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From: Jared Hamilton
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Joe Webb

Joe Webb Founder / Trainer

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No More No. 2

Back and forth.  Up and down.  Back and forth.  Up and down.  Back and forth goes the salesperson negotiating with the customer.  Up to the sales manager’s desk the salesperson walks and then back down to their desk they go with another price.  Another attempt.  This volley with the customer has become archaic and antiquated.  It is disliked and disgusting.  The days of penciling deals over and over must end.

No more No. 2.  No more pencils.  That strategy is done.  It’s finished.  Someone tell your sales managers.  Break into their desks and steal out the pencils and multi-colored Sharpie markers.  The consumer has moved beyond this tired strategy and is ready for new days of selling!  Stop the negotiating with customers and start the educating.

It is time your sales managers and sales people end the rigmarole they’ve used for years and do away with how they’ve penciled deals.  Instead, your managers and salespeople must learn how to overcome objections and negotiate through education.  The consumers are coming in with very specific expectations and very detailed research.  Why put them through the constant back and forth?  Instead, you must utilize the online resources and data at your (and the customer’s) disposal to validate the price you charge.

Dedicate yourself to understanding what all is available to your consumers online and begin using the third-party data as evidence to defend the price you are charging.  I’m not advocating a one-price solution here.  Negotiation is still allowed and going for gross is still acceptable, but be prepared to answer the “WHY?” question when it arises with real data.

We have now entered the era of Validation Selling.  We must prove the reason we price our vehicles by utilizing the data they already have.

Moreover, we must eliminate the tactic of writing down our offer on a half-blank sheet of paper with markers and pens and begin presenting our figures on a fully-printed out pricing proposal.  All figures must be entered into the CRM and printed out as if it were an official contract.  This must happen from the very first offer.  Having it printed and available in a clean format lends credence to the numbers your sales team present.  Certainly more validity than a four-square with $24,995 scribbled across it in thick blue ink.

Get on board with Validation Selling.  (Yes, I'm coining a new term here.) Throw out any previously-held beliefs that the customer still enjoys the ‘back and forth, up and down, crossed-off price here and slightly lower price penciled there’ strategies that you’ve grown accustomed to.  Educate yourself and then educate the customer with online, third-party data – or be prepared to overcome it.  You will sell more vehicles and build a quality customer sales experience at the same time.

This is how to sell vehicles in 2012 and beyond.  Education over Negotiation.  DealerKnows are the Validation Selling Specialists.  Let us explain it to you.  

Brian Pasch
Joe Sounds like a workshop needs to be added to the 2012 Automotive Boot Camp in May!
VJ VJ
Nice teaser Joe - and yes, this practice is "so late 2008"...
Joe Webb
I've already submitted two for AMBC that I am looking forward to. (Plus, I'm sort of including this as one of the topics in a monster presentation I'd like to give at DSES) - wink, wink, Jared.
Chris Costner
"Validation Selling" is a great term Joe. Great read here. Selling scared with the old back and forth is old. We are salespeople and it is time we start actually selling.
Joe Webb
Thanks, Chris. I had a call today with my one of my clients about the same problem today. I consistently see old-school management embracing processes from yesteryear and passive-aggressively resisting any improvement to communication or process with today's shoppers. It makes me curse... as it turns out.

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