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Ron Henson

Ron Henson GSM

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Dealership Operations 101: The Meet & Greet

fc8e4ac5379b3de5e49da541fdf7d813.jpg?t=1I often like to reminisce about some of the seemingly lost arts of sales.  When I got into the sales business over 25 years ago, I read everything I could get my hands on in regards to the art of building relationships and selling.  I loved, and still love, reading Joe Girard, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar and many others.  Here's the thing.....I often wonder if the art of putting a customer at ease, bringing down barriers, and building rapport has gone the way of rear facing third row seating in station wagons and smoking on airplanes.

Cliché alert!  You only get one chance to make a first impression. This oldie but goodie rings true every single day with every single person that you meet and it truly is an art form to make that first impression as good as it can be.  Guests at your dealership arrive with force fields fully operational, and the sales pros that can artfully and tactfully bring those force fields down are the one's who find success, and most likely the one's who are winning your sales board on a consistent basis.

Through piecing together some of the tips I have learned over the years from pros like I mentioned earlier, as well as many others, I present some ideas on how your team can do a better job in this area.

  • Dress for Success
  • Smile
  • Stop what you're doing and focus on them
  • Show rather than tell
  • Ask questions
  • Be complementary
  • Find common ground
  • Avoid the overused, "Can I help you?"  
  • Get their name(s) and use them

These are just a few items that can provide you with sales meeting content for a solid week!  I know it seems somewhat rudimentary, but I think it gets overlooked when we are teaching sales skills.  How about role playing the meet and greet in your next sales meeting and evaluating where your team's skill set resides in this area?  I'd wager that you may be surprised at the outcome and you just might see that focusing on this topic for a few days could reap immediate benefits for your staff.

A final thought: Building rapport is synonymous with building credibility, and people want to buy from those who are credible.

Let's move some metal!


Ron Henson, DrivingSales

Ron Henson is the director of dealer services for DrivingSales and DrivingSales University. Prior to joining the DrivingSales team, he spent over 20 years in the retail side of the industry, most recently as the General Manager of a very successful Honda dealership.

Ron is an accomplished dealership operations expert and trainer and has a passion for the car business that he willingly shares by speaking at many industry events, conferences, and 20 groups in the United States and Canada.

Ron is an avid sports enthusiast and spends much of his free time watching his kids play football and soccer. He lives in Bountiful, Utah with his wife of 23 years and three children.

Shannon Hammons
Good Read Ron
Dustin Lyons
Its always good to go back to the basics and make sure that the right foundation is there.
Ron Henson
Thanks guys. As I travel the country talking to dealers I find that many are chasing the latest and greatest doohicky, but are forgetting that the basics of selling are still vital. Thanks for your comments.
Lauren Moses
Very Great read Ron. And the basics really do get lost in such a fast paced world. When you can pretty much sell a car without the customer having to come in the dealership it leaves a lot of room for loss of personal touches like a simple handshake and how are you doing?

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