I recently purchased—well, leased actually—a new car. I only have one car, and every three years or so, when the lease expires, I get a new one. The last five cars have been from the same dealer, and the last three from the same sales person.
The last car that I was scheduled to get was ordered just for me. I was excited to get it, and waited nine weeks for it to arrive. The sales person and I talked every few weeks about it, and the deal was essentially done. When the car came in, I went to the dealer, looked at the car, but decided to wait until the following month’s incentives were announced. I made plans to return the current car. I assumed that, on the first of the month, I would hear from my sales person as soon as he knew something. The first arrived and. . . I waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, I called the dealer and found out that the incentives we were expecting were not coming. Ugh. The deal suddenly became a bad one for me. I was very disappointed and decided to look around. So, over the next week, I visited other dealers and checked out other brands—while waiting for the sales person I usually dealt with to call and offer me a better deal. That call never came. I did get a text asking me what was up, but not once was I invited in to sit down and see what we could do to make the deal happen. Not once was I called with a message expressing interest in my business. I felt taken advantage of. Ultimately, I switched car brands.
What went wrong here? I think that there is a lesson for us all regardless of what you sell. This story is not about car sales per se—it’s applicable no matter what you’re selling: your ideas, a product or service, or the ultimate item—YOU!
Is there something my original sales person could have done differently to close the deal? Yes! He could have practiced the Three V’s of sales. The Three V’s can make a deal happen and perhaps even turn around a bad situation. Here they are:
- Visual. Always try and see your prospects in person! It’s much harder to say “no” in person, and you can have a much more efficient and positive experience. You can see body language and get a real feel for what’s happening. Handling objections is much easier, and you have the unique opportunity to deepen a relationship and make the business happen.
- Vocal. Prospects need to hear your voice. It makes you real. And it’s your opportunity to let them hear your concern and your focus on them. Email and texting are about as impersonal as it gets. I like to hear laughter, ease, and concern. It makes good things happen.
- Verbal. This is your golden opportunity to be articulate and demonstrate that you “get it.” People will listen and buy when you show genuine concern and use the words that prove it. Don’t pontificate and be overly verbose. Communicate your value and how it connects with their needs.
As we approach 2015, I ask you: Are you practicing the Three V’s? Try them and see what happens!
Thank you to Scot Batt for the inspiration for this article