Defending Yourself Versus Recognizing Opportunities for Improvement

Posted by Erik Landrum on April 12, 2019 in Administrative Topics, F&I Selling Strategies, General Communication Skills, Interacting with Colleagues/Internal Customers

We have seen it countless times, over the years. A new Salesperson joins the team and is motivated by hope for gain. They may not know much more than the very basics…be nice, ask a few questions, and listen a lot! Their lack of product knowledge may even
prevent them from speaking too much, because they don’t want to look as though they don’t know what they are doing. Surprisingly, sometimes they do pretty well. They may even become the Salesperson of the Month, the first month on the floor!

Without even realizing it, this Salesperson probably also follows the adage ‘the best time to sell your next car is immediately after you have sold one!’ He or she greets each Guest optimistically, expecting to earn their business. Things come naturally. “This is easy”, they say to themselves.

Nearly invariably, though, it happens! Sales begin to tank. Perhaps, as a result of acquired product knowledge, they begin to talk through the sale. They are listening less. Then, as necessity dictates something must change, they “get smart”. Short-cuts are learned. Pre-qualifying creeps in. They are now motivated by fear of loss. Anxiety ‘is in the air’, if you will, and the Guests can sense it!

Ultimately (if this cycle isn’t recognized and the course corrected) this individual probably won’t even be in the business, 6 months from now. When asked by the Sales Manager why they aren’t doing as well as before, this Salesperson is likely to lay b upon ‘the altar of environmental causes’. They’ll recite a list of items, well beyond their control, interfering with (or completely preventing) the success they once enjoyed.

We, in the Business Office, have been there, seen that, and know better, don’t we?

Ask yourself…provided I were having a bad month, how would I respond to someone’s question, “what kind of month are you having, so far?” Does your response tend toward anything like, “oh man, I’m getting all the cash deals, outside liens, leases, crabby people, out-of-town drama, get-me-dones, Charlie (your trick-bag specialist Salesperson) deals, etcetera?

If we find ourselves explaining away that which ails us, in this fashion, do we really know better than the above referenced Salesperson? Aren’t we, now, also laying blame at ‘the altar of environmental causes’? If our sales have begun to tank, is it because we now know everything…perhaps as a result of our acquired product knowledge? Have we begun to talk through the sale? Are we listening less? Has necessity dictated we made changes? Have we “gotten smart”? Are we now taking short-cuts? Have we begun to pre-qualify? Are we now motivated by fear of loss? Is anxiety ‘in the air’, all around us?

Buzz-Killington or Life-of-the-Party, with whom would you rather hang-out? And your Guests will be more receptive to which? Most folks seem to want to take example from successful sources, in my experience!

Think about it.

Good luck and good selling!

Erik Landrum
F&I Performance Coach at Conley Insurance Group

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