and having trouble making up my mind) and the guy at Best Buy asked me which one I was looking at and I told him. He said, "Great choice!" and got the sale. Now I'm in sales and know that he probably says that to everyone but it helped put me over the edge. Use this method with your next customer and watch how well it works. "What car are you looking at?" I like that new Yugo. "Great choice!"

6) Things that can obligate them to buy from your competition...

  • Talking politics. You will probably piss them off with your views so don't do it! When I lived in Tennessee, people would always ask me if I was a democrat or republican. I would ask them back--what are you? Republican. Wow--me too! Or use the ever popular I've been too busy selling cars and taking care of customers to even know what's going on in politics.
  • Talking religion. You will probably piss them off with your views so don't do it!
  • Cracking jokes that are racial, ethnic, sexual, stupid. You will really piss them off so don't do it! One of our salespeople had a customer--a lady customer. She was sitting at someone's desk waiting for the salesperson when he walked in and cracked one of his weird jokes (they all never make sense to us...) he asked if she was "Here for the 3-legged race. Winner buys a car from me. Loser buys a car from me. If we tie, you buy a car from me." OK--first of all, why crack a stupid #@$%& joke like that? Second of all, she got a disgusted look on her face, got up and limped over to his desk. As if the joke was now not embarrassing enough, this bone-head says to her, "I saw that you were lame so I figured I would joke about it." Oh my God! She could have lost a foot to diabetes or in Iraq or had a toe blown off in Nam or burnt her foot in the house fire that killed her pet hamster or anything! Well, do I even need to tell the rest of the story? I will anyways...she didn't buy a car from us.
  • Talking bad about the competition. Instead of ripping them up, build your organization up.
  • Talking bad about their car. Never rip it up when getting it appraised--at least not out loud. Instead of cracking a joke about the dent in the side, rub your finger on it and say, Hmmmmmm.
  • And if you live in Michigan and they are from Ohio, never bad mouth Ohio State no matter how hard it is not to. Actually when I was living in Tennessee--I saw a truck pull up that had an Ohio State sticker on it. I greeted the customers and they said, "Nice day, isn't it?" (The weather was beautiful in Tennessee...) I said, "It was a nice day until I saw that truck pull up with that Ohio State sticker that fried my eyes--I'm from Michigan." They laughed but the joke brought us closer and helped us build rapport because even though we were enemies in the eyes of college football (even though I was too stupid to go to either college) we were friends in the fact that we were both Yankees from up-north. After they bought, they told me that they bought from me because they "felt like I was like them" In other words, even though we hated each other because of college football, we became friends. Now if only we could do this in the middle east!
  • And finally, if you are from Michigan, always bad mouth Ohio State because college pride (even if you were like me--too stupid to get accepted to either school) is more important than selling a car and don't forget it!