Bruce Lee, Martial Arts and Selling Cars

Mike Stoner
Bruce Lee, Martial Arts and Car Sales You’re probably wondering how the heck Bruce Lee and the martial arts have anything to do with selling cars. Bruce Lee was indisputably one of the greatest practitioners of the martial arts. Mastery at a level such as he achieved implies great wisdom and insight. I’ve been reading some about him and felt several of his quotes were applicable to car sales. ”Simplicity is the key to brilliance” – Bruce Lee What is your sales process like? Examine it closely and eliminate all parts that serve no real purpose in accomplishing the goal of delivering a car. An Example: Don’t require a commitment to give a price. When asked to commit easily 50 to 75% of customers will say “no” as a defensive response. Assume they are there to buy and act appropriately. The no response takes our focus away from delivering a car and puts it on “how can I get past this and get them to write up”? “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times” – Bruce Lee This one is one of my favorites. How many closes do we really need to know? Determine a few of the most effective closes and use those every time. Expecting our sales staff to remember and then practice dozens of closes is unrealistic. Use closes that work with the customer, not closes that sound great to us. Limited closes practiced and mastered are more powerful than dozens seldom recalled or used. “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect” - Bruce Lee Abuse of the power of knowledge may get a car deal but honesty and integrity will get repeat and referral business. Better to be honest and helpful than to think and act like you have all the answers. “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.” – Bruce Lee Don’t push. Use the customer’s momentum to move them in the direction you need to go. Eliminate the portions of your process that create obstacles. Does it really have to be step 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.? Could it be step 2, 1, 4, 3, delivery? Customers are individuals. Sometimes in order to lead you must appear to be following. Don’t get locked into a rigid inflexible process, it’ll only cost you car deals. “Conditioning obstructs our view of reality” – Bruce Lee We damage ourselves with the beliefs we have been conditioned to accept as truth. “Buyers are liars” – They are not. We force them to exaggerate or protect themselves by the things we say or do. If this is your belief you are entirely missing the truths they speak. They’re trying to tell you how to sell them a car but you choose not to believe them. “There’s no gross to be made on new cars” – Henry Ford said whether you think you can or you think you can’t, your right. Reality is gross can be made on new cars. I personally know of dealerships averaging over $3,000.00 per copy on new vehicles and they’ve been doing it for years. So what you think grasshopper?
Bryan Armstrong
Mike, a great post and timely read. You know there is a school of thought out there that you can train everyone to be all things. B.S. What a waste of time and effort. I like that you encourage fluidity and emphasis on strengths here. I had a guy who was the BEST walk-around Master I had and was totally at ease with his customer's. He NEVER got a committment, nor did I force him. He would walk in to the desk and I knew I could pencil a deal because he'd sold the value. He "practiced that kick 10,000 times" and it was lethal. Thanks!
Mike Stoner
Thank you Bryan. We don't need nor will we ever have an army of black belts working with us. I'm in agreement with you that much time and energy is absolutely wasted trying to make all everything. In my opinion there are only about a half dozen "kicks" that need religious practicing. My belief is that the customers presence in the dealership is a real comittment. Unfortunately we can screw things up pretty easily just by trying to show off all our practiced one time "kicks".

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