You are a successful dealership. You’ve sold tens of thousands of cars. But, how many have you bought? Until you experience what your customers experience, how do you know what kind of impression your ‘sales process’ left with them?
Fortunes have been made by well-known automotive sales training icons. How do these well know trainers feel when their methods are used on them?
The answer to both questions above regarding how your methods make the customer feel: Extremely Irritated.
Over the past 20 years, Tom Watson has been training a phone skill system that keeps bumping up against resistance by ‘experienced’ automobile salespeople. They insist that their method of taking control of the customer on the phone is how they made their name and fame (and the mansion and yacht that they own). Statistics from the last 20 plus years of training this skill set are: When it’s not used, 4% of the call ins result in sales. When it is used, 18% of the call ins result in sales. You can believe what you want, but all the popular training methods for handling the phone are one of the big reasons that people ‘love to shop, love cars, but hate shopping for cars’.
Tom Watson asks the salesmen and managers whether they think that, because they are in the business, ‘are you more tolerant of a sales pitch than your normal customer?’. The answer inevitably comes back ‘yes, we’re in the sales business, we have more toleration to sale pitches’.
Tom then role-plays with all the salesmen using the exact method on the phone that the salesmen and managers have prescribed. After the exercise is over, he asks each salesman how they felt about it (answering questions with questions, etc.). The unanimous response is that they found it very ‘irritating’. Tom then says ‘If this was irritating to you who have more tolerance to it, how do you think your average customer feels about it?’. This usually blows the resistance to his methods to the sidelines.
Dealerite has partnered with Tom Watson to make this skill development system available to those maverick dealers who don’t want to stick with the herd. Since this is the first training method that I have come upon that can be embraced by all of us people in the business who have grown tired of perpetuating alienating ‘control’ style tactics, I am truly excited to learn to teach this skill myself. I cannot say that of any other sales program I have ever encountered in my 37 years of sales experience!