As all of us in the car business know, there are sales meetings and then there are “sales meetings.” When it comes to the scheduled weekly or monthly meetings, most of the time the temperature of the meeting depends on how things are going in sales that week. This is especially true around the end of the month when things are coming down to the wire for unit sales and bonuses.
Since everyone already knows what to expect, these meetings generally depend on donuts and coffee to get things going. Usually there’s a pep talk for those who are doing good and a little kick in the rear-end for those who need a boost. The truth of the matter is, very few people are really paying attention, but boredom is usually easier to swallow when you wash it down with caffeine and sweets.
But, is that really the way to have a sales meeting? Aren’t these the times when we should be pumping each other up and getting excited about the day and the week and the month that lie ahead? Sure! But, for some reason we get stuck looking at a whiteboard with names and numbers on it and somehow this has become the standard to how a sales meeting goes at a car dealership.
In truth, the reason people aren’t paying attention in most sales meetings is because they are not motivating. They already know what is coming and it is probably going to be the same thing that happened in the last meeting they attended.
Instead of just being there, they should be learning something. If you want to get your meetings off the ground with excitement and motivation, and you want to give the people there something to motivate them, here’s how you can do just that:
Beforehand, go on YouTube and pick a few short two or three minute videos that will show you how to do something. It may be how to do a great Meet & Greet, how to Overcome a Specific Obstacle or Objection, or how to do a proper Internal Presentation. You might watch one that demonstrates how to handle a Phone-Up or how to shoot a Video Walkaround on a smartphone for a customer you are trying to bring in for an appointment. It can be anything worth learning and it doesn’t need to be any more than a few minutes long.
After you watch the video together, ask the group to participate and discuss what they learned. What did they like about it? What did they not like about it? How could we make it better? These are the kinds of things that can turn dull and boring meetings into a dynamic learning experience filled with enthusiasm and fun.
Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Learning is a hands-on experience when it’s done right. That’s why role-playing is such a great teaching tool. Have you ever had a sales meeting on Saturday morning out on the lot and had several different people demonstrate a walk around presentation? That is one of the most exciting and informative kinds of sales meetings you can have. After each role play, you should give the group a chance to critique the presentation and discuss the best parts. This also gives everyone the opportunity to make suggestions on how to improve on them as well.
How about borrowing a Service Writer for 20 minutes and practicing the transition from the External Walkaround into the Service Walk? This is one step away from the Close and it ought to be something that is so inspiring that the customer takes mental ownership of your dealership as the place they want to do business.
For more in house action, use live players or even bring in the F&I Manager and practice the F&I Transition and Introduction. Find out how they want you to prepare the customer for a successful turnover and how to make a professional introduction to the F&I Office.
Anything to get them motivated is better than just throwing numbers on a board and complaining about how bad things are.
Webster’s Dictionary defines motivation as: “The Act of giving someone a reason for doing something.” I like that.
You can also watch some goofy stuff every now and then too. Maybe a short clip from a Hollywood movie like ‘The Goods – Live Hard Sell Hard’ or ‘Cadillac Man’ or ‘Suckers.’ It might help the group understand why some customers react the way they do when coming to a car dealership.
Another idea is to watch something funny, and it does not have to be car related. Remember, a smile of laughter always makes others feel good. There is an endorphin effect that happens when you smile or laugh that can make you feel good from head to toe and isn’t that the way you want everyone to feel when attending a meeting.
The key is to make it a fun and inspiring learning event. The more your salespeople get involved, the more they will learn. Do this and instead of hating the boring meetings they have to attend every week they will look forward to them and it will draw them closer as a Sales Team working together to improve their success in this business.