Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Be Nice to Customers

I guess I could just leave the title on this article and it would say enough but then who would read it???

OK--I had a customer a few months ago. The guy grew up with my dad, I got along great with them and guess what--they bought somewhere else. They didn't buy my brand, by the way.

I found out about it after making a follow up call. When they told me that they bought a Saturn--I could have been like a ton of salespeople out there who try to make the people feel guilty--you know the types.

"I spent 3 hours with you!"
"I have a family to feed!"
"Thanks for wasting my time!"

Or I could have been a professional and said what I did, "Congratulations! I really like the Vues. Do me a favor--if you ever need anything in the future, please let me know."

You know what they did? They had a sister looking and sent her to see me. I sold her a car. If I would have been rude to them in any way, this would never have happened.

Referrals are without a doubt the most important aspect of selling cars. Repeat customers are a given and if you do a good job following-up, you would get a ton of them. Referrals, on the other hand, are people going out of their way to recommend you.

Thanks for reading this blog!


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Day the Dealerships Closed

I work at a Chevy dealership in Southeast Michigan about 15 miles away from Detroit.  To say that the economy has hit us hard is a huge understatement.  I'm going to make a few claims before going on with this article...
  • The media (local news, newspapers, etc.) is a huge reason that the economy is tanking.
  • The media "likes" to publish/broadcast negative articles because fear sells.
  • In 13 years of selling cars, this is as bad as I have seen it.
With those three assumptions, on with the article!

Well, GM is closing a shit-load of dealerships and the big thing was waiting for the "package from FedEx" that would be a letter stating that you were one of the closing dealerships.

Early in the day, our dealer got a call from someone at GM--we were safe from closure.

A half an hour later, someone from a local Detroit news station came by--he had his little news truck parked outside--filled with cameras, microphones and the other evil tools to spread the bad news that spreads harder and faster than the swine flu!  Here is a little script paraphrasing the conversation with the bad-newsman and our dealer.

Bad News Man: So--did you guys get the "package?"

Dealer: No.

Bad News Man: So--you still might get the package, right? (he was really hoping that we would!)

Dealer: No--we got a call instead.

Bad News Man (Smiling): Did they say that you are getting a package?

Dealer: No--they said we are safe.

Bad News Man (Grasping...): But--you still--uh--might get a package, right?

Dealer: No--we are safe.  We are not closing.

He looked like someone told him there is no Santa Claus.

Dealer: Do you still want to interview me.

Bad News Man (Sad): I guess we can do a quick one outside.

Me (Marv): (Grinning but acting serious) Do you want us to act like we're closing so you can get your story???

You should have seen the bastards face then!!!  LOL.  Needless to say, they went outside for a hurried interview and the "good news" article never made the evening news.

OK--a few hours later--I'm talking to a Bad News Woman.

Me: have you been to any dealerships that are closing.

Big Fat-Assed Bad News Woman (Visibly Depressed): No--but we have several crews out there and a couple of them have gotten "lucky."

Me: Well, I hope you get "lucky" and find a dealership that's closing.  While you're at it, maybe you'll get "lucky" and find a baby that's killed in a fire or something.

BFABNW: I didn't mean it that way.

Me: Naw--it's alright.  It's good that you are doing this because you will be going through this in a couple of years when the three news stations merge or close down because people can get news faster and better through the internet.

You should have seen the look on the fat bastard's face!

OK--the day is almost over.  In pops a young dude with a camera.  I can't help myself at this point.

Me: Are you here to do an article about the great news?  You know--the new camera that the astronauts are putting in the Hubble Space Telescope?  It will increase its power by ninety times and allow us to see deeper into the universe!

Him: Yes I am! (He laughs)  No, actually I'm here to report the great news that you guys are staying open.

Bless his heart!

Well, there are still going to be more cuts and I hope we don't get chopped.  I feel I have some basic skills and that I can sell cars anywhere but I like where I am.  I have 6-years worth of customers there, the managers have faith in me and leave me alone, it's close to home and I work with some good friends and for an honest dealer.  My heart goes out to all of you who have gotten the bad news--I wish I had some words of encouragement but this is all I have.  You are skilled at what you do and can sell cars anywhere.  Good luck.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

CSA 7 On Sale for the Month of May Save $10

I know it's slow out there (I still sell cars!) so I am running a sale during the month of may. CSA 7 is now on sale for $69.99 per copy (normally $79.99).  Also, CSA-Pro (the dealership version) is on sale for $850 per copy instead of the normal $999.

To purchase, visit my store.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Script I Created to Generate Referrals!

OK--you're making your follow-up calls to a sold customer (say six-months after purchasing) and you are unsure what to say.

Here's a great script that I came up with the other day that will generate family referrals for you and maybe even some sales.

You: Hi, Jim.  This is Marv at ABC Motors--I sold you your Mustang a few months ago and I just wanted to check in with you to see how everything is going.  How's the car running?

Customer: It's running fine.

You: Great!  You know what?  I've never asked you--what other cars do you guys have in your household?

Customer: We have a 2005 Ranger and a 2003 Lincoln.

You: OK--the reason I'm asking--my used car manager told us in a meeting that he is looking for some great used cars.  He's selling so many--he's running out and he even said he will give top dollar for them.  Are you thinking about trading any of those in?

Customer: My wife's been thinking about trading the Lincoln for something newer.  How much will he give for it?

You: I don't know--I'd have to get it looked-at by my manager.  (Change the subject.)  What is your wife thinking about getting--another car or maybe a SUV this time around?

(Investigate a little and then go for the appointment.)

You: Tell you what, Jim--lets get together so I can get my manager to look at the car and so we can get your wife to look at the newer models.  What would be better for you guys--this afternoon or maybe this evening?

Customer: How about this evening...

You get the picture.

OK--what if the customer says the wife wants a car but a few months down the road?  Simple--put them into Car Sales Assistant 7 and have the program create a pop-up reminder to call them a few months later.

This script, I am discovering, works very well and it isn't a real high-pressure script.  Either the customer is going to tell you that they are in the market for a car or they aren't.  Either way, keep track of what they are driving so you can try it again six months later.

You: Jim--remember when I called you a few months ago when my used car manager was looking for cars?  Well--he told us this morning that he is looking for used Lincolns and I remembered that you had one.  Have you guys been thinking about trading it in?

Hopefully you get the picture!

Thanks for reading this blog.  I know it is getting tough out there--especially for you Chrysler Dodge Jeep salespeople and us GM people.  It is time to become professional and sell all you can. People are still buying cars--even from companies that have gone B.K. and those about-to. Follow-up on everyone, follow the steps of the sale, don't give up when closing your customer, realize that "I want to think about it" is an excuse hiding a true objection and most importantly, use my software!  LOL.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Minor Update to CSA 7 Online

Hi, Everyone--I just uploaded CSA7 Version 2.0.1 to now.  It fixed a small bug with widgets being in front of windows.

If you have already installed CSA7 and are not using version 2.0.1 then download the patch here. Make sure you do a fresh reboot of your computer before installing.

Haven't downloaded CSA7 yet?  If you are using Vista or XP Media edition (or if you know you have .Net 2.0 or higher) then use this link.  Otherwise (XP, ME, 98, etc.) then use this link.