“What convinces is conviction. Believe in the argument you’re advancing. If you don’t you’re as good as dead. The other person will sense that something isn’t there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you.” -Lyndon B. Johnson
It has been said before that enthusiasm sells. Where though, does one find enthusiasm? How can we encourage it within a dealership? The answer to these questions can be found in a word often used as a synonym for enthusiasm. A word, which encompasses a more concrete, less whimsical concept: commitment. Commitment is a tangible quality that can be both learned and taught.
Benefits of Commitment
- Commitment sells. Enthusiasm driven from genuine commitment to a product is, perhaps, an idea more important than ever. As manufacturers make increasingly better cars and each segment becomes more competitive, authentic enthusiasm is key. When a buyer may not otherwise be able tell a difference between two pieces of metal, a salesperson’s clear, unwavering commitment to his brand may make enough difference to convince the buyer and close a deal.
- Commitment is contagious. Joe Girard became the top salesman in the world by something he refers to as “spark.” In his words, “sparks create fires.” Without commitment and enthusiasm for what he did, Joe Girard may have been just another Detroit salesman. Instead he spread his “spark,” and in return sold more cars than anyone else in history. Girard is proof: the benefits of true commitment are enormous. Genuine enthusiasm for a brand is something others can, and want to, get behind.
How do you encourage commitment?
- Research the brand and industry. Begin at the beginning. History has an amazing way of creating excitement. So many manufacturers have incredible stories; whether it is the dedication to create a motor with all 8 cylinders cast on one block, or the unlikely success of a gasoline-electric vehicle. There’s enough excitement in the history of automobiles to ignite a fire in almost anyone.
- Embrace the innovation. There are many innovative things automobile manufacturers utilize that we now take for granted. Seemingly common innovations are what the greats, those truly committed to their brand, still refuse to ignore. Vehicle stability control’s ability to save lives, special keys preventing vehicle theft, and the soon-to-be-standard backup camera increasing visibility; these are just some things the enthusiasts continue to show excitement over, but the others no longer even notice.
- Maintain the commitment. Like all serious relationships, commitment to a brand requires continuous effort. To maintain and grow excitement: 1) Search often for news relating to the industry and products. 2) Get prospective by reading third-party drives and customer reviews. 3) Follow fan conversations on social media. 4) Hold new owner events to explain innovative technologies in their vehicles.
As a leader you could share one innovation or piece of automobile history in morning sales meetings. Encourage commitment and dedication by rewarding the people in a dealership that exemplify it. Whatever you do to create excitement, make sure salespeople sell themselves on their product first, that they embody commitment, and watch your sales grow.