When I first started selling automotive service I was always puzzled by why some customers bought and others did not. At first I thought it was that they did not need what I was selling, but the more I became a student of my position I realized that everyone who I came in contact with needed what I was selling; their car fixed. They did not get up in the morning and say “I have nothing better to do today so I’m going to take my car to the repair shop!” So when I came to realize that I was doing something to create the “no sale” customer, I started to analyze each and every sale, both yes and no. I spent a great deal of time learning about sales and the psychology of selling. Very soon it became clear to me where the issue was... it was ME! This was a harsh reality and it was darn hard to accept, but true.
I had lost slam dunk sales... they never said no till today. I made sales that I would have never have thought possible. Why? Because of my level of confidence, in myself, my product and my business.
To sell, and sell at a high level you must believe in yourself. Your confidence in the presentation of your services has a greater effect on your success rate than anything else you do! Your sales skill depends on your level of confidence. This type of confidence cannot be faked, you either believe or not, there is no in between!
So how do you gain this level of confidence and even more importantly, how do you keep this confidence? First realize that most of us did not set out to be service advisors, it was a twist of fate that put us in that position. Some of us became a Service Advisor because we were brilliant or stupid and accepted the challenge and some by default because no one else would do the job. But for whatever reason we started doing a job we had not been trained to do. Learning on the job can be a brutal teacher. Really how many times do you have to be told NO, our you’re too expensive, or you’re a crook, before you start believing it? So, most of us bring self doubt to the job, created by our upbringing or other influences we’ve had.
Now, let’s get started on building and keeping our confidence!
First and foremost, everyone lacks self confidence at some time and we need to be constantly working on improving and maintaining it. I use my morning ritual to maintain my confidence. Each day, wherever I am I start the morning out by having a good talk with myself, and yes, I said I talk to myself. I have a mini seminar, out loud, to bring the entire positive to the front of my mind. I don’t dwell on any negative(s), only the positive(s). I remind myself that I’m a great person, I’m exceptional at my job, I have an amazing family and Ii work with the best people in the world….and yes, .that’s you! So let’s start with 10 steps to build and maintain your self confidence
Believe in yourself unconditionally - you can do anything you really want to do. The key is to really want to succeed. Strive to be the very best at what you do, every day and you will reach levels you never thought possible.
Believe in what you are selling - What do you really sell? Brake pads? Alternators? Oil services? Timing belts? NO you do not sell parts or customer service or labor. In fact I believe the biggest issue we have today is that to many of you still think you are selling automotive repair, those days are long gone! Our product these days is psychological; we sell peace of mind, reliable transportation, dependability, safety and yes confidence in their transportation. If you’re just fixing the broken parts, you’re not fixing the customers real needs.
Expect to make the sale! – Ever write an estimate, look at the total and say... WOW that’s a lot of money! In reality you just helped the customer say NO to you. This type of thought process actually means you’re expecting the “NO” and the objection that generally follows. Any time you ask for the sale or even the appointment you must, with every part of your being, be expecting a YES. This one process will close more sales and appointments than anything else. I answer the phone expecting the appointment, every time. I call a customer expecting the sales, the whole sale, every time, no exceptions. The only question I should ever have when calling a customers is, how soon I can get it done. No, Ii don’t get a 100% close rate, but I will always do better than someone who calls the customer hoping for some of the sale.
See yourself closing the sale - you have to visualize success. Pro athletes play the game in their mind and see themselves winning. Why? Because if you see success you will achieve it more often. This is a must do if you want to achieve a higher level of success.
An attitude of servitude - become other peoples focus. Be helpful – put others needs before yours. Do things for the right reasons, and NEVER put money, the dollars you will be paid for the services provided, before the customer’s needs and satisfaction. A satisfied customer will spend more money easier than a first time customer who just got their car fixed. Service is the key; show consideration and patience and be empathetic. Remember that empathy can make you money while sympathy will cost you money. Be kind and courtesy to everyone, even the people that make your life difficult (I know that all of you just had a certain customer pop into you head) for it is those people who sometimes become our best customers!
Start liking yourself - the more you believe and like yourself the better confidence level you will have. Most of us have some form of “baggage” in our personal backpacks, things we have carried deep in our minds from long ago. This baggage is what is holding you back, get rid of it. This psychological weight is preventing you from reaching success. Figure out what is making you think less of yourself and get rid of it. Maybe it was a teacher, parent, sibling or a friend saying you’ll never be good at anything, calling you dumb or just saying negative things to you for a long period of time. These people obviously never saw your potential, so why give them the right to get inside your head and hold you back? Cast them off and become your best friend! Listen to only the positive people in your life, and know that you should be one of the strongest positive people in your life. Get up every morning, look into the mirror and talk positively to yourself, never allow negativity into this process, not from yourself or anyone around you!
Desire to create good things for others – whether you believe it or not, you have a huge influence on others attitudes and moods around you whether they be family, friends, employees, vendors. Think about the number of people you come in contact with each and every day and set out each day to enrich their livers and you will receive a bigger return in your life. Set out each day to improve yourself, for me, it’s that I strive to learn something new each and every day.
Look at each Issue (problem) as an opportunity – Each issue is a challenge, make every challenge an opportunity to improve your life. Take each “NO” and analyze it to make you a better service advisor. Ask yourself, what could I have done differently, what questions should I have ask, and could I have changed my response to the objection and ended up with a better outcome? In other words, review the film; look at each sale as an opportunity to do things differently. Learn from every sale, what worked, what didn’t? To be the best you have to be willing to change and improve yourself.
Have a plan - work the plan - Systems and process in the shop are what makes sales happen. Every one doing the sales process and following the same procedures will allow you to have confidence in what you are selling. Make sure you fully understand the technician’s request. Ask questions. You do not need to know how to repair cars to be a great service advisor; however you need to have an understanding of what you are selling and why. This information needs to be supplied by the technician. The systems and process will help you build a level of confidence in the information given to you. Have a plan – and stick to it!
Always be passionate about what you do! – be excited about the job, the interactions and remember that you are helping people achieve success. The energy that your passion fuels is contagious. Energy and passion can overcome a flawed plan, but a perfect plan with no passion will fail faster. Having passion is the fuel for a positive and successful life, in what ever you do!
Confidence comes from within... I cannot give it to you. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you! During this last year I have had many people write me and comment on a seminar that they attended. The most common comment is that the seminar renewed a confidence and passion in them that had been slowly disappearing. Please spend some time talking to yourself and rekindle the confidence and passion in yourself.