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Coffee’s for Closers…Negotiation AINT the close

I love reading Jim Ziegler’s articles there is a lot of hard core truth in what he writes, most of all you can bet he is passionate and believes and lives every word. While reading this latest article “Coffee’s for Closers” it floored me that we still see this connection between the “PRICE” and the "Close". What’s even more ironic is that is that what actually “CLOSES” a car sale is as old school as it gets and hasn’t changed in the last 50 years.


You all know what I am talking about…To put in James Carville terms “It’s about the relationship…stupid”


Now I am certainly not going to say that price isn’t a concern, you will address, it but I will say… IT AINT THE CLOSE and I will go even further and say… IT NEVER HAS BEEN.     


Back in march of last year after South By Southwest I wrote a post called “The Currency of Trust” in this post I shared my ideas on how trust was built in a car sale before the introduction of the internet and social media and how the internet and social media is redefining the building of trust today, and therein lies the CHANGE in the sales process.


It’s not a change in human behavior for the last 30 years people have been shopping for a car salesperson not a car. It’s a change in how long we now have to engage with customers a change in the channels we engage with those customers in and the way in which customers are starting to use the
internet to formulate their opinions of how trustworthy your dealership really is. 

This is a part of the “Old School” sales training I received from a set of Clint McGee Auto Sales Training tapes back in 1984 when I first started selling cars…yes I am that old.

The premise of this graphic was that if you took the time with the customer to get to know them, answer their questions, sell yourself, the dealership and the benefits of that car for their needs the “Close” would be relatively short and you would make more gross profit.


You had 3 days to do this over the phone and most of it was accomplished on the lot.

The “New School” and the fool here is the one that ignores this:

The customers process starts earlier because they have access to more information and with that access most feel very uncomfortable if they don’t at least do some research before they buy.

Make no mistake the customer shops for the car first and the dealership a distant second, but now the process of shopping for a dealership can involve multiple channels and there is a lot more opportunity for a lot more “Second Basemen” to be involved in that dealership shopping process.


Ease of access to information about your dealership and the ability to engage remotely has stretched the time a customer is willing to take to shop for a dealership & what used to take place in 3 days can now take as much as 90 days.




Because the customer CAN…


So what do you do about it?


You do what GOOD salespeople have done for over 50 years.

Listen and help the customer with THEIR needs


Be responsive to information on the customer’s timeline


Be transparent with the information you provide


Be authentic and genuine in your desire to get the customer the best buying experience
for them


This again hasn’t changed in 50 years.


So… “Excuse Me” but “One Price”… “No Haggle” these are just tactics they are not sales skills and for that matter neither is “negotiation”. You wanna be a good salesperson be good at the above, be prepared to a talk about your price what the customer gets and why they should want to pay that amount and buy from you. In many ways you have to be a better salesperson if you are a “One Price” store.


That’s my $0.02 cents…what say you?

Views: 751

Tags: automotive, dealership, ecommerce, marketing, media, process, sales, social, training, trust


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Comment by Mark Proctor on June 13, 2011 at 11:59am
If you spend 70% of your time on the lot selling... you will spend 30% closing. Spend 30% of your time on the lot selling... you will spend 70% closing. And if you do close the Sale; have very little commission to show for the effort. You can work smart and make a good living or work hard and make a good living. Combine the two and you become part of the 30% of salespeople in this business that sell 70% of the product. We are where we are because we stood on the shoulders of Giants like Clint McGhee, Jackie Cooper, Ernie Prichard and many more. Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Implementation and Execution are what matters. And Jim speaks the truth.

Comment by Larry Bruce on June 9, 2011 at 6:45pm
Thanks Thomas glad you liked it

Comment by Thomas Ieracitano on June 9, 2011 at 12:54pm

Bravo ........ Bravo !!

Well Said.

Comment by Larry Bruce on June 6, 2011 at 6:19am
No sweat Rick... I look a lot like Ralph. :D

Comment by Ric McCoy on June 5, 2011 at 5:10pm
Larry... I can't believe I wrote Ralph, or that you didn't call me out on it. My bad! I had just read one of Ralph's pieces.

Comment by Larry Bruce on June 5, 2011 at 6:32am

Ric Clint had a saying it was beat into my head because it was in every tape. "Make them spend your time" he would say, over and over. In retrospect I think we were spending their time and I think we were using that time to gain trust with  the customer much more than we were using that time to sell the car or at least I was.

Comment by Ric McCoy on June 4, 2011 at 8:50pm
Thanks for sharing Ralph. Glad you gave a shout out to Clint McGhee. Clint schooled allot of good people in the auto biz, but doesn't get near the props the Jackie does. I took a break from the retail side and sold Clint McGhee workshops door to door & shore to shore for several years. Also had the privilege to sell Gart Sutton, and was the first to sell Grant Cardone when he was relatively an unknown. What a educational experience those 4 years were.

You're story is dead on... In my opinion, the lack of the SP abilities begin with the owner and/or upper management, then runs downhill to the desk. Only 30% of dealerships have a line item on the financial statement for education. Most owners & upper management don't invest in their managers or SP. Most managers have not been properly trained, don't know or practice the basic fundamentals selling. Now they are to understand and teach relationship selling? They teach and train the SP the only thing they were taught and know... Price!

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