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?!?!?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Weekend Sale


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!


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.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some Cool Tidbits

I had a guy today who told me that he "didn't need to trade." His truck was "almost brand new" the only thing he stood to gain from getting a new truck was "the warranty." You know what I told him right before I sold him a new truck? "If I only sold people cars who needed cars, I would be out of business. More people buy because they want to buy. You want a new truck--you have never owned one and you've been talking about getting a new one since I first met you four years ago. You deserve a new truck!"

I buy a new computer every year. Not because I need one but because I want one. I used to need a new one every year because I played a lot of video games on them and needed a new one to keep up with technology but now I just use my computer for programming, email, internet and this blog. None of those four things need a powerful computer. You know what? I will be building me a new computer this summer so I can have a bigger hard drive that I will never fill up, so my program compiling will be 1-billionth of a second faster, which I will never notice and so I will have a fresh install of Vista, which I will clutter up in no time. You know why? I work hard and want a new computer. I deserve one! By the way--I still play video games but have moved to the X-Box 360.

The next time you have a customer who is on the fence, tell them that they work hard and that they deserve a new car. Be sincere! I was with my customer today--and I think he knew it.

Another tidbit. I sold another truck today to a guy and promised that new F&I lady that I would sell an extended warranty for her. I priced it to my customer and she said that she wouldn't be needing it. I sold her one, by the way. How? Here's how.

I used a personal story about myself. I currently have a used Tahoe that I bought 2 months ago. I wanted an extended warranty but it had 77K miles on it when I bought it so I couldn't get one (75K is the cut-off.) My Tahoe is now in the shop getting a new oil pump (about $500-$700 IF there is no engine damage--best case) and I am paying $25 a day for a rental car so my wife isn't stuck at home. I told my customer I only make $20 to sell the warranty and that the reason I wanted them to get it was not the money but because I didn't want them to, heaven forbid, ever go through what I'm going through (which is hell, by the way--waiting for the verdict if I have a blown engine, or not.) I was sincere and honest and my customer is now protected on their purchase.

On a personal note--the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings are both rocking! Man--hope we have three winning teams this year (including the Tigers.) I (like everyone else on the planet) have no hope for the Lions.

NOTE: I got out of my Tahoe and leased an Impala--that oil pump dying scared me and cost $800!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Car Sales Assistant 2008 Update Coming

Hi, everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I have a new update of CSA 2008 that will hit within the next few days.

The big change is the copy protection. I had to switch copy protection. The one I was using didn't work right--upon downloading, people were supposed to get a 14 day trial and I don't think it was happening because I was getting emails everyday for codes so they can try it out. Also, the method of activation was confusing at best. I think the new method is much better.

Also, I fixed a few bugs. I had pull down date boxes for all the dates but the way the date box component was designed, it had to have a date in it. For example, take the birthday box. If you didn't know your customers birthday, you would still have to enter something in the old way so I made the date of 1/1/1900 as a default date. That kinda stunk so I switched to a regular text box where you, as the user, just enter a valid date. There were a few errors but I fixed them.

I am also revamping the follow up system. Quite frankly, it is confusing and it sucks. I for example, you can only generate follow up for a customer one time with the old system and if you decide that you want to add (for example) a 14 day letter later, if you have already created follow up for that customer, it won't won't show up.

I am working on a new system where you can add follow up on the fly. In other words, you can tweak the follow up at any time and the new follow up items will work for all customers. It will be less confusing and much easier to use.

Eventually, I would like to add pop up messaging again (like CSA 2007) but that is a little further down the line.

Thanks for reading this boring post and if there are any features that you would like to see in CSA 2008, please let me know!


Saturday, May 3, 2008

How to Know when the Car is Sold

How do you know when a car is sold? Good question. Before I answer it, a little plug. Go see Iron Man! It was a great movie--funny, great special effects, very good story and Robert Downey, Jr was fantastic.

OK--back to our little article. You know the car is sold when the customer is ready to buy it.

OK--next week, we'll have an article on how to get away with not writing full articles. Thanks for reading and have a nice day.

What was that? "How do we know when a customer is ready to buy?" Shouldn't that be for a separate article? Well, I guess I can add it here.

We know that a customer is ready to buy when...

  • They show "buying signals" like asking for terms of financing or leasing (money down required, what rate, what payment, etc.)
  • They get nervous or defensive. They know they are about to buy and try to put up a smokescreen.
  • They look excited and happy.
  • They talk as if the car is already theirs. "I can't wait to take this to Florida."
  • I love when this happens. They are at my desk and I'm ready to close them when someone calls on their cell phone and they say, "I'm here buying a car." God, I love when that happens!
  • If you park in front of the showroom and someone else starts to look at they car, it can sometimes help you. I had a customer the other day say, "Tell that person to get away from my car!" I smiled and said, "I will! Let's go ahead and get the paperwork started so I can get it cleaned up and away from that guy."
  • I once read if people's pupils get dilated, they are ready to buy.
OK--I know there are many more but those are some of the big ones. Also, it is important to add these statements.
  • A person does not have to say they will buy the car to buy the car! You can just as easily ask them for their drivers license, registration and insurance and if they hand it to you, they are agreeing to buy the car.
  • A person does not have to "agree that if terms are agreeable, they will buy the car right now" to buy a car--contrary to what a lot of managers think and believe. Now it is good to "trial close" to gain a temperature but lets assume that anyone will buy a car if terms are agreeable! I've always believed that the "if terms are agreeable" is a weak trial close but you know what? I still sometimes use it in the right situation.
  • I try never to ask someone what payment they want as a closing tool because they will say something low most of the time and back themselves into a corner. I can hear it now... "Well Marv, I told you we wanted to be at $99 per month!" Same goes for trades. I try to get out that info in simple conversation.
Marv Chomer