I Don’t Have The Money!
By Eric Twiggs
"Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman - not the attitude of the prospect" - W. Clement Stone
My client Mac, a former police officer, recently told me the following story from his days on the force: One night while out on the beat, he pulled over a young man named Rick for driving without his lights on. Mac checked his record and discovered that Rick had over $3,500 in outstanding warrants.
“I don't have the money!” replied the scared suspect. Mac arrested him and took him to the precinct. The next day, Rick was scheduled for his day in court. He met with his attorney and told her "This is a waste of my time because I don't have the money!" 10:00am that morning he appears before the Judge. Before his attorney could address the Bench, Rick spoke out and said the following: " Your Honor, I don't know what we need to do here, but I don't have the money to pay these warrants."
The Judge responded:" The penalty for the unpaid warrants is six months in prison." Before the judge could slam the gavel, Rick asked if he could make a phone call. After a three minute conversation, he hung up and responded: I just spoke to my wife and the $3,500 will be wired to the court by 12 noon! How did Rick suddenly come up with the money and what does this have to do with you?
Rick had the money all along, but spending it at the court was not a priority until he had the conversation with the Judge. If your customers are always saying that they don't have the money, it's because you haven't communicated with them in a way that leaves them feeling like it's a priority. Like the suspect in my story, they are really saying: “I have the money, but I don't want to spend it with YOU."
The threat of going to prison helped Rick to feel the value. Below are two steps that you can take to help your customers feel the value of your service:
1. Use Pictures
You’ve probably heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It may sound like another cliché, but it’s really a proven fact.
According to study done by communications expert Carmine Gallo, the average person is able to recall 10% of the information that they receive via oral communication within 72 hours. Gallo found that when the same information is presented using pictures, the recall rate jumps to 65%. In other words, consumers will remember more of what they see than what you say!
Today’s technology makes it easy to show people a picture of their vehicle components. Tablets and smart phones can be used to demonstrate exactly why you suggested the service. Selling automotive service is like selling the invisible. Using pictures will increase the levels of trust by making the transaction visible.
2. Hire For Personality
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was asked during an interview about how he was able to get his people to smile when greeting customers. His response is the key to improving your business: “The easiest way to ensure that your employees smile when they greet a customer is to only hire employees who smile all the time.” Schultz teaches us that hiring for personality and attitude, instead of just industry experience, is the way to go.
You and Howard Schultz have something in common, in that your services can be purchased from your competition at a lower price. Studies show that people prefer do business with people that they like. The secret to growing your business is growing your relationships, so hiring friendly employees, is like planting the right seed in the right soil. You will experience growth!
So there you have it. Using pictures and hiring for personality will keep you from being handcuffed by low cash flow. When the buyer feels the value, they will find the money!