World’s Greatest Car Salesman – Part 2
Slimy Car Salesmen: BEWARE
There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s hell-bent on changing the way cars are sold. So put away those gold chains, shave that 70’s mustache, and quit showing us your chest hair. Things are about to change…
Step 7: Website
As I start to generate leads with emails I need to have a website. (Remember, everything I do includes my branding.) The site will offer my reports and information.
I’m also going to create on my website what I will call a digital “wall of fame.” Every single person that buys a car from me will have his or her picture taken both with me and without me. My assistant will upload every picture onto the website…and before long, the social proof that I am indeed the WGCS will be very strong.
Step 8: Joint Ventures
Okay now let’s start talking about how to get people into the dealership. Joint ventures are always a good place to start because you can leverage other people’s contacts and relationships. There are two different kinds of endorsements I will put together. First, I will join with local businesses like dentists, chiropractors, lawn guys, pool guys, accountants, the guys down at the barbecue restaurant, and anyone else I can think of who has a list of local customers.
In our system we have a letter that starts out with: “If you are even considering building a custom home please read this letter immediately. I want to personally urge you to take immediate action on a time sensitive opportunity that just became available if it’s at all appropriate and if you qualify. I feel like its part of my responsibility to identify superb values and pass them along to you my valued clients. As some of you may know last February I began the daunting process of building a new home. I really did my due diligence on the entire process blah, blah, blah.”
It’s a long letter—but it’s a really good one. I’m going to rewrite this letter to continue my branding of the world’s greatest car salesman and ask the local businesses to mail it out to their customers. The letter will talk about this guy who calls himself the world’s greatest car salesman. It needs to read conversationally. For example, “I thought he sounded like he was full of manure until I went and met him. When I found out that he educates me on this, that, and the other; that he brought me out to test drive the competition’s cars that he bought on his own nickel; and that he treats me like this and so on and so forth.” If you think you wouldn’t expect a letter like that from your chiropractor or favorite BBQ pit—you’re right. But this really isn’t about following standard protocol to sell 50 cars a month. It’s about finding creative ways to reach people with a creative and compelling message. Hopefully you’ve caught on by now that this isn’t hyperbole and fluff—I really am the WGCS.
Step 9: Join The Club
Now that I’ve got two joint ventures in the works—one with customers and one with local businesses—the next step is to create a free club for the people who buy cars from me. While I’m working on the joint ventures in step eight, I can round up some free offers and discounts for step nine. The club will include both free stuff and discounts from businesses that complement the car itself. For instance, you probably know that when you buy a car it comes with the factory stereo—and if you want a cooler one, you have to take it to a custom stereo shop. How stupid is that? What if I had a brochure at the dealership that in essence says: “I know the factory-installed stereo is just fine for most people. But 30% of my customers want something a little—or a lot—beefier. If that’s the case, here’s what I can do. I have partnered with ABC Custom Audio Auto to install stereo for my customers prior to delivery of the car. The benefit is that you can take the incremental difference in the price of the stereo and work it into the price of your car and finance it right into your loan. You’ll pay the exact same prices as if you went there yourself after you bought the car, but you’ll be able to roll it in with your financing.”
Not only will my customers and the custom audio shop benefit, so will the WGCS. If the audio shop agrees to pay the dealership a 15% commission on every stereo sold and if the average price is $1200, $180 goes to the dealership or, in this case, me, the salesman. You can run the calculator to see how quickly this can add up. I could do the same thing for hands-free cell phone kit, custom wheels, window tinting, XM radio service, and car alarms. Dealers offers these things but at rip-off prices. Everybody knows that dealerships don’t specialize in this stuff. That’s why customers go elsewhere. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of this? Do you think you’d want to be a member of that club? Of course you would.
Step 10: Leverage The Internet
Step ten looks to generate new leads using pay-per-click advertising. People research cars on the Internet, so why not reach them at this important point of contact? How about an ad that reads, “Camry, Accord, Or Malibu? Free Report Compares All Models So You Can Get The Best Car. Buy With Confidence Once You Know The Facts And Then Go To The (and my website)?” Or, “Thinking About Buying An Accord? Not After You Read This Report You Won’t. Find Out Which Full-Sized Car Beats The Rest. Free Report?” Do you think people in the market for a car will click for that report? Of course, and the people who click for that report are going to be pretty good prospects for me. Naturally, the ads will all lead to my website. Once they go to my website they’ll find even more information, warming them even more for me.
Step 11: Radio Magic
Ever thought about hosting a radio show? Well, that’s the eleventh step in this process. If you’re walking around as the WGCS, you should have your own radio show. Here’s how I’d do it. I would buy time on Saturday morning AM radio. I can sell advertising to offset my costs. Who could I sell the advertising to? All of my joint-venture partners, of course. The nice thing about buying my own radio show is I can say whatever I want. I can be biased within the context of my show and become the de facto expert on the topic of cars. I just want people to hear me on the radio and say, “Oh, I heard him on the radio.” If they didn’t hear me on the radio I’ll just tell them, “Oh, I’m on the radio.” My website will say it, my business card will say it, and my credibility will go through the roof. Remember, people always want to deal with an authority on the subject.
Step 12: Mr. Giveaway
In step number twelve, the WGCS becomes Mr. Giveaway. From out of the $2,000 a month I put away for promotions, I’ll spend $500 a month giving free stuff to my customers and prospects. Not just to customers, mind you. Prospects as well. I’m going to be nice to everybody. Gift cards to restaurants, sports and concert tickets, and movie tickets. Do you think you could get some joint-venture partners to give you this stuff for free or at least at a discounted rate? In an email blast I’ll give away two tickets to the Mavericks game. They can claim the tickets by calling my cell number. Surprised I would give out my cell number? I am the WGCS, trying to sell 50 cars a month, month in and out. I had better want people calling me on my cell. When they call me I’ll just say, “Oh gosh, you know what, John, I just gave those away to Steve. But I’ll tell you what; I’ll put you in line for next time. By the way, you know what? I’ve got a restaurant gift card. Let me give that to you,” or “Hey how’s the Camry going?” or “Hey how’s your car, how are things going, how’s your wife coming along, etc.?” I’ll do this once a week on random days so it doesn’t seem like it’s the same thing every time.
Now these are good giveaways, but they won’t earn me the title of “Mr. Giveaway.” To accomplish that, I’m going to give away a car. Not from the dealership mind you, from the salesman. I’ll save $1,500 a month for a year and give an $18,000 car away for free. I’ll do this once a year—it will get me some really good news coverage. I’ll throw a huge customer appreciation barbecue and hold it in some kind of public park. The local barbecue place I talked about earlier could cater it, and a few other joint-venture sponsors could help defray the costs…and they can set up booths or tables to promote their companies and gain some exposure. The TV media will eat this up: World’s Greatest Car Salesman Gives Away Car For Free.
It’s important to give the car away to a current customer because I want people to know that if you buy a car from me—the WGCS—then you’re going to have a chance to win that car for free. Now if that means giving them a separate car or just making their payments or paying off the car they bought from me up to $18,000, it doesn’t really matter. I’m going to give away a car. I don’t know any dealerships that give away cars, and I don’t know any manufacturers that give away cars. But there I’ll be—a little old salesman giving away the car on TV. This is the real deal. Over the course of a year I’ll sell 50 cars a month. That’s 600 people a year, not to mention everyone in my hopper system. How many will actually show up to the barbecue? A lot, that’s how many.
Step 13: Referrals Galore
Let’s go to step thirteen—a referral program. So now I’m on TV, I’m on the radio, and I’m giving away cars at barbecues. I’ve got reports exposing the industry. I have my own website. Now let’s put together a gift-based referral program. Remember, I earn $700 per car, and I’m budgeting some of this out to marketing. This is what I’m going to spend some of it on. I’m going to send a gift to my customers to thank them. Maybe it’s a $25 gift card for Chili’s with some M&M’s in the package to give it some heft; it just needs to be enough to say thanks and to open the door to ask for a referral. My assistant will coordinate this for me. The hopper system will take care of periodically pinging them. When I get referrals, I will send them my reports and enter them into my hopper system. It shouldn’t take too long for the WGCS to get a few referrals. Heck, I might give their friends a new car.
Step 14: Everything Else
The last step isn’t so much a step as it is a catch-all. It’s just some other stuff that I thought of but didn’t know where to put it. I guess it all relates to customer experience.
I’m going to have a cubicle just like all of the other salesmen. I’m not trying to be a prima donna with my own office. Just give me a cubicle where I can hang pictures of my family so that I look like a credible, normal person. I’m also going to have my wall of fame pictures physically hung in there, too. I’ll get a huge bulletin board and tack them up—after a while the pictures will overrun the board… pictures will be tacked over pictures. People will look at that and say, “My gosh, how many pictures have you got on there?” The answer will be, “A lot.”
In my cubicle I will also have a fridge stocked with drinks, snacks, and candy for the kids. You’ve got to have candy for the kids. I’m going to offer snacks, drinks, and the like, and I’m going to pull them out of my own fridge. They are going to see that’s this guy pulls these snacks and these drinks out of his own fridge. “Oh, I would hope so,” they’ll think, “He is the world’s greatest car salesman.”
Another way I’ll innovate the customer experience is to set appointments with customers. If I’m going to sell 50 cars, I can’t cram them all into Friday and Saturday. I’m going to have to set appointments during the week. They’ll come in on Tuesday at 2PM or Thursday at 5PM for their chance to talk to the WGCS, to test drive my cars, to be educated, etc.
So…what’s the verdict? WGCS? Something even close to it? Here’s the point—you can eke out an existence in your business doing things the same old way—or you can have some fun with it, innovate yourself, and shoot for the stars. Either way, you’ll put in the hours and get a paycheck. My vote is to have some fun and get a bigger paycheck for those same hours invested. You might even develop a few raving fans along the way.
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