The 4 Words That Make Sales Managers Sound Stupid – REPOST

There are four words that are said by Sales Managers around the nation.

These happen to be the very same four words that are the bane of every Internet Sales Manager and BDC Agents’ existence. They hear it from their Sales Managers endlessly and with each utterance, your Internet team grows a little more frustrated. A little more fed up. A little more in disheartened that short-sightedness and small-mindedness runs the showroom.

When are we going to get away from the phrase “Just get ‘em in.”

I know many of you are smiling right now because this phrase, this idiotic phrase, single-handedly is the most ridiculous request told to you daily. In an effort to give a customer information that will bring them into the showroom floor, the Internet Manager states things such as,

“The customer wants to know if we have any in stock?”
“Just get ‘em in.”

“The customer wants a price on the vehicle they asked for.”
Just get ‘em in.

“The customer wants to make sure they can get approved before they drive in from 3 hours away with their family after attending a funeral.”
“Just get ‘em in.”

Now do you see how stupid this saying is?

As a Sales Manager, do you take a TO, sit down in front of the customer and say, “Just buy the car.”

But I want to know the payment.
“Just buy the car.”

I’d like to drive it first.
“Just buy the car.”

No. you don’t say that, because that would obviously be a stupid thing to say. You give the customer reasons to purchase from you. You must provide information to them that assists in their decision. You have to understand that online shoppers, those people speaking to your Internet and BDC teams, are seeking the same information, and you need to allow your staff to deliver it to them. I’m not advocating negotiating through email and phone, but at least educate your staff as to how to overcome those questions. Your role as manager is to provide some insight and word tracks to your team so they understand to how to address the customers’ specific requests and earn the right to ask them into the store.

In 2011 (as it has been for some time), both in-store customers AND Internet shoppers have needs. They need information before they make a purchase. They need their questions answered before they make a decision. Your sales management team must learn to empathize with the Internet shopper (and their BDC team) and recognize that people in search of answers aren’t just going to come in if you refuse to give them the answers.

My manager said you can come in and he’d be happy to help you with that.
Did he give me a price like I asked?
No, he didn’t. But I’m sure he’ll make you a great deal as we are a large dealership that does our best to earn a customer’s business.
Good. Then what’s the price?”
(5 minutes later)
To the manager: She wants to know a price.
“Just get ‘em in.”

This circle jerk occurs on your showroom floor in the (lack of) communication between your Internet team and your Sales Managers EVERY DAY.

Sales Managers need to stop sounding stupid, start addressing customers’ questions, and put their Internet and BDC team in a position of power with transparent information or they will eventually hear “Just pack your bags” because you cannot survive in this marketplace with these idiotic, flippant requests to your Internet or sales team. It doesn’t work like that anymore. If you are unwilling to say to a customer “Just buy the car” without giving ANY information, value or benefit for them to do so, then you have not a leg to when trying to defend the phrase “Just get ‘em in.”

How often do you hear “Just get ‘em in.

Joe Webb

If you don't know Joe already, He's the founder of DealerKnows Consulting and has been bringing online sales success to dealerships across the country through his hands-on consulting efforts and progressive training programs. Joe dedicates his life and his livelihood to his too-good-to-be-true wife and his two little maniac sons that he lovingly nicknamed Bear and Tiger.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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42 thoughts on “The 4 Words That Make Sales Managers Sound Stupid – REPOST

  1. Well said Joe.  I think there is also another important consideration with your argument.  In today’s market, if you (for example) take the guy who lives 3 hours away and wants to know if he can get pre-approved before he makes the drive, if you “just get ‘em in”, and he doesn’t get approved, then you have a BIGGER problem on your hands when he leaves negative reviews about the poor experience all over the Internet that do not go away.  Short term gain (got ‘em in) for long term pain (ruin your reputation).  We work in a DYNAMIC market, and you need to “adapt and overcome” (my old USMC drill instructor would be so proud to see me use that…) to be successful in today’s Internet market.  Keep up the great work Joe!

  2. Well said Joe.  I think there is also another important consideration with your argument.  In today’s market, if you (for example) take the guy who lives 3 hours away and wants to know if he can get pre-approved before he makes the drive, if you “just get ‘em in”, and he doesn’t get approved, then you have a BIGGER problem on your hands when he leaves negative reviews about the poor experience all over the Internet that do not go away.  Short term gain (got ‘em in) for long term pain (ruin your reputation).  We work in a DYNAMIC market, and you need to “adapt and overcome” (my old USMC drill instructor would be so proud to see me use that…) to be successful in today’s Internet market.  Keep up the great work Joe!

  3. Nicely said.  When the dealership ceased being the primary source of information for automotive research and purchase decisions, the ‘Front Door” moved from that space 50 feet in front of the Sales Desk to somewhere in Cyber Space.  Sales Managers need to realize that how you respond to these inquiries is MORE important than how you respond to people who walk through the door — and increasingly so!  They’re “locking their doors” and not letting anyone in. 

  4. Joe,

    Great thoughts! Effective sales management cannot be achieved in this way. I cannot tell you how uninspired, and consequently unconvincing, I feel when I am told to “just get ‘em in.” How can I convince a customer to come in when I don’t even believe there’s a reason for them to come in. It’s not only about giving customers reasons; it’s about giving the sales reps reasons. If I know and believe that there is a good reason for a customer to come and buy a car from me, I am much more persuasive. When I am told, though, that I essentially am just trying to trick the customer, I lose faith in what I am doing. Call me naive, but I want to believe that I am making a positive difference in the lives of those I sell to. Convince me that I am doing just that, and I will “get em in.”

  5. I hate to say it, but I still hear this quit often. here is why; too many times it “seems” to work. Too many times we “seem” to get away with it.

    “Just get’ em in”… and we do sometimes.

    We say what we need to say and the customer shows up. Shows up on a car we sold yesterday and we damn well knew it but we allowed the customer to just come on in.

    Wanna know why? Because we can switch’m! They never buy what they initially come in on anyways, right? Especially on a new vehicle.

    “I’ll give him to Tim, he can switch anyone”. Customer arrives, disappointed that we had sold the vehicle they came in to see, but after some rapport building and qualifying the customer leaves in a different vehicle.

    This does happen. YES! But so the opposite. Customer arrives and we get accused with the bait and switch. It’s a tactic that’s written about in every “tricks car dealers play” article ever written.

    As Kevin points out, we simply can not take the risk. One bad customer experience can hinder your dealers online reputation forever. And for what – one possible car sale here and there? Does the sales guy and sales manager really care about the dealers online reputation? Most don’t. They’re in their 30 days box and only worried about selling cars this month.

    This is a great article Joe and one that speaks to every dealership out there. Heck, I just had this debate with a sales manager 3 weeks ago.

    “You must provide information to them that assists in their decision. You
    have to understand that online shoppers, those people speaking to your
    Internet and BDC teams, are seeking the same information, and you need
    to allow your staff to deliver it to them.”

    Allow me to add, since over 80% of our customers are “online”, lets commit to NEVER using this these words with any of our sales and BDC staff.

    Arm your sales force with value building tools of transparency. Provide training on what to say (Some Ninja Phone Skills) so they can handle the situation and overcomes the objections. Too often we get ourselves into this situation by now asking the right questions from the beginning.

    Then we tell our staff how weak they are because they couldn’t get the customer through the door.

  6. Great article, Joe –

    Particularly liked this point:
    “Sales Managers need to stop sounding stupid, start addressing customers’ questions, and put their Internet and BDC team in a position of power with transparent information.”Many dealerships still do not fully appreciate the power and influence that word-of-mouth and online reviews have over their brand’s reputation. It is imperative that the internet team be allowed to provide ‘transparent information’ to potential clients, in order to grow a positive brand image and strong customer loyalty- rather than racking up negative reviews. The more open dealerships are with ‘online’ customers, the more likely they will be to ‘get’em in’ to speak with the sales team in person. As Doug Rice pointed out in his comment above, it’s hard to convince a customer to come into the dealership if you yourself aren’t even convinced that there’s a reason for them to be there. Thanks for writing!

  7. Good Stuff as always, Joe.

    Here’s 5 more words that make me cringe, “If I could, would you…?”  As you said Joe, there was a time you could get away with these weak “tactics”.

    This downturn has already started filtering the winners and losers of the next generation in this business.

  8. Joe –
     
    Great post – you have clearly identified the study-train-actuality breakdown that exists in many dealerships. Sales consultants attend training to learn products, processes and protocol, but when they actually interact with a customer, that so-called training goes out the window. They attempt to manage results instead of managing activity. Managers can’t manage results. This is what they are trying to achieve with these groan-inducing phrases like “Just get ‘em in,” or, “You need to sell more cars,” or even, “If you don’t deliver 12 this month, you better start looking for a job at the drive-through.”
     
    Managers, try this instead: “Susan, I’d like to work with you on your interviewing skills. I’ve listened to you with your customers and, although you do very well with building common ground, I think if you asked better questions, people would be much more likely to tell you how they’d like to buy.”
     
    Finally-and to your point, Joe-if we can broaden the average email and phone lead conversation to be more of a discussion and less of a transaction (focusing on lifestyle, needs, driving habits), people are less likely to demand specific answers about individual vehicles. The goal is to plant the seeds of a relationship that will make them motivated to visit your dealership.  By concentrating on selling phone and email leads an appointment rather than a vehicle, we really can “just get ‘em in.”

  9. DUDE- BULLSEYE! Laughing my butt off. You are so right Joe. The managers are so clever, if we just get them in they can close anyone. I particularly love the part where the high school dropout SM is going to educate the professional who shopped us on the INet and has an MBA. Yeah- let me know how that one works out.

    Check the ego at the door ladies!  Great article Joe

  10. I don’t comment that often but this one deserves a comment.  If the sales manager hires and trains experienced sales reps, “Just get ‘em in” would not have to be used.  I agree with Jon Quade. 

    The experienced sales rep will use his talents and training to “Just get ‘em in”.  If the sales manager has to say “Just get ‘em in”, he has either hired the wrong person or has failed to train them.   Maybe he should take the call and say “Let me show you how to Just get ‘em in”.  A few calls and, hopefully, he doesn’t have to say “Just get ‘em in” again.        

  11. 15milion times a year, some American has to buy a car.  Any moron in a managers chair can F* it up time and time again, and the phone keeps on ringing.

    I’ve never been in an industry with so many opportunities and this is why we burn thru ups without a care.  Pluck that manager out from the car sales biz and have them sell ANY other high ticket item and you’ve got an epic FAIL.

    It’s ALWAYS the pay plan.
    If managers were also rewarded on “%of Market Sold” I’d bet you’d see some new attitudes showin’ up.

      • Stanley, no pom-poms and cheer-leading from this desk. In my decades of travels, this is as close to shooting fish in a barrel as it gets. 

        Try a few years of cold calling selling Yellow Pages, or insurance or Real Estate.  How about those annoying Cell phone reps in the Malls?  IMO, it’s MUCH more difficult to recruit, train and motivate a rep that has to push thru 199 rejections to land a single up!

  12. Joe,
    Fantastic advice! “Just get ‘em in” is old school, and old school is dying. The traditional mentality was, “Sell ‘em a car.” Today’s winning mindset is, “Help them buy a car.” A lot of people have said it: the sales process begins online and over the phone, not in the showroom. Keep ‘em coming, Joe!

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  14. Joe… You always come through with fantastic educational, thought provoking and straight to point articles. “Just Get ‘em In” ranks right along with the old school, dinosaur phrases of “Can I Help Ya” and “If I Could… Would Ya”, of which we still hear today. Definitely one of your best!

  15. Oh no, a protracted comment! Well I got this little phrase from one of my favorite Dream Theater songs, but it’s how I’ve decided to live my life inside the car business and beyond: “I am responsible, when anyone anywhere reaches out for help, I want my hand to be there”. The customer is the customer, so if they want they want it , I’m going to give it to them. It has not been easy, I get skated and they buy somewhere else even when you did the best job of anyone, but this ‘mindset’ has enabled me to be generous with my time and knowledge, thus it’s opened opportunities for me to sell cars all over the US, Canada, Mexico, Middle East, Russia & Africa via my job as an ISM. Fortunately for my situation and our dealership, the GM get’s it – and let’s us play grown up, and if we can have fun and make a living – I’m wanted somewhere else.

  16. It’s really very interesting post full of valuable information very well written by u. The key part of this post is its descriptive way to define anything. I liked it with my heart. This post is a excellent example of such kind of thread.

  17. Hey Joe… Just found this post through google. I got a great laugh out of it. In my former job I was a Business Development Manager in charge of 6-7 BDC reps. I always had my people push for the appointment and usually it worked. However, there are customers (hell I was one of them 3 weeks ago) who had specific questions that required simple answers before they came in. These customers were real buyers and we would always include the desk in to get their feedback. It was ALWAYS “just get em in!” -OR- “tell him sounds like we’re close when can you come in”. Absolutely annoying and stupid… In fact when I purchased my car 3 weeks ago I made my round of phone calls and emails. Believe it or not I purchased from the first dealer that actually answered my easy simple question. Great read..thanks!

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  19. More Dumb Words: “May I Help Ya’ ”
    Like most of you, we go into many dealerships week after week and have to endure this Dumb phrase a million times. YUK. Be creative and you will see dozens of other proper verbiage.

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  26. It’s funny to see in this scenario… but sad to see in real life… And unfortunately I see the same old school methods used time and time again… 

    Some dealers will evolve… other will die a slow and painful death…  Each get what they deserve.

    PS: Might want to moderate your comments… You seem to be getting taken over by overseas prostitutes.