July 31, 2014

Dealing With Customer Complaints







Everyone will come into contact with a complaining customer. You should try to handle them with confidence and deal with them in a constructive way.

HANDLING CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS IN A CONSTRUCTIVE WAY:


  • SHOW CONCERN: In the way you sit, stand or in facial expression show that you are concerned about their problem, or issue.  Lean forward.  Don't frown or scowl if you don't agree with their complaint.

  • SIT THE CUSTOMER DOWN: Preferably without a barrier between you and them. Think about the height placement of chairs. You want to be on the same level as your customer. Sitting them down allows them to naturally relax.  Moving them to a different location you choose subtly gives you control of the situation.
  • LISTEN - REALLY LISTEN: Do not pre-judge what is being said or devote your mind to how you will reply, listen to what the customer is saying.  You may not agree, but listen.  You may pick up on something non verbally.
  • TAKE NOTES: If the compliant is complicated in any way, take notes so you can respond accurately to the situation. This makes the customer fell as if they are being taken seriously and that you are really listening to their issue.
  • ASK QUESTIONS: Open ended questions without any aggressive edge should be asked. This can gain more insight to the problem at hand.  Keep in mind there are two sides to every story.  Customers see the situation only from their perspective.
  • OFFER ALTERNATIVES: You may not be able to give the customer what they want, but you can be positive by offering them a partial solution. Most times a customer will not want compensation just that you right the problem or are working toward some kind of resolution.  Maybe all it means is that you implement a new process so the situation doesn't happen in the future.
  • DON’T ARGUE OR GET ANGRY: You may win the argument, but you will lose the customer and any of his/her friends etc. If the customer is using negative language don’t agree with him and don’t use the same language. Stand your ground and listen to the underlying problem and stick to the facts of the situation. If a customer gets belligerent, you have the right to stop them and tell them that if they keep acting that way or using bad language the conversation is over and they can leave.
  • AGREE ON WHAT YOU AGREED: When you complete discussion, go through the main points again and confirm your agreement on the situation so there is no misunderstanding on the customers part.
  • FOLLOW-UP: After the dust has settled phone the customer back to check that they are satisfied with the solution.

REMEMBER: THE CUSTOMER HAS A RIGHT TO BE ANGRY BUT HE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE ABUSIVE TOWARDS YOU!




-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

April 3, 2014

Automotive Internet Sales Training Book

Skills and Techniques of Top Internet Sales Professionals





The World Wide Web is powerful. Knowledge is power, and there is everything and anything available on the internet. Thirty years ago, a customer was limited on how they got their information from dealers. They had to look in the newspaper, call, or visit the dealership. Fifteen years ago, an automotive customer could to go to the library or a bookstore to find a book on trade values or look up invoice prices. The information was more difficult to find and car sales people had an easier time—because they held the information.

Now days, information is at a customer’s fingertips. They don’t have to leave the comfort of their living room or office to get everything from the average transaction price to trade values. They can look up interest rates from competing lenders or credit unions and communicate with eight dealers from their cubicle, home, or smart phone.

Dealerships no longer hold the information. More and more shoppers are doing everything online. It is said that by the end of 2011 over 90% of customers will have at least done some preliminary shopping online. But the dealership has the vehicles on their lot. A customer still has to contact the dealership, get their trade appraised, and take delivery at the facility.

How is your dealership prepared to handle the internet customer? What are you doing on a daily basis to contact, follow, track, and get that internet shopper to come into your dealership? Does your process stop with setting the appointment and getting the customer in the door, or does it incorporate all areas including the steps to the sale and prospecting?

Automotive Internet Sales Mastery is a complete guidebook for handling today’s customer effectively and efficiently. It has a step by step process for contacting and following your online customers and converting more of them to appointments. It incorporates a simple step-by-step Road to The Sale process for those Internet departments who take the customer all the way through to the delivery. The proven scripts, word tracts, skills, and e-mail templates will take you from being average in internet sales, to conquering cyberspace! You too, can master Internet Sales.

So, use these skills and techniques to SELL MORE VEHICLES!


Buy The Book On Amazon
Automotive Internet Sales Mastery
In dealerships today, Internet Departments are growing and many dealerships are going to an all Internet based sales force. What processes do you have in place to handle your Internet customers to appoint and close more leads? Automotive Internet Sales Mastery is your complete guide to handling, appointing, and selling more Internet customers. This step-by-step guidebook takes you through the first call, the first text, and the first e-mail. It outlines a rigorous 90 day follow-up, breaks down the Internet sales process, and more. Become an Internet Sales Master and sell more vehicles!



About The Author

Tim Northburg started his automotive career in 1996 selling at a Saturn retail facility where he learned highly valuable customer service and needs based selling skills. In 1998 he gained international experience while managing a Rover, MG, MINI Cooper dealership in Chester, England. Since 2000, he has moved into upper management where he currently trains, motivates and leads his highly successful team of sales professionals. He has three years experience running the Business Development Center where he learned valuable customer follow-up, incoming phone call, prospecting, and owner retention techniques and skills. He spent six years as a Used Car Manager /Desk Manager and is fully trained in Finance, Marketing and Public Relations. In 2010 he became a Sales Manager and E-Commerce Director at a highly successful Honda, GMC, Buick Dealership. Tim Northburg’s commitment and dedication to the business, and the sales people he leads, is evident in this complete training guidebook. He shares the knowledge gained, throughout his career, because he wants others to succeed like he has.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

December 28, 2013

The Best Motivational Song Ever!


Muse is an English rock band that, in the last few years, has risen in the world stage. Known for their energetic music and live stage performances they produce some interesting, alternative rock and new progressive sounds.

I recently purchased their latest album, The 2nd Law which has some different songs on it. All, which I like. One song is called Survival. It is the ultimate motivational song! Whenever I get in a funk I throw it on and blast it in the car. It get me pumped and energized again to face the day head on and overcome life's challenges.

Hear it for yourself and listen to the lyrics. Here is a YouTube video featuring Muse's London 2012 Olympic Games official song; Survival.






Go out there and win!



-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

December 19, 2013

What Will The New Year Bring You?




It is that time of year where we throw out the old and bring in the new. 2014 is full of possibilities and new uncharted waters.

What do you want to accomplish in 2014?

What is keeping you from doing it?

What areas of your life do you want to improve?
  • Mind
  • Body
  • Money
  • Work
  • Social Life
  • Relationships
  • Belief
  • Family

What is keeping you from getting it?

Take a moment in the next few days to write down your goals, then keep them in front of you until you accomplish them in 2014.

You can do it--you deserve it!

You can also try these books to help you decide what you want in life, set goals, and realize it.

Decide On It!

Realize It!

Realize It! Goals Workbook


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

November 30, 2013

What Is A Good Goal Setting Workbook?



GOAL SETTING IN 2014

I have been setting yearly goals and tracking them since 1996. It is amazing at the end of the year how many goals I have crossed out. The challenge isn't sitting down and setting goals. It is looking at them on a daily or weekly basis and focusing on the things you want to accomplish.

If you don't set goals first it is impossible to reach them. I took the tools I used each year, to set goals and monitor them, and put them into this handy goals workbook.

BUY YOURS NOW:
Realize It! Goals Workbook

What is "it?" Anything you want in life is "it" and becomes the focus of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. You may have goals to reach, but you may not write them down, monitor them on a daily basis, and work towards achieving them. This workbook will help you, understand your purpose, identify what success means to you, and set short and long-term goals to help you monitor and realize "it" in all areas of your life. Now, realize it!

So . . .

Set Goals . . .

Look at them daily . . .

Monitor your progress . . .

And you will realize them!




-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

November 23, 2013

Sales: What Are Good Closing Techniques?


In sales, you are told by your managers, and selling gurus, to ABC = Always Be Closing. However, more often than not you go through your sales process, discover the customer’s wants and needs, show them the features and benefits, sell to their hot buttons, but when you get to the end of the process or a customer throws out an objection, you don’t go for the close.

Why do you do that? There are a multitude of reasons. You may be having a bad day. You may be afraid to push the customer away by trying to “close” them. You may not be prepared to handle their objection.

Whatever the reason, you have to remember that you are in sales, and nothing ever gets sold without asking the customer to buy. The deal isn’t closed until you write them up and get them to sign. The transaction isn’t processed until it gets rung up, and the customer pays.

Don’t be afraid to close. If you have done a “bang up” sales presentation, you have earned the right to ask the customer to buy.

So, what are some good closing techniques to remember to use when you get to the end of your sales pitch, or are faced with some objections? There are many different techniques and styles out there, but here are a few that are useful. Some have been around for ages while others are new spins on an old close.

FEEL, FELT, FOUND: This one is a classic close for any objection. It allows you to align yourself with the customer, and then show them that they are not alone in big decisions, and then explain how your customers with the same objection have come to the decision to buy. “I understand how you feel, many of my customers have felt the same way as you, what they have found is….”

LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION: This is a good lead up to a close and smoothes over a closing question. Instead of asking the closing question point blank ease into it, “Let me ask you a question . . . what would you have to think about?” More often than not customers will respond better to this. You ask command of their attention by saying, “Let me ask you a question . . .” Pause for a second then when you have their attention, ask your closing question. This is also a good lead-in to the next closing technique.

WOULD YOU DO ME A FAVOR: This is a good follow-up to the previous one. “Let me ask you a question… Would you do me a favor?” Most people are willing to help others out. When you ask this pause, nod your head and wait for them to respond. They usually will say, “Yes,” or “Sure.” Sometimes they will say, “Depends on what it is.” Then follow up with: “Would you give our product a try?” or, “I get paid for every demonstration, would you test it out and tell me what you think?”

IF I COULD, WOULD YOU?: This is probably the best closing phrase out there. However, it is the most used phrase out there. Customers know you are closing them when you use this. But, it works. So, why not use it? “If I could get you to $250 per month, would you buy this right now?” Don’t be afraid to ask the customer to commit. What is the worst they are going to do? Say no. I have also used the phrase, “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask . . .” and then ask them, “If I could, would you . . .” This eases into the question and the customer knows you are just doing your job.

WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE?: Many times customers are elusive with you. They play the “shopping” game and keep everything to their chest. They don’t want to tell you what it will take to close them. I always found this stupid. Why not just come out and tell us what you want and I will tell you if I can do it. We want to earn your business. However, it is not always that easy. You have to probe. There are several variations of this question; “What is it going to take for you to do this today?” or, “What is it going to take to end your shopping right now?” or, “What do we have to do right not to earn your business?” or, “What ideally does this have to look like to make this work for you right now?” These are the most direct phrases to ask and get a direct answer from your customer.

IDENTIFY, ISOLATE, REFINE, AND TARGET: Sometimes you have to get more information before you can close the customer. You may have to handle an objection first. One way to do this is to use the I.I.R.T. technique. IDENTIFY with the customer. “I understand . . . most of my customers feel the same way about (having to think about it, talk with my spouse, look around etc.) I felt the same way myself.” ISOLATE the objection. “Other than that, is there anything else keeping you from doing this right now?” REFINE by asking open ended questions to help understand the objection. “What are some of the things you would need to think about.” Or, “What do you think your spouse will say?’’ “What do you hope to find in the other product that you haven’t found in ours?” TARGET with a closing question. “If I could do X, would you buy right now without having to (think about it, talk to your spouse, look at other products, etc.)?”

SHAL WE GIVE IT A TRY?: Here is an easy one. I read this close in the book “The Closers.” This technique comes at the end of a presentation or after you showed your customer the price / figures. “So, shal we give it a try?”

LET’S PROCESS THE ORDER: You have just finished showing the customer you product. Write them up, or ring them up in your system and say, “Let’s process this order, how would you like to pay?” That will tell you right there what you have. You might be surprised. The customer may respond, “I’ll pay with cash.” Or, “Do you take checks/credit?” Sometimes all you have to do is assume the sale.

ROLL THE CLOCK AHEAD: The customer says, “I have to think about it,” Start by empathizing with them, understand their position, it is a big decision. Then say, “Roll the clock ahead to tomorrow. You have thought about it. What do you think your decision might be?” Or they might say, “I have to talk with my wife/husband/significant other.” Empathize like in the other situation and say, “Roll the clock ahead to tomorrow, you have talked with your wife/husband/significant other . . . What do you think she will say about doing this?” If the customer gives any signs of they say they would do it, then say, “Okay then, what is going to change between now and tomorrow? Let’s wrap this up now and you can enjoy your day tomorrow without having to worry about this decision.”



I know you are saying to yourself, “All these techniques are cheesy, or canned, or ‘old school’ and I don’t want to be that way.” Okay, I get it. You are right. Most of these are ‘old school’. The fact is, that when you use these, at the right time, in a calm and non threatening way, they work.



Stop being afraid to close!

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

November 16, 2013

Sales: How Do You Overcome An Objection?


4 STEPS TO OVERCOMING AN OBJECTION

Listen with the intent to understand and be empathetic. When you “Listen” to your customer’s objections they think you are really concerned with them. This will strengthen your relationship and build up more trust. Don’t take the objection personally. Remember the nature of the customer is to “get out” when they feel uncomfortable. This process must happen to get to the “close.”
#1  IDENTIFY with the customer. This makes them feel that you are listening to them. It puts you in the seat of empathy and builds up deposits.
  • “I understand how you feel many of my customers have felt the same thing…”
#2  ISOLATE the objection. Figure out their real concern and if that is the only thing keeping them from moving forward.
  • “Other than…”
  • “Is there anything else…”
 
#3  RFINE the objection. Ask open-ended questions targeted at the objection to gain clarity and insight as to the strength and validity of the objection. This further questioning builds your angle to head off or overcome the objection. Then use logic and support it with appropriate information addressing the concern.
  • “Many of my customers have found…”
  • “What would you need to talk to your wife about?”
  • “What is it about the price you don’t like?”
  • “What about the trade in figure is it you don’t like?”
  • “When could you come up with more $ down?”

#4  TARGET the objection. Summarize and answer the objection logically. Provide options that move toward a purchase decision and close the deal.
 
  •  “I don’t know if they would . . . if I could do X . . . would you buy it right now?”
 
 Hope this helps!
 
  

-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

November 2, 2013

Free Kindle E-Book: Sales Is Mashed Potatoes



Download your copy of this pocket guide filled with witty sales anecdotes as it relates to mashed potatoes:  
 


From Nov 4th through Nov 8th author Tim Northburg is offering a free promotion of his book, Sales Is Mashed Potatoes. Get a free copy by getting the Kindle reader app on your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet, or on your PC and download your free copy of this sales book.
 
I would love to hear what you thought of the book.
 
Thanks.


-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

October 19, 2013

How Do You Have Fun At Work?



When we think of work we typically don't think of the word fun. That is why it is called work, and not fun. If you are in sales, then work can be defined as prospecting, quotas, clients, presentations, closing, and training. At times those tasks can be less than enjoyable. Now, work can be fun and it can be enjoyable. It is all a matter of how you approach your work.

How can you make your work fun?

ATTITUDE: It all starts with your attitude. If you come to work thinking that the day is not going to be fun, or if you are dreading facing your boss, or a client, or you are worried about your sales figures, then your day will not be any fun. Have a positive attitude. No matter what the situation, throw your worries out the window and look at the situation with a positive outlook and you will have more fun in the day.

ATMOSPHERE: This goes hand in hand with attitude. If you have a positive attitude it will create a positive atmosphere for you and those directly around you. Make your atmosphere light, relaxed, and enjoyable and you will find you will have more fun, and your clients, your co-workers, and those you encounter will have more fun. Make a bubble of fun around you. If you come across a negative atmosphere, you can choose not to join in.

EAT: Several of my co-workers like to eat. They have a small griddle and are constantly cooking a good breakfast or a nice lunch. Good nutrition fuels the body and fuels the mind. I know when I feel my blood sugar dropping, and I haven't eaten (when I should have) I tend to get grumpy and less alert. My mood changes and I stop having fun. Take a break, grab a sandwich or a healthy snack. Cook a small meal and fuel your body to bring you to the optimum mind set, and return to having fun.

TAKE A WALK: May times we get hunkered down, doing deals, calling clients, dealing with a challenging customer or problem and we get locked into our office, desk, or meeting room. If you feel the fun factor dropping, take a short walk. It can be as little as a few minutes or as long as you want. (Provided you have the time.) A walk around the office, or around the building can re-energize you.

JOKE AROUND: I am reminded of the Joker in Batman when he says, "Why so serious?" I know I take my job seriously and can tend to be really focused on the task at hand. I have my poker face on and am intensely locked into the deal, or the heat of the battle. However, I have to remind myself to relax and lighten it up a bit. Sales can be high demanding and intense, but every now and then you need to joke around. I don't mean tell dirty or incorrect jokes, or pull pranks on people. But light and airy, jovial, banter, and talking amongst others about things makes life fun.

So the next time you feel your tension build, your situation heated, your worry creeping up on you, ask yourself: "Why so serious?" and put a little fun into your moment and your day!



-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

October 12, 2013

Book Review: Otterocity! Field Guide

Otterocity! Field Guide by Tim Northburg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wrote this book as a follow up to Otterocity! I wanted it to be a guidebook for inspiring you and to help motivate you into action to bring a joyful spirit to your life. We all face challenges. It is how you meet those challenges and it is the attitude you choose to take when facing those challenges head on that makes the difference in your life. I hope you enjoy.




-- by Tim Northburg LifeWork Elements

Copyright Notice

LifeWork Elements © 2011 by Tim Northburg and LifeWork Elements. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tim Northburg and Lifework Elements with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.