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The secret to being successful in the car business

On this episode of Saturday Morning Sales Meeting, Jonathan Dawson, founder of Sellchology and host of CBT’s Mind Your Own Business, recommends if you want to be successful in the car business, you have to leave the car business mentality behind.


Jonathan Dawson:
Are you ready for a rather weird Saturday morning sales meeting? Might be one of the weirdest ones you’ve had in a while. You see I’m here to tell you that the secret to being successful in the car business is to actually quit the car business. That’s right. I’m asking all of you watching this to get out of the car business as fast as possible. Now hang with me for a second so you understand what I’m saying. You see the car business is a competitive business. The car business is a grind of a business. The car business is a commodity driven business. You’ve got vendors that make your job harder. You got customers competing you against the dealer down the road. The car business, quite frankly sucks. It’s a lot of hours. It’s a lot of headache. It’s a lot of stress. The car business is draining to your soul. But here, here’s another way to approach this business.

Get out of the car business and get into the raving fan advocacy business. Hear me out. See, the raving fan advocacy business is a completely different kind of business. I’m no longer trying to transact with a buyer. I’m no longer trying to see if I can sell a car. See, many of you are coming in today thinking like I got to sell a car today. How do I sell a car? I got to sell my next car. The problem with that is you go from hero to zero every day and every month, hard reset, starting the clock over and over and over. If you sell a car, but you don’t create a raving fan advocate, you, my friend go from hero to zero all over again. And that is a grind. That takes too much time. That’s a lot of stress. But if you can create raving fan advocates, what happens is you build leverage. What happens is you build a business.

See, a raving fan advocate is someone who will go out of their way to see you succeed. An advocate is somebody who will actually do whatever it takes to make sure you succeed. You can’t just sell a car and think that that’s an accomplishment in the industry anymore. It’s too much work. Instead, create a raving fan advocate. Ask a new question while you’re with your customer today instead of doing kind of what it takes to sell a car, because you know and I know you can skip steps and still sell a car. Hey, let’s be honest. You cannot do a demo drive and sell a car. You cannot do a proper walk around and sell a car. You cannot ask great questions and the customer can still buy a car. But if you’re trying to get into the raving fan advocacy business, you can’t skip those steps and still sell a car.

See, here’s the thing. I don’t want to just create a transactional buyer anymore. I even want to go beyond a relational buyer. I want to think generationally, not transactional, not relational, but generational. How do I sell this car in such a way that the customer wants all of their friends and family to do business with me. That asks a completely new question of the sales professional. What kind of walk around would I have to do to cause the customer to become a raving fan advocate of mine? While I’m on the demo drive, what would I have to do in the demonstration to create such a unique experience for my customer that they want tell the story of the demo drive to their friend?

It’s not enough that someone tomorrow says, “Hey, last week, or yesterday, or I bought a car recently.” That’s not enough. That doesn’t grow your business. What you want is you want your clients to say, “Hey, I bought a car, but I got to tell you about the experience I had. I have to tell you about the sales person that I worked with.” You have to become an integrated part of the experience, an integrated part of the story. You have to get out of the car business. See, the car business means you’re a commodity. If you’re in the car business, you’re just like another car. It’s plastic. It’s rubber, it’s glass. It’s steel. It’s just another car. If you’re just a car salesperson, then you’re just another car salesperson.

So instead, today make it an intentional decision. I’m not going to just ask questions. I’m going to ask raving fan advocate based questions. I’m not going to just do a walk around. I’m going to do a raving fan advocate walk around. I’m not going to just do a demo drive. I’m going to do a raving fan advocate demo drive. I’m going to do what’s necessary to cause this customer to say, “You are my salesman for life. And you’re the person I want all of my friends and family to buy from.”

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Jonathan Dawson
Jonathan Dawson
Jonathan Dawson is an automotive consultant, sales trainer, author, speaker and coach. For 14 years, he has been helping dealerships and sales teams improve sales, reduce turnover and implement effective marketing strategies. His core teaching philosophy is known as Sellchology - Selling through Psychology. This approach focuses on understanding buying behavior and why some sales methods are more effective than others. Salespeople and managers who understand why a technique works become more educated, empowered and effective.

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