Here’s a grand idea: What about requiring someone from the service department — and NOT the salesperson — to do the final delivery of a customer’s new motorcycle?
Why do I think this idea works?
Well, salespeople are a predictable lot (I should know; I am one.). The moment we sell something, immediately in our head we do one thing: Calculate the commission. Next, we mentally spend that commission — be it for a mortgage payment, a cell phone bill or new motorcycle accessories.
Subsequently, our desire to spend any more time with that specific customer is right about zero. Now, you can say, that’s not true. But you’re human, and you can’t fake it.
In an interesting bit of psychological research done in the late 1960s, researchers filmed couples going through pre-marital counseling. They were asked potentially contentious questions like who will manage the checkbook, how will you raise the kids and how often will we vacation with the in-laws.
The researchers discovered that when they slowed the film footage down to 1/25th of a second, the people being questioned blinked, smirked, smiled and grimaced. And all of those facial expressions that were undetected by the conscious mind, researchers theorized, were picked up by the other person’s subconscious.
Today we call them micro-expressions.
Have you ever interacted with someone and felt they had a hidden agenda? Or picked up a strange vibe from that person? That was more than likely your subconscious detecting micro-expressions. We like to believe we can think in secret, but we cannot. Your thoughts come pouring out of you — whether you want them to or not.
This is just one of the reasons salespeople should NOT perform the sales delivery.
Rather, their time should be spent on just three things (or MP3: Mark’s Performance 3):
1. Prospecting for business.
2. Presenting for business.
3. Persistently following up for business.
The delivery role takes their attention away from this core.
Plus, as you know, your service department can be a key competitive advantage — one that you should inject into your sales process early and often.
The service person, after all, knows the product inside and out, even more than you do. Most importantly, the service pros know the real-world functionality of the motorcycle. They know how to maintain the bike and can provide personal insights that others cannot. Plus, they can create dealership brand loyalty the way few others can.
I’ve seen this idea work great in some dealerships and fail miserably in others.
Next time, I’ll profile a dealership that took my advice to heart and check in on how things are going, one year after turning over delivery responsibilities to the service department.
Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash