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Nicki Allen

Nicki Allen Operations

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Overcoming Objections pt 3.

Sales Objections = Sales Opportunities- Part 3

For the last two weeks, we’ve been talking about objections that come during the sales cycle, from the customer.

This week, I want to talk about something that might be a little harder to address and control, but a huge factor in building (or losing) business, long term.

We’ve all been there…go to buy a product and somebody we’re dealing with is having a bad day. They don’t treat us quite the way we think they should.  Naturally, our reaction goes something like “forget these guys, I’ll take my business somewhere else”.  OR, “I would NEVER treat a customer that way!”  Really?  Never?  Ok, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  Let’s say you would never treat a customer that way, but someone else in your organization does.  The indirect result is that you lose this sale, and most likely, all the future sales from this prospect.  Because you and I both know, everybody hears about the bad customer service experiences.

Most business can compete when offering products, parts and pricing.  The big differentiator is service.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out or manage this concept.  You stand out in the service area by organizing it in a way that each and every one of us can relate to. 

Let me explain…

I am your paycheck!
 I’ll bet the last time you got a ticket and the cop was a jerk, you wanted to say “I pay your salary!”  Well, believe it or not, there are customers who feel the same when they visit your dealership.   And it’s true, without those customers, you don’t have a job, at least, not for long.  So we can all relate to wanting to be treated well, and we can all relate to wanting a paycheck to pay for the house, the car, the toys…you get the picture. 

So, now that we agree on this, let me share another little tidbit with you…85% of consumers shop with retailers who offer a higher level of service and 82% of those said they would recommend those retailers to friends and family.

Bottom line, service is the answer from start to finish.  Are your processes in order for all departments to be in sync so no one drops the ball in this area?  Sometimes we focus on making the sale and fall short on the money making service deliverables.

Don't assume!
It's all in your attitude!  Have you ever been guilty of making the assumption that a prospect is just looking?  Obviously, there is an interest or they wouldn’t have taken the trouble to haul themselves to the dealership.  Besides, if they are just browsing today, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to come back and buy from you tomorrow, or next week, or in six months.  But they won’t if you don’t show them excellent customer service, in spite of the fact that they aren’t driving off the lot in a brand new car.

Sometimes customer service translates into building a relationship. Sales people have different selling styles so doesn’t it make sense that buyers have different buying styles?  Some people buy based on emotion. They buy based on the look and feel of a car.  Others, on functionality…getting from point A to B.   And then you have the haggler..he’ll only buy if he feels he won and got a great deal. Never, ever, assume anything about your customer, except that they can shop somewhere else! 

Courtesy Counts!
Make sure everyone in every department is on board with this mindset.  95% of customers leave a business because of inattentive, impolite employees.   How many times have you BEEN a "lost" customer?  How many times have you been made to feel "invisible" or that you’re keeping someone from doing their “real job”?  Nobody wants to be on either side of that fence.   Good news, nobody has to. 

In order to maintain the level of great customer service you offer, I believe the leadership of any successful company has to reflect it from the top down.  It takes discipline, and it should be considered a business practice, not a destination.  Has your management team ever had meetings to talk about the importance of customer service then turned right around and complained about a ridiculous customer complaint?  You gotta talk the talk AND walk the walk when it comes to customer service.

Let’s start with your internal customers…your employees. How satisfied are your employees?  There are plenty of surveys showing a growing "satisfaction gap" between veteran workers and the newer colleagues. Out of the workers who had been hired in the last two years, 75% agree that their employer treats them with dignity and respect.  Those who have been on the job 15 years or more, only 53 % agreed, and only 50% believed that their bosses cared about their  well-being.

So, if long tenured employees don’t feel valued, is that any different than a customer’s feelings?

We get excited when we get a new job and we bust our tails. Then we settle into our routine, get comfy.   When the new customer comes in we are excited and bend over backwards to make them feel special.  They get discounts, incentives and even upgraded floor mats.  As a regular customer, we don’t even remember their name.  

So, sales objections aren’t just verbal, or direct.  They come from all directions and in all shapes and sizes.   Our job is to be proactive and figure out how to make and keep people happy, before they can come up with a reason not to be.

Bryan Armstrong
Synergy and communication between all Depts and the ability to access all of a customer's value to the Dealership can help lend credence and a much needed visual aide to these concepts. Great points Nic, Thanks!

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