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The Art of SALES: (Part 1) Buying a Car Today

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Tom Zulanas

Buying a CarWith an old, run down Honda CRV having over 170,000 miles on the odometer in our driveway, my wife asked me to go take a test drive at lunch the other day.  She suggested, we should just see what type of cars and deals are out there, before we buy a car next month.  I'm still trying to figure out, how the heck did I say: "YES?"

Getting to "YES"

Saying "YES!"In our family beer distributorship, we stressed the importance to our sales people, getting the customer to say "YES" all leads to closing the SALE! 

Conversations may start out on a totally separate topic that connect with the customer - much like: "How about those Broncos?"  For the majority of people in Denver being Bronco fans, they most likely will start agreeing and telling you about their Favorite play ...or what they saw last week: Peyton Manning's pass to Demaryius Thomas, or Eric Decker for a touchdown; the play of Champ Bailey; Chris Harris' pick six, the sack by Von Miller, or Elvis Dumervil, etc.  

The small talk starts the habit of the customer to say "Yes" ...and relax.  Your sales person will continue various probing questions, allow this "YES" pattern to continue ...and ultimately arrive at the final value proposition of - Did you want to BUY this today?

My friend, who use to be a car salesman says it's a very choreographed dance; showing a car/walk around the car and talking about the features, getting the customer behind the wheel inside the show-room and then going for a test drive. 

Thinking through our process, even though we took a drive one afternoon and BOUGHT the NEW Car that day ...we really had been shopping for months.

Going from Point A to Point B

What's your Sales ProcessYou as a business owner, should NOT be fooled!  Sales DO NOT happen over night; you just can't flipping a switch and have everything run like clock-work.  Your SALES Process is a series of steps, to get a buyer from point A to point B.  

You want to make sure you do your part to help your customer along that process.  Mapping out this process is important, to see where along the way there may be some glitches or stumbling blocks ...and how you can correct the process. Some people know what they want, but others may just looking for information.  Are you able to identify who's who, and delivering what they want or need in your sales process?  Better yet, do they continue in your sales process, or do they just get ignored and drop out of your sales system?

A vast majority of TODAY's customers start their SALES Cycle by educating themselves by doing a Google search - looking at web-sites - asking friends, family and neighbors about a variety products.  Time magazine wrote an article talking about this Social Buying experience and how Facebook is getting into the picture - following the Groupon business model; the article is from March, 2011.

It seems natural for people to shop for computers, cell phones, and anything tech to do research on-line. More and more businesses are having both, a physical store AND a business on-line; just look at Auto Dealerships and Auto companies. Each have their own website and you can see how they feed their customer information about any of the cars available: options, colors, interiors, etc.  Some big businesses - like Amazon are only on the web ...and their business model is tailored to their customer's experience on-line; to make sure the customer is happy when they buy & will come back to buy again!

Many small businesses are missing the boat: like a number of local liquor stores, restaurants, craft breweries, wineries.  They have not thought past the four walls of their physical location, to imagine what their customers could experience on a web-site; and how that same website could help in the sales process and marketing/branding strategy.

What does your Website do?

One of the reasons we chose to create websites on the Adobe Business Catalyst platform - is it has SO MANY GREAT Features included; exactly what small businesses NEED; CMS (Content Management System), CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), blogs, email campaign, etc.

Can your website track or engage your Social Media fans (customers that use Facebook; Twitter; Linked-In, etc)?  Are you listening on any of these social media platforms to monitor what people may say about your business or brand, or building your database of potential customers?  The BIG companies are starting to leverage this BIG Data see the various patterns of their customers and being able to tailor their marketing message to be effective with new customers & old customers ...and doing this through their on-line business - website - CRM - email campaigns - social media posts - events - specials/discounts - etc.

If you, as a small business owner, need help to go through the different workflows of your processes ...we have some great tools and recommendations.  These tools SAVE you time & will improve your business ...which means, it'll make your business money.

Do NOT miss the opportunities today, to qualify your prospects & customers and start them down the right road ...feeding them the information they want and need.

...(to be continued in Part 2)