Over the course of my 27-year career in the retail automotive sales industry, I worked with many great salespeople. Some are even better than me,…
Over the course of my 27-year career in the retail automotive sales industry, I worked with many great salespeople. Some are even better than me, lol. However, one salesperson stood out as the best I had ever worked with. I will never forget the day I first met them.
This young man’s name was Pardeep and calling him a young man was a stretch. He was just a kid, probably 21 – 22 years old. Truth be told, I was not much older; I think I was 24. Looking back, this seems like a lifetime ago. When I met Pardeep, I was working at Concord Nissan. I had only been working there a couple of months, and this was my first job as a Sales Manager.
In this store, we had a true team system, where the Sales Manager led a team that included a Finance Manager, a Closer, and five to six salespeople. As a team, we worked all the same shifts together. I only desked my salesperson's deals. My closer was the only one to close our team’s deals, and my Finance Manager was the only one to complete the paperwork for our deals. It was a great system.
My team was just starting the afternoon shift one day, and I offered to buy everyone pizza. We placed our order for the pizza and waited for it to be delivered. In walks, Pardeep delivering our two piping hot pizzas. I will never forget he had the biggest smile on his face when he walked into the showroom. You know, that kind of smile that just lights up a room when the person walks in. This is the definition of Pardeep.
Not only was his smile infectious so was his attitude. Within seconds of meeting him, I thought to myself, this guy would be an amazing salesperson. I immediately went into recruitment mode. It turned out Pardeep had only been in the country a few months. He was living with his family, and his family owned the pizza parlor he was delivering pizzas for.
Long story short, I know too late, I convinced Pardeep to quit his job delivering pizzas and come sell cars with me. Once he began selling cars, he never looked back. Within the first 60 days, he was the salesperson of the month. However, he did not stop there. Being at the top of the board was not enough. He continued to attack sales, always to be better than the day before.
Let me tell you why I believe Pardeep was so successful.
Pardeep took his work home from day one. He would take product information home to study. He would bring home worksheets from that day and replay writing up the customer with his wife. He would practice presenting the figures and closing them. She would throw all the same objections the customers would, and Pardeep would practice until he could not get them wrong.
Pardeep did not just stop with learning. He always took what he learned and used it with his customers. I can still recall the first time I heard him put this practice into play. Recently, we all got some closing CDs, and my entire team would listen to them to and from work. Shortly after we started listening to these CDs, I heard Pardeep put one of the word tracks into play.
Customer: “That is not enough for my trade. I owe more than that.”
Pardeep: “I understand you owe more than this. However, your payoff has nothing to do with your trade value.”
Customer: “What do you mean?”
Pardeep: “Think about this, if you owed nothing, would you take nothing?”
As soon as I heard this, I knew the customer would close, and Pardeep would never lose another deal to this objection again.
Pardeep put in all this hard work because he loved sales. He loved genuinely helping people. This desire to help his customers rubbed off on his customers. They knew he was continuously operating out of their best interest and would ultimately open up to him. One of my all-time favorite stories from the car business revolves around this.
One Saturday, I put out a spiff, $250, to anyone who could get a customer into the trunk of a car. Yes, the car business used to be fun. To qualify for the spiff, there were two rules. One, it had to be a truck of a car, no minivans or SUVs. Two, a manager had to see it happen.
Later that day, Pardeep came up to me and told me he had earned the spiff. I asked him which manager saw the customer get in the trunk, and he said none. I explained to him that he knew the rules, and if a manager did not see it happen, then it didn’t. He protested for a minute; however, he knew he didn’t have a leg to stand on, and he walked out of the sales office.
A few minutes later, there was a horn honking over and over again in the showroom. I looked outside of my office to see what the noise was about, and there was an ENTIRE family in the trunk of a Sentra on the showroom floor waiving at me.
Pardeep completely controlled that transaction, and the customers did everything he advised them to do. He earned a high commission and perfect CSI scores in the shortest amount of time possible. This win-win type of transaction was Pardeep’s standard operating procedure.
After working together for several years and becoming great friends, Pardeep and I went our separate ways. However, we have not lost touch. We still talk to this day, over 20 years later. He has moved on from the car business. He now has his own mortgage company and owns three restaurants. All of which are extremely successful. And I know this success comes from his genuine desire to help others!
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