By Rachael J. Mercer
Hank Nunn began his Wednesday afternoon seminar by stating, "Selling is the only thing that contributes to revenue. Everything else contributes to cost." This viewpoint on selling is one that Nunn urged participants to focus upon.
Selling begins as soon as a person enters your shop, according to Nunn. "Everyone sells in your shop," Nunn said. "You must create a positive customer experience by making a great first impression, greeting the customer properly, demonstrating customer empathy and controlling customer expectations."
Nunn reviewed the current sales cycle for most automotive businesses, and then discussed with participants the preferred sales cycle. He discussed the positive outcomes that can result from marketing, but he also pointed out ways in which marketing can be done on a case-by-case basis.
"Marketing is finding someone to sell," Nunn said. "Everything that everyone in your shop does to bring a customer to your point of sale is marketing." The key is positive marketing through positive customer experiences and complete management of customer expectations.
Customer sources can also vary from shop to shop, but Nunn pointed out several sources for customers that your shop may not be taking advantage of. "DRPs, customer referrals, commercial fleets and advertising are ways in which new sources of revenue can be driven into your business," he said.
Nunn explained that qualifying and selling is the most important step in the sales process. He pointed out qualities that customers seek during the sales process, including empathy, trust and a hassle-free experience.
"Questioning, listening and responding to your customer's needs is an important component to making a good sale," said Nunn. "Not only do you gather important information, but you also build rapport with the customer." Nunn offered attendees a checklist of important questions to ask, as well as tips to follow during the questioning period.
Nunn discussed the five stages of buying that most customers progress through, and stressed that effective solution providers need to recognize what stage a customer is in. He encouraged them to use effective selling techniques for moving the customer through theses stages.
Presentation is a vital element to making a good sale. Nunn suggested that making recommendations, suggesting next steps and offering add-on sales opportunities are three ways in which you can maximize sales for each customer. Nunn presented a ten-step checklist for making an effective collision repair presentation. He stressed a couple of these steps including using clear language, following a script, selling what's relevant and selling what's unique to your shop.
Nunn discussed an element which intimidates many managers and shop employees-customer's objections. "Objections from customers are not obstacles," said Nunn. "Objections are simply stepping-stones to the sale." Remaining consistent while acknowledging the customer's concern and objection will lead to a more effective close to the sale.
Nunn stressed teaching employees to close the sale properly, while continuing to up-sell and remaining professional even after the initial sale is closed. Remaining positive throughout the sales experience will lead to increased sales, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately, high profits and increased success.