May '19

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86 • RV PRO • May 2019 rv-pro.com B U S I N E S S to overcome. Nobody comes into your dealership and extends a pointed finger to say, "I want that one and I'll pay any price." The good news is that you have seen all those obstacles before and have a vivid understanding of what you must do to defeat them. That's a good part of what a great sales manager does: It's about recognizing the usual pitfalls and showing the salesperson the path across the perceived pit. It can be simply about letting a salesperson borrow some of your confidence so they see the way to rise above the challenge. The Sales Process is the Pathway to Success It's also, in large part, about seeing the whole picture and knowing how it ends before either the customer or the salesperson sees it. It's sort of like Dor- othy in Oz – you simply have to follow the yellow brick road. The salesperson or customer may not know where the road ends but you, as the manager, have the best idea. The only way you gain that clear per- spective is to fully understand the entirety of the sales process. When you do, you clearly understand the point to which the deal has progressed, the likely next steps and the objections that will need to be dealt with at that particular point. Just like a selfie isn't always the best perspective, the salesperson needs someone to keep the situation in view from a distance greater than arm's length. Whatever you do as the sales manager depends on a deep understanding of how your dealership's sales process is struc- Read Part 1 in This Series: https://nbm.uberflip.com/i/1095145-april-19/73? tured to work. It's that depth of percep- tion that keeps the deal on track. The 'Physics' of a Sales Manager A sales manager is the fulcrum. As the process moves closer to the culmination of the sale, the manager provides an increasing level of leverage. The manager often pro- vides just the right amount of pressure and the ideal time to bring the deal to a close. If you remember your physics class, you recall that two things make the leverage the most efficient: one is the length of the lever and the other is the closeness of the fulcrum to the object you are working to move. The length comes from the level of experience of the sales manager. The longer the experience, or the more expe- riences the manager has seen, the more comfortable he will be in handling objec- tions, coaching salespeople, and recog- nizing challenging situations as simple reiterations of things they've seem many times before. Drawing strength from that prior experience allows him to coach a salesperson appropriately to the best result for both customer and the salesperson. Moving a fulcrum closer to the load increases the strength you can apply with the lever. The same goes thing with the manager: It can be done from a desk, but it can't be done from another city. When the sales manager is remote in location or remote in level of personal involvement, you will lose leverage. The better manager is in the thick of it. He is watching the floor and the lot. He knows which parked cars are from which customers. And he knows which salesperson is working with them. When the deal is presented to the customer by the salesperson, he has the ability to glance up to gauge the cus- tomer's body language. He knows from the body language if the offer is hitting home or if the customer is about to walk. That's a consideration we build into store layouts we design. Attitude Sets the Altitude Finally, I want to recall what we all know – gross profit lives between the manager's ears. If the manager thinks he can hold better gross profit or thinks it isn't possible – either way, he is correct. All the actions within the sales depart- ment follow the manager's version of reality and it always becomes self-ful- filling. We all act in accordance with that which we hold to be true. Here's the thing: Some of my 20 Group members say that business is "flat." Others are setting records. What do you think are the chances that there are pockets of people in one town who don't seem interested in buying while in a town a hundred miles away they have units flying out the doors? That the pocket of people in the second town are just more excited? I don't think so. I'm betting it's because the sales man- ager in one location is excited to get to work each day and in the other location it's just a job. Those attitudes are "catching. The attitude of the staff is a direct reflection of the manager and, in turn, of the business owner. Where is your mind taking you today? Sales departments need constant, ongoing training in order to ensure sales reps do things the right way, producing the best results.

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