Guide The Process, Don’t Control It

Guide The Process, Don’t Control It

Everyone keeps saying, including me, control the process. I’m saying to you now – that’s a mistake & improper use of terminology. “Control” has always been the word we use to ensure clients do what we want them to do. But that shouldn’t be the case. We’re trying very hard to change the stigma of the auto industry…so rather than controlling everything that comes to us. Why not consider guiding the process. Why guide? Simply because guidance is much better appreciated than control.

Guiding the process, that’s convenient to the client, is considered the most highest form of customer satisfaction & experience. That process allows customers to walk through an experience which they are comfortable & familiar with. Keeping that in mind, as a Solutions Expert, developing the  necessary skills to keep the buying process easy, comfortable, knowledgeable & low-pressured should be a top & high priority to learn & perfect. How do you do this? How can you perfect it? How can you make your clients feel comfortable dealing with you & the organization versus any other one…here’s how?

Step 1: Understand & Remember the Buying Cycle

I have said this so many times, but to know, understand & be aware of each & every step of the buying process is critical to your success. Before anything though, you need to fully understand the elements of each step; understand the variables that can change at anytime; be aware of the movings parts in the process & professionally adjusting yourself to meet the clients’ needs. There is no quick & easy fix to know this right now. It takes time to refine, enhance, perfect & create your own branded experience for the client. To get there, you must develop your brand value proposition & carry it through the process – allowing your customers to know that while 4 P’s (Product, Price, Payment & Payout) are important – value is worth significantly more. You must step aside everyday & personally dedicate yourself to refining your skills based on industry and client demands & tweak your brand, value proposition & methods accordingly.

Look, drawing out a standard buying process can be easy; putting your mind to it & determining how the process can change from client to client is even more challenging. WHY? Because when you’re live with a prospective client, you have no margin for error. You must adapt, change, be responsive, educated & knowledgeable based on industry & client needs. You can only do so by understanding & be aware of your consistencies & inconsistencies in your sales position. You must understand how your brand value proposition can be a focus point during the buying process. Value always overrides the 4 P’s. Whether the client buys the product or not (sometimes you lose the sale), your brand, value proposition & ability to guide the process over & over should never change – it should always remain consistent for any client that comes in.

Step 2: Plan, Prepare & Executive

As with anything in life, planning, prepare & execution is what yields results.  Winging the process without any framework or strategy will simply demonstrate choppiness, unprofessionalism, price over value & a process just like the rest. That is why, before anything, time must be spent on understanding the frame-work of any process & allowing the customer to flow through it at their convenience with comfort or ease. Think about it. If you want to go swimming, but I didn’t allow you adjust your technique or breathing pattern, let alone giving you no room to move – how would you feel? Constraint? Restricted? Never ever believe that you can provide a product or service (or even selling a vehicle) by chance. It must be done with strategy, framework, positive mental attitude, awareness & understanding. It is with this that will allow you to know why, where, how & when clients buy from you. It is with this that creativity, uniqueness & differentiation stands out. That in itself is a process. Anytime you deviate from your plan, your strategy & your framework; you allow the customer to be deviated because you’re not grounded on in your position. So, stay strong; stay committed; stay aware; stay knowledgeable & professional; stay consistent with your brand & value & stay on course – allowing your customer to enjoy the ride they take with you.

Step 3: Stigma versus Reality

Stop reading & think about this. The stigma that we are actively trying to change in the auto industry requires creativity, outside-the-box thinking & more importantly new methods that cater to the total customer experience. I’m not talking about standard, common & mainstream thinking. I’m taking advanced, aggressive, unique & forward thinking so that you differentiate yourself from the get-go.

When you take a look at great sales gurus like Elise KephartJoe VerdeGrant CardoneZig ZiglarDuane Marino…and the list goes on, you’ll find that they consistently talk about guiding process (or maybe even use the word “control”) because they believe to allow the customer to flow naturally through the process. Where they feel they can ask questions at any stage of the game or provide challenging questions…but never should it deter you from the process.

I make it sound very casual, comforting, easy & open-ended. You’re right. It should be. Because the moment you force it, control it, dominate it, push it & pressure it, the customer control their emotions & back out. And while this is happening, you, as a Sales Associate can’t control your emotions & spiral into a failure frenzy. That is why I say – be firm, committed, strong and dedicated to understanding the process and how it can match and make the client be engaged all the way through.

When you move forward and start to gain more experience, you’ll begin to find areas of opportunity while gaining insight into how you’ve done with each sale, each client and each process you’ve taken. One you’re aware of your methodologies, value propositions, branding & your own spin to the buying process, you can now give a full proof, comfortable, non-pressurized, unique and unparalleled customer experience to your client and let them feel at ease. Let them feel they can go in whichever direction they choose in order for them to make an informed decision. At the end of the day, that’s what they want. They want someone to give them an experience they deserve whole having the room to breathe & maneuver in a way that gets them to the point of saying yes. YES to you; to your product; to your service; to your brand & to your value proposition. It all goes hand in hand. It’s at that point that you have successful created a full proof sales process that’s unique to you & your client (without bypassing the critical steps of the process).

Hope that makes sense. Be sociable & share. #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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