Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How To Sell Like A Spice Girl

How To Sell Like A Spice Girl




Eric M. Twiggs


"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." --Bill Gates


I was having a bad day.  The year was 1996 and I was a service advisor for a local automotive repair facility.  I called my first customer to let her know what the technicians found on her vehicle.  I gave what I believed to be a text book presentation that would have made Bryan Stasch and Randy Somers proud!

 I prioritized based on her original concern, safety items, and what was needed for preventive maintenance.   Her response: “I’m getting rid of the car in six months, so let’s hold off on everything.” 

My next customer was waiting with his vehicle.   Since he was in the building, I could show him the critical components needing consideration, along with the fluid samples to support my maintenance suggestions.  His response: “let me check with my wife and let you know.”

After a brief phone conversation with his wife, he responded “I’m going to check around, go ahead and pull the car out.” (Have you noticed that whenever your customer has to check with their spouse, they never come back to you with good news?)   

Why was I failing in my attempts to service my customers?  To clear my head, I drove to the local fast food restaurant to pick up lunch.  I happened to turn on the radio.  As I listened to the song that was playing, I realized where I was going wrong. 

The song that was playing was the 1996 Smash hit titled “Wannabe”, by The Spice Girls.    The famous lyrics to this song kept ringing in my head: “So tell me what you want what you really, really want!”  

And then it hit me:  I didn’t know what my customers really, really, wanted!  I was presenting estimates based on my estimation of what they needed and could afford. 

I would have been more successful if I sold like a Spice Girl!    What can you do to sell like a Spice Girl?  Don’t change the station before I can explain!  


Discover The Buying Personality


Imagine having a first-time customer named “Eric” with a 10-year-old Toyota Camry with over 225,000 miles.   Eric came in for an oil change and based on the courtesy check you have discovered he needs over $5500 in additional services. 

Would you present him everything the technician has recommended?  Now, would your answer change if you knew that Eric’s daughter uses the Camry to drive back and forth to school? 

What he really really wants, is to make sure his daughter is safe on the roads. So much so, that he will pay extra to ensure her safety.   If you went out to the car with Eric, and asked him how he uses the vehicle, you would have discovered his buying personality.    

Eric has the “fear” personality.  Your customers with this personality type are mainly concerned with safety and reliability.   The other most common personality is “basic transportation.”   

Typically, this customer wants to avoid having to purchase a new vehicle, and wants to keep what they have to get them from “A to B.”  For more information on the other buying personalities, please review my previous blog post.    You will discover that both links in this section take you to the same post.  Just my attempt to “Spice” things up for you!


Embrace Objections

 I was listening to a phone recording from a service manager named “Carlos” who was presenting an estimate.  He told the customer named “Larry”: “You need an EGR valve.”  To which Larry replied, “A what??”  He was very resistant and communicated several other objections once Carlos quoted the total estimate.

After Carlos took the time to explain what an EGR valve was, and why this was being recommended, he approved the job!  What Larry really really wanted, was to know exactly what we were recommending and why. 

Carlos embraced the objection, and used it as a signal to back track and explain that replacing the EGR valve would resolve the rough idling, and inconsistent acceleration he was experiencing.  If Larry hadn’t raised the objection, the manager would not have been aware of the disconnect. 

Objections give you an opportunity to clarify your communication and, they bring to your awareness a step you may have missed in the process.  A lack of trust is the most common reason for an objection. 

If you take the time to build the relationship at the beginning of the transaction, you will find that you have less objections to embrace.   The buyer really really wants to trust you!



So, there you have it.  If you want to sell like a Spice Girl, the key is to discover the buying personality and to embrace objections.  If you commit to these steps, you will become the Top Shop that you really really “wannabe.”




Eric M. Twiggs

The Accountability Coach


PS:  Still not clear on how to overcome customer objections?  Email and I will send you a series of videos that will teach you how to overcome objections, so that you Sell Like a Spice Girl!