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Sales is a full-contact sport — win with these three strategies

Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 07:00
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If you have been in the business any length of time you know sales is not like riding a bike. Depending on how the front counter is feeling that day sales can fluctuate. I was listening to Coach Paul Marsh explain how to stop that fluctuation from happening, and he began by saying:

I am a football fan and one of the aspects I respect and appreciate the most is the dynamics and effects of a great coach. In the movie, “Any Given Sunday,” Al Pacino gives an epic speech to his team at halftime in the locker room. I’ve watched this scene countless times. I never get tired of hearing him build the enthusiasm and passion of his team. He sends his team back out on the field fired up and ready to win.

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What I truly loved about the speech was his reference to the game being a “game of inches.” It really is. You need 10 yards for a first down which is 30 feet which is 360 inches. Every inch really does count. Reverse it and every inch you allow on defense counts just as much. Don’t believe me? Think back to those markers and chains being dragged out on the field. The tension building as they check to see if a team who went for it on fourth down keeps the ball or loses possession. Most of the time it is a matter of inches.

We operate in a world where our ultimate goal may be based on a yearly sales and profit goal. We can divide that goal into 12-month segments. Then into an average of 4.3 segments. Finally, into 5 or 6 segments depending on whether you are open 5 or 6 days a week. You can take that number down to an hourly or per-minute sales goal — I think you get the point.

What I’m asking you to consider is that winning, for shop owners, is really a “Game of Contacts.” Every contact is either pushing you forward towards your goal or pushing you away from it. There are countless contacts every day in your business. Each call, each in-store customer interaction, and each time we talk to a technician, are all contacts. When you talk to a counter person, and receive part delivery house calls — these are also contacts. It even comes down to every piece of marketing or piece of info about your shop in print or on the web. Seem overwhelming…don’t know where to begin? Take a page out of our play book for some easy wins.

1. Start with your employees

Developing and improving your technicians and other employees involves many “contacts” and should be part of your game-winning strategy. Most often, they’re the first interaction your shop will have with customers, so their well-being is important. How you greet them in the morning is a tone-setting contact. Do you grunt your hellos, or do you smile and set a positive tone and message to start their workday off right? It’s also important to seek their feedback. Do you have a daily meeting with them as a group or individuals to discuss the day and short- and long-term goals? Do you do weekly one-on-one meetings where you praise them for achievements, discuss performance and ask for their input and thoughts? Your employees should feel like they have a voice in your business and that their feedback is important.

Likewise, when your tech brings you a completed courtesy check, you should take the opportunity to coach them to make sure that they’re maximizing your shop’s sales potential. Be sure to take time to review and discuss their recommendations to cover what’s present and what’s missing. Also, make sure that your tech is promoting your shop culture properly along with those services.

2. Maximize customer interactions

As you may have guessed, there are many contacts throughout the customer sales process that present opportunities to increase sales.

When you answer the phone, that’s a contact that presents an opportunity to make a great impression. Do you sound professional, happy and easy to connect with? Did you ask for and use their name throughout the conversation? Did you have to ask them to come in, or did your conversation give them a compelling reason to come in? Having an incredible phone conversation plays into the mindset of a shopper.

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