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Dealers, GM'S, GSM's, and Sales Managers are the culprits in stopping the improvement of the current, aging methods of selling (i.e. "10-step", "Four Square", "13 Step", etc...).


Heck...we may as well throw in most sales trainers into that bunch, too! They're still training how to overcome objections caused by their own methods!


Interestingly, Salespeople (the 10,000+ I talk to) already recognize a need to offer clients something a heckuva lot better than the status quo ...they just don't know WHO to ask without getting the same 'ol - same 'ol! (Is that how you spell that?).


Let's take a closer look at the problem...


Most sales methods start with an introduction and then immediately downshift into "Qualifying", or "Fact Finding", or whatever the term of the day is.  This "Qualifying" is defined as finding out the wants and needs of the customer by asking, "What do you want?  What do you need?"


Sounds clever enough.  But there is a foul smelling chunk of brown stuff in the tread of this tire ...the client is wrong over 80% of the time (My stats have it at 82%) about what they think they want and need (and can afford).  So they choose something else.


So why do we force our salespeople to NOT ONLY ask the ridiculous "What do you want? What do you need?" questions, but then allow them to continue riding down this "client-leading" road for the next 1-2 hours. Especially when the client is wrong nearly every time! 


The unfortunate ending? Low grosses, low penetration levels, extended finance terms, and/or the client hauling-ass out of the showroom with one finger in the air.  There go the referrals and your on-line reputation is cooked.


Is there a better way?  Heck yes!  I've used it and trained it for many years.  But you see, the problem isn't "How" to do it better, the problem is that Dealers, GM's, GSM's, and Sales Managers don't ask "Why" they should alter the stale and wrinkled methods that were around in the "good 'ol days".


If you refuse to open your thinking, then you can continue to tell your salespeople they've got it wrong and get them to commit MORE TIME to re-learning the old methods (if you think it's their fault) until they can no longer pay their bills making $32K per year ...or You can commit to altering the old school methods to MODERN METHODS of selling that have been proven to work in today's market by PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOLD IN TODAY'S MARKET and made a GREAT CAREER DOING SO!


Final hint:  If your sales trainer hasn't sold cars for a living over the past 5 years, you need a new trainer!  Unfortunately, most "Guru" trainers haven't sold cars in 10, 20, or 30+ years.  Go figure.

Tags: auto, car, closing, deals, grosses, low, management, sales, techniques, tips, More…training

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Hey!  Thanks Matt!


Add anything you want that will help out the folks in the ADM community.





Thank you Matthew... Like you, after seeing Tom's process implemented, I became a believer. 

That's cool of you, Matt. Thanks!

Again with the commercial.  Are you his sales rep?


James, I am not sure who the sales rep question was directed to, but as far as I am concerned, Tom Vann was a mentor of sorts to me at a critical time in my career and I have studied what he implemented in his dealerships, which is why I believe in his sales process design and implementation. I have never received any money from Tom or his brother, but did turn down an offer to work for them a long time ago. When I endorse a trainer, product, process or use of technology on ADM, it is simply because I have used it, or seen it work and was impressed by the results. ADM sponsors pay for advertising space, but my endorsement is not for sale... I will not recommend something to a dealer that I do not KNOW works when used properly. Period. I have always been that way, even when I worked for Reynolds and then ADP... Now that I am independent, my opinions, right wrong or otherwise are truly my own and not for sale.

Copy of Reply by Tom Vann 

The solution is broken down into 4 main phases:  Discovery, Presentation, The Works, and The Finish. 


This structure is based on Implicit Conversational Management (ICM) as opposed the the aging and stale Explicit Conversational Management (ECM) methods ("Push" methods).


Discovery focuses on two primary client problems; (1) The Problem with their current mode of transportation (emotionally and pragmatically), and (2) The Problem with their Current Shopping Experience (Wants and Needs of the client are merely footnotes...and are of only minor importance.  We must discover these two problems in order to begin establishing the TRUST factor).


Presentation is the presentation we make of our Package of Extraordinary Benefits (PEB).  This has NOTHING to do with the presentation of a vehicle.  However, it delivers the client's first commitment to our service.


The Works is now the dissemination of decison-making information from the client (Their current process for vehcile decison-making, the "Trade", the preferred method of payment, and finally the financials ~ which means we are easily given the client's budgetary requirements PRIOR to ever selecting a vehicle ~, and then their credit situation and a final RECAP which results in a hard commitment by the client).  Again...there has be NO vehicle solution offered at all by this moment of the ICM, yet all forward momentum is delivered by the client.


The Finish is the final phase.  This includes (1) Management Introduction, (2) Vehicle Solutions to match the client's hard commitment (This is how we maximize gross adn penetration ratios), (3) Vehicle Presentation ($1,000,000 walk-a-round), (4) Raod Test, (5) Rate the Vehicle, (6) Deliver the Numbers based upon hard Commitment Criteria, (7) Referral Collection, (8) Sign-up, (9) Vehicle delivery, (10) Long Term Follow-up.


Objection overcome has now been eliminated. 

For those looking for more detail, I've explained (in detail) the Four Phases of VSM in response to a comment from James Jarett!


Check it out.  I trust it will help.




Tom Vann

I hear ya, Manny! 


It's important to note that Conversational Management (Selling Methodology)MUST allow the individual a platform for their own voice (like you said), while still following a MAP from beginning to end. 


Most individuals are not 60 car per month salespeople and so are anxious to find and learn from those methods offering the best chance for career success.  Unfortunately, many dealers choose not to adapt to more modern methods of selling.


Do you agree?


After all, we don't want our peers to sell blue shoes to a guy who ultimately gets kicked off his basketball team because they demand he wears white shoes!


60 cars per month!  Wow!  Where do you sell?



manny - I said nearly the same thing. I don't disrespect new ideas or packaging, but SKILL WITH PEOPLE will generally trump selling skills. but a selling process is important, as well - if managers and staff are on the same page and are consistent.

Tom, I agree with you 100%.  In fact, I'd go even further and say "People skills" trump everything.  And, if you're a "60 car man" like Manny, your dealer will probably let you sell cars anyway you want!  Remember what Abe Lincoln said when his less successful generals complained about General Grant's drinking.  "Find out what he's drinking and send all of my generals a case!"

Love it, Manny!  Every car sales rep should watch Kurt Russell in "Used Cars" to witness a graphic illustration of what you're saying in your 1st two paragraphs.  As to the "four square'" etc., I never used it, even though it was the practice at every dealership I worked.  I simply collected all of the information on the top of the sheet, then turned it over when I had an offer, and wrote it in "1st person" from the buyer.  Something like "I will purchase and take delivery of your (vehicle description) today for ($xxxxx, difference, payment, terms, etc.).  Then, have them SIGN it.  It eliminated the "shoot the messenger" scenario as they were the customer's "own words."  If credit or a trade was involved, I also submitted a full app., a photo of the customer's license, and keys to the trade.  I hated "air" in the deal as much as management.

Of course, I sometimes worked the desk as much the customer.  I know it's wrong, but when I thought management was "jerking the customer's chain," I'd never show the customer the pencil and, after waiting an appropriate amount of time, return to the desk, say "they're not buying it," and get a more reasonable counter offer.  Honestly, management left me alone, as they quickly learned I was far beyond any rep they had when it came to after-purchase relationship building. (As you probably know by now, I've been doing it for dealerships and reps for over 20 years.)  Believe me, I love the business and miss doing it nearly every day.   

The sales rep comment wasn't directed to you Ralph.  The frustration was his post was nothing but fluff.  I understand he has mentored you and can appreciate that.  But don't set up a post and give no solutions.  The only thing he offered was his service.  Kind of lame way to sell his product I my opinion.  Never seen anyone do that on this site like that.


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