Recently, my company - Luce Performance Group - was hired to do long-term consulting with a major broadcaster in Greece. The first thing I had our LPG people do was to go to Barnes & Noble and pick up the very best program on learning the Greek language. I included myself in that effort. Why? Because, even though most of the stations we'll work with broadcast in English, being able to talk your client's language is essential - especially when it comes to the creative aspect of radio (let alone learning the culture of another country).
The same thing holds true for automotive clients. The quickest way to break in and garner your "unfair share" of the advertising pie in your local market is to talk the language - and not just the body language. Yep, I see many female reps in radio put on their short dress to woo the general manager of the car dealership, yet they know very little about what really goes on inside that dealership.
I'm not trying to be sexist here, but I know I never had to wear short dresses to get the respect of the GM/GSM decision-maker. I did find out that those ladies in the short dresses eventually wore out their welcome and their schedules if they weren't "captive" (import car sold by a domestic dealer) when it came time to be held accountable for "up" traffic at the dealership. ("Up" is the term used when it's a salesperson's turn to handle the next customer who walks on the lot.)
It also was - and still is - my experience that GMs who are induced by the "conquest sale" (market expansion based on conquering buyer brand loyalties) from the shortskirted sales rep usually found themselves with a "pink slip" (official title papers showing car ownership), because their attention was focused on the attractive "model" (specific design of a car, i.e., Ford Explorer) rather than the "home run" (big sale). Get my "dip"? (loan arrangement at a finance company for part or all of the down payment).
If none of this makes sense to you, I invite you to take this quick test to see whether your salespeople calling on automotive clients are "upside down" (having negative equity in a car/truck). It's also a good test for your salespeople working this exciting category of business.
1) A Bird Dog is a person who ___________.
a) Chases cats
b) Refers another customer
c) Loves dogs
d) Works on cars
2) A beater is a ____________.
a) New car
b) Lease car
c) Older car
d) Program car
3) Dealer cash comes from the _____________.
d) General manager
4) Down stroke is a _____________.
a) Broken cylinder
b) Fund from the factory
c) Down payment
5) A mega dealer has at least __ corporate franchises.
True or False:
6) MSRP stands for Manufacturers Suggested Regional Price.
7) Floor plan is interest paid on inventory.
8) An "up" is a person who shops the dealer on drugs.
9) "Rust and dust" refers to rust proofing and fabric protecting.
10) Nameplate is the customer's title papers.
By the way, I know many attractive and highly intelligent female radio sales reps who know the language, and I know many male sales reps who totally understand what it takes to put more ups on the lot of the dealership. Those reps, male and female, know the above terms and phrases, and they are "closers" (sales management responsible for finalizing the sale of the vehicle), making us in radio proud. For the answers to the questions on the test, see bottom of the column on the left.Related Categories