Tame Your Car Sales Slump
Every car salesman -- every salesman period in fact -- goes through a slump in their sales from time to time. Often the year starts out rocky for a variety of reason, like trouble at home, and then each month it feels as if playing catch-up will never end. This doesn't have to be the outcome. Something, in short, must change. Sales slumps are never entirely due to factors beyond your control, though these factors likely contribute. Ultimately it's up to you to reverse your slump. Have you ever noticed how, during your slump, the other car salesmen on your lot seem to keep scoring sales despite your inability to do so? This is precisely when you know you're not doing everything you can to up the ante and get back on top. Read the tips below to start pointing yourself in the right direction the next time you hit the showroom.
How to Get Back to Selling Cars
- Avoid negativity. There's always someone else at your dealership who isn't selling well either, and they'll suddenly become your best friend during your slump … if you let them. They'll maybe even make you feel better about your situation by explaining how much worse their sales outlook is by comparison. Negativity breeds negativity and we all know there are simply people out there who would rather complain than work towards a solution. Don't let yourself become one of those people -- if you do, your slump will stick permanently.
- Work longer hours. During slumps it's easy to say "I'm just burned out -- I need a break." But a slump is no time to relax. You need to work double, triple, quadruple time to make up for what you've already lost for the year. Focus on turning the tide now, whatever the cost, with the knowledge you can get back to normal once you've accomplished your goals.
- Buy something you can't afford … right now, that is. Remember when you signed your first mortgage and were scared you couldn't afford it, so you worked harder because of that fear? Or do you remember your bad credit card debt that lit a fire under you? Or the nights awake due to the uncertainty of where your next paycheck was going to come from? We've all been there, and often fear is the best motivation. So buy something high-priced like a vacation -- not only will you work harder to afford it, zapping the power of your slump, but you'll have a big reward down the line. Or buy something now like a new set of clubs that give you daily or weekly incentive and payoff.
- Perform your own lead hunting. If you work at a dealership that is usually packed due to great lead-getting, it can be easy to rest on your laurels when it comes to getting your own leads. But often a sales slump is started, or exacerbated by, a lack of foot traffic on the lot or in the showroom. Your dealership can't do it all for you, and if you blame it for your sales slump you're only wasting time and wallowing in self-pity and arrogance. Get moving. Call up walk-outs and do everything you can to turn them into get-backs. Go through every reference you have. Check up on people who said they needed to wait a little while. When you're hot and on top you probably rarely have time for this type of work, but when you're in a slump you can't afford to neglect it.
- Get back to basics. If you're in a slump and you're experienced at selling cars, you've likely got off track when it comes to the basics. Two of the most common "too smart for your own good" behaviors include: judging customers based on their looks or the car they drove to the dealership, and selling a car based on price and not a customer's need. When you have had a hot streak it's easy to think you know customers better than they know themselves; this is never true, you will always be surprised about what a customer can tell you as long as you dig deep enough. Understand everything about their situation and the perfect car for them will rise to the top … you'll look like a natural and sell the vehicle easily because of the lack of pressure. If you judge people based on external factors you'll kick yourself when you see the green horn salesman get 35k in hundred-dollar stacks dumped onto his desk by a scruffy-looking customer.