Go back a few decades and reflect on the typical salesman (yes salesman back then) at a dealer. We all know the stereotypes of the time.
This individual was paid on commission, had to posses extensive product knowledge, was expected to mingle in his social circle, was provided a "demo" to represent the product at all times.
Reflect on this for a moment....while fast forwarding to 2014.
The current sales consultant is paid in a myriad of ways, adheres to a process, turns over customers, and is provided with a "car allowance"...its all cool it works.
If 20 years ago the product knowledge embarked on a voyage of disintermediation, and moving out of the showroom. In 2014 the showroom process is moving out of the showroom...yes the entire sales process is migrating out of the showroom.
Reflect on this too...the sales process is migrating out of the showroom.
Lets take the stereotype salesman from a few decades ago, and drop him in 2014, lets see what happens.
- Wow no need for product knowledge, its online, the customer/prospect is better informed than the salesman...great, no need to do an extensive walk around demonstration.
- The manufacturers "nuke" the market on a monthly basis with an assortment of programs to generate sales, and capture opportunistic buyers...not so good...loyalty is eroding.
- The salesman instead of manning the phone, can stay in touch with his customers with his business Facebook page, his business Twitter account, his business Pinterest account...Wow this is a lot easier than making a gazillion calls a day.
- The salesman can communicate his experience with his "demo"...what a great way to do a "walk around".
- The salesman is in constant contact with all his customers and prospects...Wow...this is easy all of a sudden.
- The salesman connects with a customer/prospect in a meaningful fashion that resonates with the customer prior to visiting the showroom...pre qualifying before they walk in.
- The salesman can do most of the paperwork prior to a customer arriving in the showroom...yes its getting there, from credit apps, to contracts.
- The salesman can offer his trade in..."Just took in trade a great XYZ that I sold new..."
- Yes...it absolutely threatens the current centralized showroom management process.
This old school salesman (dinosaur) quickly understand that its easier, can sell more, and make more money.
The dealer quickly realises that he must revert to an older system where the salesman has dramatically more latitude, and his entrusted with constantly communicating with customers.
The customers/prospects love the salesman, love the dealer, appreciate the relevant conversations, and tell their friends of their experience.
Yes...its all hiding in plain sight.
In a meeting among dealers, a comment from a peer "You mean, you are actually letting your sales consultants engage with customers and prospects?"..."Just like the good ole days".
Then a stranger in the back of the room comments "Like the good ole days, but empowered by technology...simple and brilliant."
We will continue...
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