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Motivation is needed more than ever…Intelligent Motivation

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I bought a new car recently and so did many other people, but not nearly as many as a couple of years ago. It's real clear that the marketplace is taking more naps than buying trips these days. Showrooms and store aisles are not as crowded as they were. But there are still buyers out there. So, why aren't the salespeople even more vigilant, more innovative and more diligent in their follow through?

A few months ago I went to an "auto-mall" near my home and walked the lots and showrooms of six dealers on a Sunday around 11AM. I made a point of being conspicuous and walking up to the cars I was interested in, reading the window stickers and even browsing brochures in the dealership lobbies. Note that I said "six dealers". In Southern California, on a lazy Sunday morning when I was the ONLY browser/buyer on the lot, only two, count them 2, salespeople greeted me. Several other salespeople saw me, made eye contact and some even smiled or nodded at me, but only two came over to speak with me, out of six dealerships, two!

It gets worse. The two who spoke with me did not ask my name nor offer theirs. They simply said "Good morning, can I help you with anything?" I said, "I'm just exploring to see what's available." They walked with me and told me details about a couple of their cars but did not probe to see if I was planning to buy, hoping to trade or if I had any specific requirements. What were they thinking?!!!

They weren't thinking. I'm sure that the same passive "selling" behavior can be found in every industry, but why? Especially right now when every sale counts and some companies are having to lay off staff and close facilities. Isn't this the time when the maximum sales efforts should be exerted? Shouldn't we be coaching our sales teams each morning and reviewing results and observations each evening? Wouldn't now be a great time to do a short sales training session each day or at least every week?

As I said, I recently bought a new car. Now let me show you the "inside the buyer's head" view of what happened. The day before I bought, I visited one dealership and found a car I was interested in. The sales person who was "up" walked over and told me a bit about the car, then I left. I came back later with my wife and told yet another sales person that I wanted to trade my wife's car for theirs. We went through the usual process and finally the "finance manager" (translation; Closer) came over to get me to take their first offer. I declined and told him what I was willing and ready to pay. He said, "We are about $3,500 apart. So you need to either come up with more money or find another car, or sell your trade in on your own." I thanked him and said, "We are too far apart to have a deal." We left.

Now, they had my credit application, my business card, home and cell phone, had appraised my trade in and knew what I wanted in a car. They also knew what number would result in a Yes. In other words, they knew all they needed to know to sell me a car that day! One hour after I left, they had made no effort to contact me with another offer or suggestion. So I called them. (Talk about your eager buyer!)
I was a hungry fish already on their line and all they had to do was reel me in. No action.

I said, "Find me another car with the features I want that has a good enough profit margin in it for you. Get me what I want and I'll buy tonight." No call back. OK, if I had bad credit (I didn't) or wasn't a serious buyer (I was) or had some quality that made me an undesirable sale (nope) then I could say, "I wouldn't have called either." But that was not the case. I was a ready buyer with the money and the credit rating to do the deal.
Then I went by a different dealer on an impulse and found a car I liked. A model that I had never considered before. And within one and one-half hours I had bought the car, signed the papers and turned in my trade-in. They are prepping the car for delivery later this morning. This dealer is one block down the street from the first dealer I mentioned above.

Dealer number two, the one I bought from, was not dramatically better than dealer number one, they just happened to have a car I liked and would sell it at a price I deemed fair. They were courteous and respectful and they didn't play games with me, nor would I have allowed it. The result is: they made the sale…in a down economy, in under two hours, with no outgoing sales effort to bring me in, and with no referrals nor coupons nor special promotions. I just dropped in on an impulse and now I'm a customer.

Your customers are out there too. There are lots of people who are still buying and selling every day. But we have to step up right now more than usual. We need to be learning new skills daily, through online video, articles, books, discussions, teleconferences, etc. We also need to be setting goals every day and week, discussing them each morning and reviewing our experiences each evening. What you do each day matters more now than before. There are buyers out there but there are fewer of them, and you still have competition. Get better every day before you are forced to make a hard choice.

I'm here to help. Watch some of my videos on my Cathcart.com website, show them to others, read the many blog posts and print out or email the ones you like to others on your team. Explore my Online Store and get some of my e-books, books, DVDs, CDs or learning tools. Read some of the 75 FREE business book summaries available here in the Store. Note that I said free!

Call me and have me meet with your sales team or sales managers to help them practice Intelligent Motivation with your sales force. Sometimes a bit of coaching can change a mindset that then changes behavior and results in new sales.

Jim Cathcart is a training consultant, presentation skills coach, bestselling author of 14 books and hundreds of articles. A Hall of Fame professional speaker and industry leader.
His website http://www.cathcart.com contains free information, video clips and links to help you grow your career or your organization. To book Jim for a speech or sign up for
The Acorn E-Letter simply visit our website.
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