Posts Tagged ‘t.o.’

One of the hardest techniques to teach a salesperson is that of the turn-over (T.O.). Boiled down to simplicity, the rules for a T.O. can be summed up in 9 words, “Before your customer leaves, introduce them to a manager.” That’s it!! How hard can that be, right? As it turns out, it’s very hard because we allow our feelings to hijack our disciplines. We walk customers for all kinds of reasons. (Walk is slang for letting a customer leave before introducing them to a manager) One reason we walk a customer is because we feel that we’ve made such a positive impression with a customer that we know they have no choice but to come back so instead of asking them to buy now, we sprinkle Be-back Dust on them and bid them farewell. Other times we walk customers when we are in our valley moments-these moments are when we are emotionally low; maybe we are having a bad day, week, or worse, we’re halfway through the month and we haven’t sold a single car yet-whatever the reason, we’ll bounce the, “I’m not buying today,” customer so that we can eagerly wait for the perfect lay down customer who will hopefully get our month back on track. And then there are those times we walk a customer simply because we just don’t like their attitude (I’m sure the feeling’s mutual). The list can go on and on why we won’t give a T.O., but when it comes to receiving a T.O., we’re all too willing.

See if this sounds familiar. A customer shows up on your lot, hurriedly picks out a vehicle and refuses to go on a test drive- reasoning that they just looked at one down the street “exactly” like it. Complying, you 86 the test-drive, hurriedly write up the trade, call to get a payoff, present numbers, …and they leave vowing to continue to keep shoping. Your business card just got added to the stack of other salespeople who thought the same way as you. If you only remember one thing today, remember this:

Never take a T.O. from a salesperson at another dealership.

Picking up where another salesperson left off is like you giving your competitor the PIN to your ATM card and allowing him to play with your money. When a customer shows up, they’re yours. What you do next determines whether or not they will remain that way. Ask any customer if they like to shop for a vehicle and you will hear a resounding, “NO!” Think about it, if customers hate shopping for a vehicle so much, then why do they continue to shop? Customers continue to shop because no salesperson has taken the time to meet much less exceed their expectations. A doctor doesn’t assume to know why you are sitting in their office. They ask a bunch of questions in order to gain a better understanding. Once they know why you are there, then they can diagnose how they will heal you.

Sure, your customers may come in weary and frustrated from shopping all day, but that doesn’t mean that you have to continue to add to the frustration simply because you’re the last dealership they visit and weren’t the first. They’re still shopping because every salesperson is taking an assumptive T.O. from the previous salesperson.

Your customer may have seen many shows today, but they haven’t seen your show. Be unique, creative, fun, and positive when determining why your customer is in the market, then you can discover how to select, demonstrate, write-up, and deliver based on those expectations.

It’s more profitable to give a T.O. than to receive one.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.

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One of the hardest things for a new salesperson to grasp is the significance of a T.O.  The reason why new hires are resistant to the T.O. is because of its negative thinking behind the word “T.O.” The only thing good about the word “turnover” is when it has the word apple in front of it. Think about it, if sales were a sporting event, you would be deemed a loser if you “turned the ball over” consistently; but a salesperson is required to “turn over” his customers. When a salesperson is hired, they are taught to be independent and thick-skinned, but are fearful of looking weak when they have to “T.O.” a customer, thinking the meaning of a T.O. is “I’m too weak to do this deal on my own,” thereby becoming resistant to their manager.  As a manager, if you want more consistent T.O.’s, you should change the psychology of a T.O.

·         No vs. Know: I know this may be hard to believe, but occasionally a salesperson will be confronted with a resistive customer, a customer, despite all efforts, is unwilling to pull in the same direction as the salesperson. The customer is not always saying “No” to the salesperson’s efforts, he may be saying, “Know.” “I don’t know you.” “I don’t know what your motives are. “ “I don’t know if this is the right vehicle for me.” “I don’t know enough about your dealership,” may be some of your customer’s concerns.  If you want to be compatible with your customers, think like your customers do and address their “knows.”

·         Be double-minded:  The thinking behind a T.O. is a different mentality for a salesperson versus a manager. To a salesperson, a T.O. should be thought of as “turning the objection.” The customer’s objections range from they don’t have time to not enough money for their trade, or a million other reasons why they need to “come back later.” The manager should think of a T.O. as a “teaching opportunity.” Turning objections over to a manager serves two purposes: The first purpose, the manager has a chance to turn a customer around and help put a deal together. The other purpose of a T.O.  is an opportunity to teach “hands on.” The best form of teaching is by example.  A manager also may be able to pick up on some quirky mistakes made along the way and coach the salesperson at a later time.

·         All-time assist: To use the analogy of basketball, a T.O. is grabbing the rebound and keeping the ball in play granting another opportunity to score (make a sale).  After spending time with a prospect, the salesperson is fearful of going too far and losing a potential sale, which means they don’t go far enough. Timid salesmen have skinny kids; you must exhaust all of your resources in an effort to make a sale. There should never be a time a customer leaves without buying and the salesperson says, “What if I would have…” Leave all of your efforts out on the blacktop. Keep in mind; you cannot lose what you never had. How can you “miss out” on a deal if you never had one in the first place?  What does the commission pay for almost making a sale? When an objection is turned to a manager, who has no emotional attachment, he can assess the situation quickly and take action. Sometimes the customer is on the wrong vehicle, other times it is as little as reinforcing what the salesperson has already said; while other times the customer may not be emotionally compatible with the salesperson so a change of face is needed. A high percentage of missed sales are not due to price, but are lost due to an incompatibility with the salesperson (i.e. appearance, attitude, or lack of knowledge); price was merely a smokescreen. Often, a change of face or different personality can reveal the true objection and thus clear the pathway toward a sale.

·         Strength in numbers:  The Bible says there is strength in numbers; two are better than one. You cannot win a championship alone, it takes teammates;  it’s called The Rolling Stones not The Rolling Stone; surgeons don’t perform open heart surgery alone nor do pilots  fly  747’s to London solo; so why do you insist on selling alone? A T.O. is a joint collaboration of consultants and management in an effort to increase the chances of making a sale.

If you are a salesperson, before you place this article in a discreet white envelop and stick it under your manager’s day planner, remember it is your manager’s job is to equip you with the necessary skills in order to become successful, but it is your job to do the work and turn your dreams into reality.  Put a different way, a coach’s job is to prepare you for the game, but it is your job to take the game winning shot. Players use all of their resources to win as a team, but are inducted into the hall of fame alone. Change the psychology of a T.O. and change your fortunes forever. See you on the Blacktop.