Know Your Customer, or Your Customer Will “No” You

x3zw53I know my customer.

They’re frequently a one-legger, meaning they need another person to jointly make the decision, even if they called me first.

It’s the nature of the beast in my biz.

5276039Let me be clear: SalesCatcher is like a drug, so we don’t mind giving some out for free because they never want to give it up (which is why we have a 95% retention rate with dealers. Commercial over).

So how do I proceed? It depends who calls me first, the GM or the Internet Manager.

Now even with a free trial, a GM wants to make sure his Internet Manager buys in first, which means showing him or her a demo.

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Even though it’s only about $14/day, and Internet Manager or Director calling me means he has no power to sign that $14/day check, so he has to chase down his GM who’s usually so busy they don’t want to look at a demo. UNLESS…

Unless… I can get them to take a look at all the online sales they’re losing to their competitors because they’re making common but significant mistakes in their quotes.

Imagine a scoreboard over the dealership that shows how many online shoppers you’re selling to, and how many you’re losing to your competitors.

dealership_thumbIs the scoreboard really there? No. Are they losing sales? Yes, if they are ignoring what NADA and Ford research has discovered about online shoppers, or if they don’t believe SalesCatcher dealers who will gladly tell you how their sales jumped when they added SalesCatcher to their CRM.

Commercial truly over.

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Help Me, Don’t Sell Me

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I’ve come across someone recently who said with great distaste, “I could never do sales.”

When I questioned his hostility towards the world’s oldest profession* he quickly backed off, shooting out compliments for a particularly skilled salesperson he knew who could “sell ice to an eskimo, sell wood to a forest, sell religion to the Pope,” etc.

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But the compliments were insincere, of course. What he really meant was they were “as slick as snot on a doorknob.”

He thinks you have to lie or defraud someone to get a sale, and believes that’s what all salesmen do.

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Maybe some do, but the rest of us have figured out it’s better to help people buy what they want then to try to “sell them.”

We know this, and forget it sometimes when we’re “pumped to sell.” Being “pumped to help” doesn’t sound as sexy, but it could actually, well, help.

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Make it easy for them. You can even make it look easy when you’re in that helping flow. Who says you can’t find grace in your work?

feature_grandiva7* What some people think is the world’s oldest profession is still about sales.

Worst Joke Ever

0Why did the customer cross the road?

To buy a car from your competitor.you-think-youre-funny-but-youre-not

No…

That’s not something to joke about.

You can tell me “your mama” jokes, make fun of my football team or even my bald spot

imagesCA1KTRRWBut I will never find a competitor joke funny unless it’s about ME taking deals from THEM.

Because that is hilarious.

Not hilarious ha-ha, but because it’s a relief from the stress.

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I did all the right things, like responding to their quote request quickly; I put together a real quote using the locater to find the least expensive option that met their minimum requirements; I gave them a transparent pricing breakdown showing their discounts; I made sure it look better than my competitors; I worked hard on the follow-ups; I moved the needle in the right direction.

So the best answer to: Why did the customer cross the road?…

“Because he was coming to buy a car from me.”

Success1Were you expecting a twist ending?

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The Customer Code Has Been Cracked, Part 2

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They say there is nothing new under the sun

And that nothing can surprise us anymore in this internet age of instant information

But information is not wisdom

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“We are drowing in information, but starved for knowledge.”  – John Naisbilt

On the surface, wisdom can look banal, old-fashioned, cliche, and irrelvant to the instant gratification mindset we easily slip in and out of as easily as we move through a web browser

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So the answer is to review the fundamentals of human interaction

But do it slower, deeper

And the same information we’ve passed over a thousand times

Will absorb meaningfully

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A greater respect for our customer develops

(We will also have it for ourself)

That will better enable us to help them make the purchase they want to make

“Let the game come to you.”  – Phil Jackson

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People around you won’t know why your numbers are going up

You could tell them, but they frequently won’t hear

Deeply enough

“Before enlightment, chop wood, carry water

After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”  – Zen saying

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Trust that you have enough information

Allow it to seed, take root, and grow into wisdom

And the needle will move on its own

And yet, along the way, remember to never take yourself too seriously

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The Online Shopper Code Has Been Cracked, Part 1

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The rookie internet manager will think online shoppers just want the lowest price

That’s why they call them rookies

They haven’t cracked the code yet

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All things being equal? Of course they will take the lower price. Who wouldn’t?

But… all things are not equal

Your competitor is better than you

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Or you are better than your competitor

Which is true? Who is better?

The Internet Managers who have cracked the code – the ones who get it – rise to the top

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Some are naturals at the process; some of us have to work at it harder

But it gets easier when you know the universal truths (backed by sales numbers that don’t lie)

And it’s as plain as the nose on your face – or more likely, your customer’s

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This week, Part 2

Cars Are Talking To Us

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The swings in the car business can be severe, so we have to be ready

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When people are buying, life is good

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You feel giddy when the fish are jumping into the boat

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And pros know the next cycle will come…

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With the extra time we’ll have, we must remember to make a spotless first impression

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To make sure we’re always on track

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For the next

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