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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Center for  Performance Improvement

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“Isn’t This Acting?” — How Top Salespeople Succeed

If you want to be successful in automotive retail sales (or writing service), you had better learn to adopt certain aspects of the acting profession.

And all actors use words that someone else wrote.

Like the pro’s, you need to practice enough to make the script become you. It must be natural. The bottom line is that most people don’t like scripts because they’re not willing to practice. That's the key.

In fact, actors are just highly compensated salespeople.

If they’re good, they sell you on a character and you buy it!

Check your attitude and enthusiasm: It's contagious.

No words will help you win over a client if your attitude is negative and your energy is low. Enthusiasm must be doubled over the phone or it will be lost to the client.

When the phone rings, or when the client approaches, take a deep breath, smile and refer to your words, or script. This applies to both sales and service professionals. Every time. Every interaction. Lights, camera, action!

Be inviting.

Introduce yourself and offer assistance right up front by saying, “This is (YOUR NAME).” If on the phone, unlike a face to face greeting, you don’t want to ask the customer’s name until later in the conversation. Tell the customer that you can help them.

Take control. It's a good thing!

Ask questions about the product or service they are interested in immediately. Utilize open-ended questions and get the client talking. For this very reason, using a script, with predetermined questions, actually works! Managers should assist salespeople in developing a list of pre-determined questions. 

“I can’t do that because it’s just not me.”

In training workshops, we encourage the use and memorization of scripts, presentations, responses to objections and transitional phrases. And we often get responses like “since those aren’t my words, they’ll sound canned”.

While we understand the concern, we would argue that almost all positive behavior is learned.

Here are a few positive guidelines to follow (Sales and Service Managers, take note):

- Prepare yourself mentally — attitude is everything!

- Begin with something simple like a greeting.

- Role play and practice with other staff members.

- Use the same words over and over.

- Video tape or record yourself.

- Practice in front of a mirror.

- Pay attention to your body language and tone of voice.

Top performers in every industry around the world put themselves on the line every day because they understand the benefits this type of investment brings!

Center for Performance Improvement dramatically improves the performance of key employees in the automotive, indirect-lending and healthcare industries. Get our report on improving CSI and SSI scores through in-store processes and immersion coaching: https://www.centerforperformanceimprovement.com/ 

I believe in order to be successful in anything, especially sales, you must practice your craft DAILY! The top pro's train and practice every day, the one's struggling to make the mortgage and end up doing all the lot work think training and self development is dumb. I like happy customers and Big paychecks so I train!! :-) 

Center for  Performance Improvement

Outstanding points! 

Brian Maxwell

This exact point is what I tell trainees. You are an actor when you get to the dealership. Who you are when having a beer, hanging out, and going to the movies should not be the EXACT same person while you're in the game. Certain levels of professionalism must be displayed to build trust with the customer coming to your store. Good post!

Center for  Performance Improvement

Thank you, this is a great point. We all need to be reminded of our level of professionalism, at all levels - and focus on the fundamentals. 

Tracy Gell

Chevy likes to follow Disney and they train folk to step off campus if you are not 100% at your best. You must be completely ready to handle a client, phone call or whatever before you ever decide to take one. Our team strives to do the same.

We also train daily on all aspects of the sales and client relations. We have nightly reporting that shows closing rations for walk-ins, phones, internet, 3rd party, etc for all departments and we have standards for all of these so daily focus is always the weakest link of these stats. FYI our phone closing ration is usually at 28% but when we started this it was 14%. Practice makes perfect or as close to that as possible!

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