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.


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

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

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."


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.