Coach Ken: More Systems

Over fifteen years ago I wrote a phrase that I have since lived by in both my personal and professional life, “Given a bad system or no system and a talented salesperson, he or she will struggle to reach success. Given a great system and even an average salesperson, he or she will become a superstar.”  I get so many calls from new salespeople that are struggling and the first question I always ask is “Tell me about your system and strategy?”  There is usually silence at the other end of the phone line or the person replies with the question, “What do you mean?”

Our twenty-year success record has been built on “Systems.” Another way to look at “Systems” is a “game plan.”  I like to use that term rather than a “business plan.”  I guess it stems from my background as a high school football coach. A business plan is something you write that encompasses well defined goals and the steps regarding how you will reach those goals.  A game plan is a “per prospect” plan. So often business plans get written and then placed in a file folder, never to be looked at again until the end of the year if at all. A game plan for each new prospect is best described as an “Activity Plan.”  The actions we take define the results we achieve! This takes us back to the word “systems.” Here is an example of a game plan.

  1. You identify companies within your geographic area that drive a similar vehicle to what you have in stock. If you have a surplus of cargo vans you identify companies that drive vans such as plumbing companies, delivery companies, electricians, and delivery companies as a few examples.
  2. If you are a member of a trade association or a business-to-business networking group, you go after these van owners first.  Why? You have something in common, you are both a member of the same group.
  3. Another strategy as part of your game plan is to gain referrals from your best customers regarding anyone they know that owns vans.
  4. Decide how you will make contact. You could send a letter introducing yourself as a local business who specializes in commercial vehicles or you could simply call the business with a well-designed word track. If you are a member of an association or business to business networking group, it is simple to introduce yourself at a meeting function.
  5. Have questions prepared in advance of your meeting. Preparation is your key to success. (email me for our “First Sales Call Guide Form,” it has the questions you should be asking on that first call). This article will help you set up your call interview as well as getting a second appointment.
  6. Have a pre-written follow up plan to continue to develop the relationship. Remember, 81% of all sales are made after the 5th face to face contact. That is a direct statistic from the Huthwaite Corporation, the largest sales research group in the nation.
  7. Pre-plan how you will follow up on your first sales call and how you will get the next appointment. Immediately send a “Thank you” card and make a 24 hour later “thank you” phone call. Again, part of your “game plan.”
  8. Place the prospect in your CRM system and if you have a newsletter, put them on your mailing list.
  9. Write down all information on this potential customer in your CRM as well and plan for the next contact.
  10. Once the new prospect becomes a customer by purchasing a vehicle from you, set up a two week later follow up call. On this call you ask customer service questions, get the new customer to write a testimonial (or have them do a video). Also ask the customer for their list of vendors that supply them with goods and services. This is a powerful list and usually 50% of them become new customers. Also ask the business owner if you can use him or her as a referral source. These are easy prospects to make appointments with and continue to grow your business.

Steps one through ten becomes your “Game Plan.” We have used this system with hundreds of dealerships with great success. The great thing about a system or game plan like this one is it has already been tested. It’s important to remember the power of systems.  What’s your game plan?