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I love to talk, which is why, I suppose, I’m in this business.
I love talking about all of it. I’m always being asked 'which dealers are doing what' to increase sales and gross. I debate about which new makes and models will excel this year. I offer my ideas on how the new consumer-finance bureau czar will affect our business. I look forward to making phone calls to chat about Tom Brady or Tim Tebow…before getting to my point, how I might help a dealer improve his or her processes.
All my talk can seem productive, but there are times….
….when I hear a whisper of that old proverb, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
Why is that so hard to do, restrain the lips?
Why is this advice so hard to apply after we present the customer with our first price? Why is the urge to talk during this critical presentation so strong and soooo hard to resist?
How uncomfortable those seconds are. How much we hate that silence. How much we want to rescue ourselves from the emptiness of sound between us. We even want to offer the customer an out. “We can come off that, of course,” you nervously mutter to break the discomfort of silence.
Speak first and you lose. This principle is a first lesson learned in any art of negotiation class. We wrongly believe we are controlling the situation when we’re talking. We’re not; we’ve already lost control.
Keep quite. Let the leverage of silence work in your favor. Fight the urge to remind the customer how much they said they liked the vehicle, loved the color, and how affordable it was.
Even if the wife chats with the husband at this time, look elsewhere while biting your lip. Wait for the customer to break the silence. What they say then, if not yes, is the sticking point – and what you must overcome. This objection most likely is one your discussion on the lot, during the test drive or the negotiation failed to uncover and address – and pops up at this crucial point.
The tendency to keep talking right through this critical decisioning point plagues most green pea sales associates. Learn to be still, to understand that the more we talk we often talk ourselves into traps. At minimum, when we’re talking we’re not listening, and the only true way to serve our customer properly is to ask the right questions in the right way and then zip the lips and listen keenly. If your associates are plagued by the sin of too many words at the wrong times, consider a refresher course for them on sales and sales negotiation basics.