3 tips for success

Top Three Tips For Sales People That We Can Learn From The Internet Marketing World

Many years ago, I was accepted as a Fellow of the Institute of Sales Management. It was, and still is, a huge honour.

As a young teenager, I had started a company, built some success and studied a lot about sales and marketing. As a result I was recognized for that success at a young age.

Several months ago, I decided to check out a few new cars in Kelowna. In the past I had done the same and was disappointed generally in the sales prowess of the employees. On this morning, with my wife I visited about five car dealerships. 

The first one was around 9:30 a.m., so not too early. I was looking for a particular car and hoping to speak to a salesman. We walked into the showroom, checked out a few floor models waiting for someone to acknowledge us.

There was certainly a lot of busyness, around the coffee machine.

In fact, three staff were chatting to each other and completely ignoring us. We loitered in the showroom for a few more minutes without a single person acknowledging our presence.

I suggested to my wife that we try walking around the lot outside and see if someone realized we were a potential buyer… nope.

A few more dealerships led to the same or similar results.

So we left to the next. Out of all the dealerships, including one of the highest end dealers in town, we only had one meaningful conversation.

As a rally driver, I would love to take a look at the one particular car. It is a real competitor for the Subaru WRX/STi. Thanks to the salesman this time, my contact details were collected, I was promised that I would be called for a test drive.

Well, kudos to the dealer for some staff training, but that actually was the second time I had tried to take an up close look at the car, with no follow up. Not a single person has called me to pre-qualify me or ask why I would be interested. I certainly have never been called to take a look at one.

You might think a guy who has a won a couple of rally championships would be a good client to get on the books… 

So what can we learn from the Internet marketing world and how does it even relate?

Last year, my business partner and I formed a partnership with several leading players in the Internet marketing industry. It is a business that is renowned for selling information as opposed to products. Two of the partners alone had sold $70 million last year on the Internet.

My guess is that they did not do that by hanging around a coffee machine. Well, perhaps, to a certain extent they did because they work from home.

Here are the three things that stand out to me that a few car dealerships in town could learn from:

They entice me to leave my contact details.

  • You see, these guys know their numbers inside out. They know exactly how much money it costs them to get a visitor to their web page and they want to maximize their return.
  • So, they make it easy for me, if you leave your email address here, I will give you my information. So a car salesman could ask if “I forward you an electronic copy of our brochure?” Bingo, he has a client's email address.
  • One dealership last year even told me to go to their website to download the brochure, which did not require me to leave an email address… So for goodness sake, if you have a business that people walk in to, land on a webpage or otherwise connect with you, do something to get a name and contact.

They build a relationship with me.

  • Internet marketers actually know that they have little time to build credibility. I may have landed on their website, but I don't know who they are. So in a matter of a few weeks, they give me advice, for free. They let me know what success they have had in the past and they build a relationship with me.
  • It might seem like a crazy idea, but if one salesperson at the first dealership had said good morning to me, he might have closed a sale. Just by saying good morning…
  • So if I were in the car sales business and I were smart enough to get a client's contact details and knew they were looking for a particular car, I may in fact send over some independent reviews of the car, perhaps some video links.
  • I might even send over some recent client testimonials. I would attempt to develop a relationship with a new client.

They follow up with me and start to sell me benefits.

  • Internet marketers are very astute sales people. While the car industry brags about features, the internet marketing world talks about benefits.
  • For example, rather than telling me that a car has air conditioning, perhaps ask me if I would be interested in having a car that kept me more energized for business meetings in the summer so I could close more business deals, have a more successful business myself and enjoy the increased success, because the car has a superior air conditioning system designed for busy people like me.
  • Perhaps if I had some down time in the car sales business, rather than chat around the coffee machine I would study the art of selling a little more keep a head up for new clients walking in the showroom.

If you are interested in sales training for your sales team, feel free to send me an email at [email protected].


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories