Back when I was one of the top three Cadillac salespeople in America, I discovered the most potent “high” there is. It was addictive, but fortunately good for your health, well-being, and bank account. It’s the “closing high” you get each and every time you close an F&I deal by getting a prospect to become your customer. This high lasts a long time, is cash positive instead of cash negative, and it never gets old. Closing deals is one addiction I strongly recommend for you. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Closing deals is both a state of mind and a consequence of well thought out actions.
Here are eight tips to help you secure the sale.
Stay clear of negativity.
Putting a positive spin on the things we say and the actions we take will help close more deals. Being negative can sabotage any attempt to close a deal. Things that start badly, often end badly.
Treat everyone as a buyer.
An accurate way to identify the most effective salespeople is that great salespeople see everyone as a potential buyer.
It’s critical to build value and rapport as soon as you greet someone. You should always smile and make eye contact. The importance of a first impression cannot be overemphasized. Think about how you react to a salesperson that looks disinterested or doesn't make eye contact. No one wants to engage with someone who doesn’t look happy to see them. How can you trust someone who doesn’t look you in the eye?
Perfect your greeting.
Many salespeople love opening up new conversations with “Can I help you?” This usually earns a response of “No thanks, just looking.” How about going that extra step by saying, “Welcome to (dealership name). My name is (your name), may I ask yours?”
The more you call someone by their name and then in turn, they call you by yours, the more rapport you build. Find the greeting that works best for you. Practice it and perfect it. Use a mirror if needed.
We’re born with two ears and one mouth, so we should listen at least twice as much as we speak. Rather than being eager to think about how you’ll respond when someone else is talking, just listen. You’ll be surprised at what you might hear.
Master body language.
Interpreting the physical and subliminal body language of your customers is crucial. Successful salespeople understand the importance of studying the behavior of their customers, as well as polishing how they present themselves. Don’t let negative body language scuttle your other preparations.
Always be helpful.
Sales trainers and managers constantly and exhaustively preach about the ABCs of closing the deal, when in reality we should change the “C” to an “H”, and call it “Always Be Helpful.” Top performers in all fields understand that if you actually help your customer, you have a much better chance of closing them.
Prospect. Prospect. Prospect.
This is perhaps the most important tip. Effective and consistent prospecting revolves around letting everyone know who you are, what you do, and where you do it. Have you ever heard the expression, “What if you threw a party and nobody came?”
A great attitude, a diligent practice, and all the preparation in the world won’t matter if you have no customers. And no customers mean no “closing high.” Your friends and relatives want you to succeed, so let them help you. Make a list of anyone that you’ve ever had contact with: past emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, those old Christmas cards you have in a box in the closet. If you think it might help, dig out your high school yearbook.
I’ll bet somebody on those lists needs a car, or maybe know someone who does.
Closing deals is both a state of mind and a consequence of well thought out actions. The power lies in the salesperson that focuses his laser-vision onto the next person entering the showroom and thinks to himself, “I’m selling that customer.” Because in order to get that day’s “fix,” you need to not only want to sell, but believe you can sell.
Larry Feldman has been in the auto industry since 1988 as a sales manager and then dealer principal and GM of Colonial Cadillac/Hyundai. He is currently president of Career Changers USA, Inc., a training and recruiting company. He can be reached at [email protected].