Get Better at Working Your Ups

Stop  Trying  to  get  More  Prospects  in  the  Door  and Start  Teaching  Salespeople  to  deal  better  with  the ‘Ups’ they  have.

Isn’t it lovely, the cavalier way we spend so much money on advertising, where we try to get people in the door, yet we spend hardly any money at all on teaching, training and developing our salespeople on how to treat the UPS we already have.  In most other big ticket industries, the training budget is the first and most important consideration in the salesperson’s hiring, development and retention.  Of those three, the only comparison with the automobile business is … _ _ _ …  hiring.  And truth be known, most dealerships have no idea how to hire.  “What, give an apptitude test for new hires?  Are you crazy, we need someone now! You mean we have to screen our applicants?  Who has time for that?  I have to desk these deals.”

This scenario is not simply sad,  as Daffy Duck would say, it is reprehenthible, it is dethpicable and it is dethtructive to dealerthips individually and to the automobile busineth in every thity in the country.

Our industry has no lack of creativity or vision, but we need to focus more on improving our dealership infrastructure. We need to re-engineer how we treat prospects and learn from other retail businesses.

For example, The jewelry business in almost every town in America has been in the same building, at the same location and in the same family in many cases, for 50 years or more.  Funny thing, they will spend as much time with you if you are buying a $99 watch, or a $50,000 timepiece.  And if you talk to most jewelry dealers, they wouldn’t know an UP from a delivery service.  They don’t need to,  because to them, every person walking in the door is an opportunity to provide the best customer service possible.  And in doing that, customer loyalty is not even a question.  Families shop for generations at the same store.  One more time, for you all who have 30 years experience in the car business, or shall I say, one year experience 30 times:  Families shop for generations at the same store.

There are multitudes of industries where the same effect takes place.  They don’t count UPS.  They don’t drive demos.  They don’t turn their salespeople over every three months.  They don’t ever offer their products at invoice.  They aren’t open seven days a week, because “we might lose a sale to the competition.”    They NEVER hire a salesperson, give them a days “training” and then let them “learn on the job.”

The really odd thing about all this is, every customer in every one of these industries  also  buys  cars, trucks  and  SUV’s. Your average pizza customer knows exactly how she/he wants to be treated when they order and pick up a pizza.  Your average diner at any restaurant knows exactly how they want to be treated when they go out to eat.  Your average grocery shopper knows exactly how they want to be treated when they buy groceries, usually at the same store their parents bought their groceries.

What would happen if you went into a pizza parlor, restaurant or grocery store and they used high pressure sales tactics, double closes, buy or die phone calls, or other questionable behavior to get you to buy their product?  Would you feel good about shopping there?

Selling cars is no different than selling any other retail product.  Why do we think we are so unique that we require a whole different set of rules?  The reality is, we do not need rules that are different from any other retailer.  Treat the customer with respect, fill their transportation needs, communicate clearly and sell the entire value of everything you and your dealership have to offer.    That process will insure you have plenty of UPS to work.

This article was contributed to the Carfolks Blog by Coach, Mentor and Trainer: John Brentlinger. John is the author of The Little Blue Book of Selling, a great handbook for anyone in the sales profession.   John can be reached at 419-604-0368

Image of Daffy Duck is property and trademark of  © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and  © Hanna-Barbera.