As an automotive sales professional we are living in some crazy times right now. Salespeople are asking customers to pay thousands of dollars over MSRP and getting it. Those same salespeople would have been shaking in their boots just a year ago, if they had to present a pencil at MSRP, let alone one with a dealer added mark-up.
So, why are these salespeople so much more confident today than they were last year. Most people would say it is because of supply and demand issues the chip shortage is creating, but I believe that is only part of the story. Sure, the chip shortage creating limited available inventory is something a salesperson can explain to a customer to ask for ‘all the money.’ It is a scenario that is easy for the customer to understand, believe, and accept. Therefore, watching this happen over and over builds the salespersons confidence and there you have it, previously mediocre at best salespeople are closing deals for all time high grosses and commissions.
However, this phenomenon does not start with the chip shortage and supply & demand issues. It starts with the salesperson’s beliefs. When a salesperson believes that a customer will pay the mark-up then the customer will pay the mark-up. However, the converse is also true, if the salesperson does not believe in the mark-up and the customer should pay it, then the customer won’t either and they won’t pay it.
So, what happens when the chip is available in abundance and so is the inventory? Do salespeople go back to being weak in the knee, and be scared to present a pencil with any profit in it? Unfortunately, most salespeople will go back to this, however it does not have to be that way.
The secret to having the confidence to not only present a customer mark-up level pricing, but also get them to say “yes” to it, is to find something new to believe in. Something that a customer can believe in as well.
You MUST find your “whys” a customer should pay you top dollar. This comes through differentiation of yourself, your dealership, and your product. Why are you not only different but more importantly, why are you worth spending more money with?
For most salespeople, this is the problem.
They DO NOT believe their product is worth more money than their competition.
They DO NOT believe their dealership is worth more money than their competition.
They DO NOT believe they are worth more money than their competition.
This last one blows my mind more than either of the other ones. How can a salesperson not believe they are worth the money? This should be the first thing they believe in.
So, if you DO NOT want to fall in the trap of going back to low gross and minimum commissions, let me make the following suggestions:
Top dollar pricing and high-dollar commissions begin with your belief and end with you transferring those beliefs on to your customers. You can not fake this; your customer will see right through you. If you believe then it will happen, if you don’t believe then it won’t. The choice is up to you.