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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

That's what Jerry does

Yes! The training is over.

We did role-playing today - that's all we did. Of course, you don't get paid for training, but damn the education you get from a guy who grew up in the car business is unreal.

This guy's family owns a Dodge dealership and he had some kind of falling out with them, and he bought into a franchise of dealerships that totals 11 altogether. He grew the business he has now from practically nothing, and now he owns 3 out of the 11 dealerships; I don't think he's 40 yet. He's smart as hell.

He constantly talks about this one thing: "When it comes to a customer looking at cars on the lot, somebody's buying something: they're either buying a car from you, or you're buying their bullshit on how they're just looking. When's the last time you went into a supermarket and just decided to squeeze the produce, but had no intention of buying anything? You think these people are full of shit when they say they're just looking? Sure they are! They're buying a car - with or without you; so you might as well breeze past the b.s. and just get right down to business and get them sold. There's no better time to sell someone than when they're on the lot. Even if they come back, the best you can hope for, is to start from where you left off the last time, and that is the point at which they left. Do you want to make your money selling like that? I don't. I don't want you making your money that way either."

Dealing with common objections:

"I've got to talk this over with my wife. I'll just come back tommorow after we've had time to discuss this. We don't make any major decisions without eachother's input."

The owner's take on that? "It's bullshit."

I said, "Sounds like it makes perfect sens to me. I'm married, and my wife would just crap if I brought home a new vehicle without her input."

The owner: "How many people actually do that, though? Seriously! Think about this: Would you actually go on a car lot and decide to buy something before you talked to your wife? Of course not! This couple has been talking about a new vehicle for the past 5 weeks! They know exactly what they want, and excactly what they're willing to pay for it, before hubby sets foot on the lot. Here's the problem with hubby: he didn't see exactly what he wanted, or he thinks he should be getting a better deal than the numbers presented to him, or both. Trouble is, 9 times out of 10, he will never will see exactly what he wants because he's got a skewed outlook on the value of the vehicle he's looking at. In other words, he wants to buy a $20,000 for only $10,000. He'll never see a good deal - but that won't stop our competition from selling him something that's actually a good deal whether he thinks it is or not, because someone's selling him a truck or he wouldn't be at the dealership. That someone might as well be you!"

"Yeah, but how do you get around that?"

"Set a trap."


"It's your job to get all chummy-chummy with the customers: remember the Miranda law? 'Anything you say, can, and will be held against you'? Talk to him at first before the sales process officially starts. Ask him if him and his wife have been talking about the truck. He'll tell you, because you both know this is coming up later. Ask him what her opinions about the truck are. While you're just being buddies, he'll tell you. Ask him why she's on board with him looking around. Maybe he's just replacing an old truck. Maybe they need it to haul a camper or boat. Ask. He'll tell you. When the objection finally comes up about wifey's approval, say, 'I can understand, but isn't this truck everything you two have been talking about for a long time now? So when you say you want to talk it over with her, is it the color, equipment, something I said, or do you just want to make sure you're getting the best deal possible?' Then, he'll tell you what the real objection is. It's probably price. Then say, 'If I could get the numbers to line up, you know, in a way that makes sense to you, we could just get this shopping behind you and wrap this up and send you home in it right now, couldn't we?' If he still persists on involving her, ask him where she is right now. Wherever that is, tell him we can just drive over to where she is in the new truck and present it for her approval. If she's at a job where she can't be reached until the end of her shift, you've got insurance forms in your desk that will provide him coverage for 24 hours and less than 50 miles. Make him sign that form, slap some dealer plates on that truck, and send his ass home. The next day, he'll be in to sign the check."

BTW: that's what Jerry does.