THE MISSING ELEMENT
Automotive dealers, like other business people, must look closely at their expertise in communications. And while specific sales techniques may work for some, it is certainly not going to remedy all that ails a struggling business enterprise. One can no longer assume that because they are competent and fill a consumer need that they will survive, much less prosper, in the car business. The highly competitive business of car sales is currently faced with unparalleled challenges.
At PCS-Global, we have shown thousands of professionals how to improve their communication style to result in mutually-beneficial situations for all. This innovative approach to employee hiring, training and staff development, as well as customer referral and retention, focuses on identifying set behavioral models and communication styles. This approach has garnered more than monetary rewards and increased customer referrals. It creates a climate conducive to maximum productivity, excellent employee morale, customer satisfaction, and company growth.
SELL YOUR STAFF FIRST
Each of us has a primary interpersonal behavior model (i.e. style) with various percentages of other psychological needs mixed into our total personality. Therefore, to assume that what motivates you is what will motivate your staff or customers, is often inaccurate. The key is to identify your own personal needs in terms of job tasks, and then employ those individuals with compatible behavior models. We know certain communication styles have specific strengths that are best suited for certain roles and positions.
Take time to evaluate each person’s role in terms of these necessary character strengths and awareness of the predictable and recognizable response patterns to stress. When you have identified these key attributes that you desire in your staff, you can better select the most appropriate individual for a position. Additionally, you will then learn what specific psychological needs each person has and begin to work proactively toward meeting those needs. The end result can be nothing short of mystifying; when employees are happy and appropriately positioned, they are better able to meet the needs of those they serve.
DEALING WITH DIVERSITY
Clinically, it has been shown that if you offer back to a person what they first present to you, you are better able to communicate appropriately. That equates with “customer satisfaction” as well as employee satisfaction. Reassuring an indecisive or insecure person in a manner that they deem acceptable equates with true professionalism and inspires confidence in the management and professional staff. Observing the offered perceptions of both your staff and customers, and mirroring those, can lead to a harmonious office environment and a productive and responsive business.
Customers need to be led to making appropriate decisions about their car purchases. What style of communication you choose to use with them may close the sale, or turn them away.
For someone who prefers definite and rigid leadership, a more laid-back individual may be viewed as weak. An autocratic style may be devastating to those who “feel” things. The individualistic manager or salesperson adapts quickly to his audience, providing leadership and direction which is most appropriate for the situation and person. The goal is maximum communication, but before we can communicate we must know the language each individual understands best.
PCS-Global encourages the matching of similar or complementary styles. “Differences between managers and staff in natural joviality, patience, intensity, firmness, rigidity or curiosity interfere with communication so essential to a positive working relationship,” according to Dorri Jacobs. This fact alone has a tremendous significance in the initial hiring of employees, as well as matching your staff members with your customers. As indicated previously, no longer are professional training, competence and experience the only significant factors. Developing compatibility is crucial.
When others are spoken to in a language which they “hear” and respond to, each person is provided with an environment conducive to productivity and harmony. This translates into an operation wherein the staff then can be much more responsive to the clientele. In turn, this will bring in, satisfy, and retain more customers.
MEETING THE NEED, RATHER THAN FORCING THE SALE
Prior to committing any time, energy or dollars to a massive advertising promotion, there are some significant factors you will need to consider. Establish clearly who you’re targeting and then reach out to them in a language they can hear, regardless of the media you choose.
Remember that we all are a blend of different behavior models. Tune in to the different styles that are most evident with your customers and employees. Then respond appropriately to what you see. Use this information to develop marketing strategies and establish an office environment which is appropriate, and effectively match your staff with your customers.
There are countless books, manuals and seminars that promote various traditional sales techniques. Although a lot of the literature is relevant, a great many often focus on methods of simply “getting your foot in the door”, several still are missing key elements of building rapport, overcoming objections and ultimately closing. What is learned is a canned approach can have disastrous results if that language doesn’t fit for the salesperson, or worse yet, is inappropriate for the potential customer. What differentiates a super salesperson from a mediocre one is relatively simple if you take into account the behavior and preferred language of your customers. Canned speeches offend more often than not. We believe there is real merit in taking a close look at who your potential customers are. Evaluate carefully how your customers communicate to help pick up the essential clues as to their individual behavior styles. Perhaps, develop a mini mental questionnaire which will help establish their unique behavior model. Be constantly aware of what motivates your own staff so that they will be most responsive to the needs of your customers. Speak to your customers in a language they understand. Provide an environment which is appropriate. Listen carefully, keep copious notes, follow up, be flexible and responsive, and make certain that you monitor your own needs as well.
By taking proactive approach, keeping communication skills a priority, and making a concerted effort to attend to the unique needs of co-workers and customers, you should be well equipped to move your business into the next evolution.
INTERESTED IN MORE?
If you are interested in learning more about personality models as well as how to best communicate with individuals of varying communication styles, PCS-Global offers many training options. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire as to our available offerings. We look forward to serving you!