When I first started out in sales management, I used to load the guns of my salespeople with ‘bullets’ to overcome customers’ objections – before they had even come up.
After I’d valued a car, for example, I would often say something to my salesperson like ‘now, remember, it’s flat red and that’s not the easiest colour to resell. It hasn’t got a full service history, and it hasn’t got the entertainment system that everyone wants these days either. It needs two tyres, and that scrape down the side is going to have to be blended across two panels not just one. So we can give them £5,000.’
I thought I was doing the right thing. I knew they were going to get an objection, and I wanted them to have the ammunition to overcome it whenever it emerged.
In reality, though, I was simply wrecking their heads. They were going back out to the showroom or forecourt thinking ‘this is going to hurt’, and almost apologising to customers for the deal. Before they had even got an objection!
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