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Sell Value or Pay The Price

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Tire and auto service businesses lose substantial dollars in revenues and profits each year because their sales and service people do not effectively sell the value of their product and service offerings.

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Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi said, “Inches make the champion.”

The same applies to the selling profession; it’s a game of inches. Every business day your salespeople have opportunities to win new business. How effective or ineffective they are in their customer interactions determines their success or failure – and ultimately the return (or lack thereof) on your sales staff investment.
 
The fact is your salespeople are always on the verge of either making or losing their next sale. What if they could execute better and win a sale that they would have lost? How about if they did that on a consistent basis? Now multiply that by the number of salespeople you employ. That’s your value opportunity!

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Defense! Any coach worth his whistle will tell you that a strong defense is the best solution against a good offense. The reality of many tire and auto service organizations is that their customer’s have a better system (defense) than they do of selling them on their value (offense).

Ask yourself: Ever had a prospective customer request a discount, postpone an order, or worse, cancel purchasing from you? Well, then it’s a good bet they don’t understand your offering’s true value.

Wait a minute you say, no one wins them all. You’re right, but those who effectively sell value win more often, accelerate their sales cycle, and make customers feel better about their purchases in the process.

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WIIFM or “What’s in it for me?” That’s what your prospective customers want to know. A champion salesperson understands this and, rather than selling on price, sells value by way of the customer’s expressed value areas and by educating the customer on the benefits of products and services.

True Value Areas
Value is in the eye of the beholder. In the case of selling anything, it’s the customer’s perceived value that matters, is essential and vital – not the sellers.

Customers don’t want all your stuff! They only want what they perceive and believe will help them. This is especially important to understand in tire and auto service sales where potential customers can quickly be turned off by technical features and functions they don’t understand or perceive to be unnecessary and of little or no advantage.

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All too often sales staffs employ a one-size-fits-all, throw it against the wall and see what sticks presentation. I’ve seen countless phone and face-to-face encounters that were cut short because the sales person says some version of “just let me show you” and moves too quickly to the product demonstration without first really understanding the customers’ needs and true value areas.
 
Too many sales people leave it up to the customer to determine and decide what they want – but it’s the sales person who is (or should be) the expert in the industry (the solution), not the customer. This situation is especially apparent in tire sales where the customer often wants an OE replacement tire that may or may not be the best choice for their driving style, ride/comfort preferences, residence region, etc.

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To effectively sell value, sales people need to engage the customer in a proper discovery process first to uncover what’s important to them and why. It is only with this understanding that the sales person can effectively communicate value and tailor a presentation to fit the needs of the customer. By incorporating this consultative approach, the buyer-seller relationship is strengthened by properly positioning the sales person as a consultant/advisor.

In addition, sales people need to know what their competitive differentiators are, the areas that their product/service business is better/faster/more cost effective than the competitive offerings the customer may compare them to.

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Once these areas are tied in to the value selling system, sales people have much better control of the sales process, become more efficient, improve customer experiences, and ultimately produce better results for themselves and the businesses they represent.


An avid auto enthusiast with a fondness for American muscle cars,Steve literally grew up in and around his family’s auto servicebusiness in Massachusetts. Today, he is the CEO and Trainer ofChampions of Sale Away LLC.Steve has over 20 years of successful sales, sales management and salestraining experience. He was featured in Tire Review’s January 2010cover story, "Deliver World-Beating Customer Service" and has been a featured speaker for numerous tire dealer association conventions across the country.

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As the producer and host of the Pinnacle Performance sales and customerservice training program for the tire/auto service industry, Steve hasreceived national acclaim for teaching independent tire and autoservice businesses how to improve customer relations and producegreater sales results. To learn more about the program, click here. Ferrante can be reached directly at 866-721-6086 ext. 701 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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