Basic Fundamentals

Basic Fundamentals

Well, this Monday Mantra is a little longer than normal, but necessary.

Being in sales for over 10 years, few of us the industry will admit gospel truth : great sales associates are like great athletes. The commonality between the 2: basics. Some in the industry; rather many, tend to believe that there is an easier path to success; which means finding the shortcut around processes and the basics.

The truth of the matter is this: the sooner you get rid of that bullshit, the sooner you can create a plan to where you want to be. However, if you keep searching for the easiest path to your end destination, you’re like a dog trying a to catch its own tail. Success doesn’t come easy. It requires hard work; smart work; processes and regime and most of all, focus.

So here are my simple tips on areas to focus on during your process:

1. Prospecting.

Ahh, the infamous & most notorious word in sales. Right? WRONG! Get rid of that mental block to prospecting, because it shouldn’t be. Rather it’s awesome. The adrenaline, excitement and possibilities are endless. All you need is simple guidance and training.

2. Managers of First Impressions.

No, I’m not referring to the receptionist. I’m referring to your ability to making a fantastic impression on your very first point of contact with someone. Whether that be in person, phone, internet, social networking, social media – it doesn’t matter. You have one shot to wow them. Now, one of my tips to success is sales is this : become as memorable as you can so the other person can remember as much about as you as you can remember about them. This naturally leads to easier dialogue in the process of selling.

3. Needs Assessment.

The single most important part of any sales process: determining the accurate needs of a client for their vehicle. Many…actually 90% of sales associates rifle through this process & end up profiling the client as bad & wrong. I can bet that, those who don’t slow the process down or spend time engaging in dialogue & actually figuring out the motivating factors of getting a new or preowned vehicle – have no chance at all in building value in the product or service. That only means one thing: limited sales opportunity & limited income.  Success Tip #2: put the process on slo-mo. Ask questions. Listen attentively. Consult the client. Write their needs down. Keep asking questions until you don’t have any. Find out their story & how you can create a new one for them with a new or pre-owned car.

4. Presentation & Demonstration.

This by far, is the only step that creates mental ownership for your client. This allows the client to smell, feel, drive, experience & vision their vehicle as part of their life. You cannot..I repeat, you cannot get to this point without understanding the customers needs. It’s like trying on a completely different pair of jeans without knowing the size first. Remember, this part of the process should be process driven. What do I mean? Well, having a specific route for each type of trial drive; city, highway or hybrid. Your route should be consistent – allowing the customer to experience every terrains based on their needs. AND…for god’s sake, PLEASE never ever let the customer experience this on their own. Come high hell or water – you should be with them, every inch of the way. How would you feel if you we’re to look at a potential home without your real estate agent to tell you a story behind the home?

5. Handling objections.

This, I must agree, is the most difficult, challenging & sometimes, gruelling, process of the entire sales road map. It is here, where all your negotiations skills & competence comes together to handle client objections with ease, confidence & knowledge. It doesn’t matter, at what stage your client is in their buying process; whether they want to wait & think over the transaction; whether they are not finding enough value in their trade in or simply not ready to buy from the store & simply ask for best price.  Sound familiar? I thought so – that’s why it’s so imperative to train in this particular area through role play, training & understanding core negotiation skills, so that you can adapt to this negotiation concept; present your value proposition; confidently speak to ensure the client is happy & the business is happy. In time, with proper training & role play – you can make this work for your own benefit.  Success Tip #3: Speak less. Listen more.

6. Meeting Client Needs.

It is at this point in the process, where many refer to it as “closing the sale”. But closing the sale only implies a one time transaction. Those in sales will come to know that sales isn’t about a transaction, but rather relationship building. Helping clients achieve their needs & wants through a vehicle is the end goal, however, the residual effect on meeting a clients’ needs is much more. They buy into you, your service, your value proposition, your knowledge, your credibility, your dependability & so much more. Meeting clients’ needs effectively contains elements of art & science – the art of speaking & building rapport while science logically presents a solution to meet both parties.

7. Referrals from Ambassadors.

Once you have completed the entire process, you’ve effectively earned the right to call your client an ambassador of your store. Of course, they would have to validate that statement & title – but it is these ambassadors that work hard for you outside the store, spreading your brand & name & becoming a liaison between referrals & you. If your clients are happy, they’ll spread that happiness within their network. Success Tip #4: each and every happy client knows 5 people within their network who are in the process of looking into another vehicle or a replacement vehicle in their household. Why would referrals go anywhere else if your ambassadors stresses the importance to meet you? It’s simply. It’s called snowball happiness effect. You satisfy one 100% & that satisfaction index rises, customer after customer. Referral after referral.

So, in a nutshell, the above fundamental tips will lead to automotive success. But the above is not the end all, be all. Consistent training, role play, industry awareness, business development & practice will get you there. Remember – you will not become an overnight phenomenon. It takes gusto, patience, hard work, smart work & tenacity to survive through the sales roller coaster. If you plan on giving up – think again!

Go create your story. Go create your legacy. Go create your business – this is your time. Period. #apautotips

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Asif Premji

Asif Premji

I believe in happy ever afters, whether they’re in books or life. I believe that the world is an occasional scary place, one where we need to carve out caves of safety. I believe in the power of the human spirit. I believe it’s a sin to be bored in a world filled with information, beauty, and fascinating things around us. I believe in making a positive difference – everyday – in the lives of everyone I meet. No judgements. No ego. No expectations. Making a difference in just ONE life means that ONE life made better. God Bless.

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I first met Asif on Twitter. I had just walked away from one of the worst car shopping experiences I'd ever had (a Kia dealership) and *tweeted* it. Very soon after I received a tweet back from this "Asif Premji" guy. "Sorry to hear your car buying experience wasn't more positive - what are you looking for?" 

This was the first of many messages which has lead to not only the purchase (six months later) of a new Honda Civic Si for my wife but a professional and loyal relationship with Asif and his team. 

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I would not hesitate to do or refer business with Asif and his team. By far one of the most enjoyable and confident car buying experiences in my lifetime. 

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Vince Fowler
Vince Fowler Friend & Client of Okotoks Honda

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