What can you and I learn about improving our online sales from a car salesman?
I like to reach out to other industries occasionally to pull out their best ideas. To do that, I invited Matt Malone. He’s a car salesman currently at Chrysler, and he’s the founder of HybridLocate.com, an online destination for finding and buying eco-friendly vehicles.
Car salespeople have to close deals for tens of thousands of dollars. You and I are only selling people on $20 a month to sign up for our web app. Or maybe $0.99 to buy our iPhone app. These guys are getting total strangers to buy a car for tens of thousands of dollars. I want to find out how they do it and how we can bring it back to our own businesses.
Watch the FULL program
Matt Malone, HybridLocate
Matt Malone is the founder of HybridLocate.com, an online destination for finding and buying eco-friendly vehicles.
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Hey there freedom fighters, my name is Andrew Warner I am the founder of Mixergy.com. Home of the ambitious upstart. A place you come to listen to proven entrepreneurs teach you what they’ve learned as they’ve built there businesses and to basically arm yourself as an entrepreneur, as a business person to go out there and take over the world. I want you to leave your mark on the world, that’s the point of all these interviews.
They all have a single focus and in this case, the focus is what can you and I learn from a car salesman about how to improve our own online sales. Car sales people you know have to close deals for tens of thousands of dollars. Can you imagine that? You and I are only selling people on 20 bucks a month to sign up for our web app. Or maybe $0.99 to buy our iPhone app. These guys are taking often strangers and getting them to buy a car for tens of thousands of dollars. How do they do it, and more importantly what can you and I learn about what they do and bring it back to our own businesses.
And again I should say it’s important for us to go outside sometimes of the internet space and learn from other people, because I feel sometimes as we’re learning from other internet entrepreneurs that we’re just recycling the same ideas. So I want to reach out every once and a while to other industries and pull out their best ideas. And to do that I invited the guy who you see up on your screen right now, Matt Malone. He is a car salesman currently at Chrysler, and he’s the founder of HybridLocate.com, an online destination for finding and buying eco-friendly vehicles.
And before I ask him the first question I was told in a past interview that I should be promoing what’s coming up and letting you guys know why you should be paying attention to the interview. So here are three big ideas that you’re going to get in this interview. First you’re going to hear the shocking way that car sales people devalue your current car and how online sites do the same shocking thing to increase sales and you can to. You’re going to hear about the Butterfly Method of showing off a car and how you can use it to show off anything you sell online. And you’re going to hear the counter intuitive way to get past objections. I recently read a book on Benjamin Franklin. He used this tactic and you can use it any time anyone objects to your ideas. So, we have a packed program here, and I’m going to start by saying, Matt, thanks for doing this interview.
Matt: Thank you, I’m glad to be here.
Andrew: All right. Let’s get right into it. How did you get into car sales?
Matt: I got into car sales due to my wife. What we did, my wife and I met in the restaurant industry and we were working together and we were managing restaurants and that whole lifestyle that comes with that. What we did was kind of floated around. Because when you’re working at restaurants you float around and. Like if a new place opens up and it’s the greatest place and their packed every night well, as a server or a bartender or what ever. You’re going to go there and pick up the money. So that’s what we were doing we kind of started dating, then we got engaged, then we got married, then we had a baby.
Now all of a sudden Becky’s at home and I’m working until 3:00 a.m., six days a week, every weekend, every holiday. Which is a custom, I mean that’s normal for that business, and it started getting real old to her and to me, too. And she finally gave me an ultimatum that you’ve got to change careers or we’ve got to go, you know, because it was just too much. Too much of a lifestyle for a young family trying to start and get settled down.
So, she said, I said, OK, you know, let’s start doing this. So, then we were getting downsized at the corporate restaurant at the same time and she is like, OK, we’ve got to make a move. So, my wife found an ad in the paper for car sales and never sold a car, never sold anything in my life, but you know, five hundred dollar bottles of wine, but other than that, you know, ever sold anything. Always had the gift of gab, you know, could always talk.
I go and apply at this dealership that happened to be right across the street from where we were renting, which was convenient because we really didn’t have much transportation at the time. And I walked in and just sweating and nervous and didn’t know what to do and my tie’s tight, and I interviewed. Got the job and started selling cars. The first…
Andrew: Sorry, and two months later, where were you?
Matt: Two months later I was number two in the store.
Andrew: Number two car salesman in the store.
Matt: Number two. And it was due to just being aggressive and there was a lot of older guys there that really weren’t aggressive and they kind of looked at me as this guys another young gun, another young gun that’s going to come in and change the world and sell a bunch of cars and do it his way and he’s got it all figured out, you know, because someone told him so, you know, so. They were really, really, really, they ostracized me immediately. You know, I mean, I could not, I was told nothing, nothing. And the reason why is because they saw the potential. They saw that I could do this and they were scared, I guess, of taking money out of their pocket.
Andrew: I’m sorry. I’ve got a sense of how you got here and I’ve got a sense of how big you got very quickly. This was how many years ago now?
Matt: 98, 1998.
Andrew: 98. So, we got over a decade since then of experience and in this interview we have a short amount of time. I want to pack as many of those key understandings that you got into this interview. Before we get into that tough one, the shocking way that you devalue a trade in car, let’s go into the nice thing that you do. You say that you’ve got to be nice to everyone, can you give me an example of how that works?
Matt: Well, it goes back to, you know, you get a lot more done with honey then vinegar. And if you just do, it was easy for me, it’s very hard to do but it was easy for me because of the way that I was raised and all I do is treat people with respect and integrity and I do what I say I’m going to do and it usually works out. Specific example was the other day a lady came in and she was, she’d been shopping online and looking around and visiting a couple dealerships. Her husband’s out of town, works a lot, never around. And a lot of the, couple of other salesmen were not, apparently, I didn’t talk to them, were, there’s a big disconnect with women, still, trying to buy cars by themselves and the salesman looks at them like, where’s the father, where’s the husband, whose doing this, you know, where’s the decision maker.
Well, the decision maker is right in front of you, you know. And all I did was treat her with respect, answer her questions, I didn’t push, I knew she was the buyer, I paid attention to her. I assured her that she was making the right decision and she bought the car and the husband came in and signed up and they said, here, you know, we bought the car because you treated us like normal people.
Andrew: And this was within how long of meeting her did you close that sale?
Matt: Online for a day and a half and then came in on a Friday night and we closed her and then the husband was gone all weekend so Monday, this past Monday they came in and signed up Monday morning. That same morning and that’s it.
Andrew: All right, short period of time, sold a car. You know what, I find the same thing online for me, just when I think I know whose the person whose going to end up signing up to Mixergy Premium and I think I know whose not going to sign up and whose going to be a waste of time with lots of questions, I see someone who I thought was never going to buy ends up buying the biggest package that we have. It happens all the time. Or, when you think that someone’s never going anywhere and they’re just wasting their time. A year later, or we do here at Mixergy, end up begging them to do an interview, because you just can’t tell who the winners and the losers are.
Hell, the venture capitalists can’t tell who the winners and losers are with precision. I feel the same way, I have to keep reminding myself.
Andrew: They might need me now, but I am going to need them at some point in the future and I’ve got to really be nice to every single person. Even on days when I’m frustrated and God knows I get frustrated.
Andrew: What were you going to say?
Matt: I’ve got a quick story. A real story. A guy pulled in. There were like six salesmen standing out on the parking lot. A guy pulls in, in a really, really, really old car. I mean a rust bucket, right?
He pulls in and what’s the salesmen do? They scatter. Well I was the last one to the door. Guess what? I had to wait on the guy. This is when I’m new, brand new. I’m thinking, oh my gosh. You’re natural reaction is to start qualifying these people. Based on their looks. You’re judging.
Andrew: Right, right.
Matt: I’m new and they’re like, you take him. I’m like, oh God, here we go. I take this up, which is a customer. It turns out he buys three cars.
Matt: Pays cash. He fell into some money. He worked for the railroad. He fell off the train. Got a bunch of money and he’s a multimillionaire. We call the bank and we’re like, this guy’s trying to cash a $90,000 check. We’re like, yeah right, and they’re like, he can buy whatever he wants.
Matt: The moral of the story is don’t judge.
Andrew: Don’t judge the guy by the rust bucket he drives into your dealership with. Yeah, you could be a millionaire.
Matt: He’s bought cars years and years and years. He’s always bought from me. Do you know what the funny thing is, Andrew? He said that he drives around in that car for that reason only. Because people will judge him.
That was a big lesson learned on car sales. Huge.
Andrew: He ends up buying three cars. All right, I promoed a shocking way that you devalue people’s current cars for trade-ins. Can you tell people about that? How do you do that?
Matt: What we do, Andrew, what I do is, if we’re working a deal and we’re talking about buying my car and payments and interest rates and all that stuff and trade-ins. Trade-ins is always, always, always the biggest obstacle that you have to overcome. Always. Because there’s sentimental value. There’s cash value. There are a lot of different things that come into play that they’re emotionally attached to their vehicle. One thing I have to explain right off the bat is there’s sentimental value and cash value. That’s two different numbers.
What I do is I’ll work the deal and when it’s time to talk about your trade-in, then I will take you out to your car and I will just start devaluing it. Which we don’t tell them, obviously, we’re going to go devalue your trade-in. Follow me. It’s not like that.
OK. Let’s go look at your car. We’re walking around the car. I’m just touching stuff. It’s all silent. I don’t say a word. I’m just running my hands over scratches and maybe a little ding or a dent.
Andrew: You don’t even say, is that a ding or how did you get that or that looks nasty? You just touch it?
Matt: Just touch it.
Matt: Stay quiet. Just touch it. As soon as you start doing that, they’re going to say, oh that’s where my wife backed into the mailbox or, oh yeah that’s where this guy ran a shopping cart into my car or whatever. Now, they’re starting to talk, and now they’re devaluing their trade-in on their own.
They’re busting themselves off the trade-in value that they think it’s worth based on the research they’ve done. It’s priceless because I didn’t have to do it. If that doesn’t work, or if it seems like you’re at a stall. Then I’ll say, hey hop in. They’re like, “What do you mean hop in?” Hop in your car. Let me drive. I just want to drive it around the lot.
We’ll get in their car, that they think is worth all this money, and we’ll drive it around the lot and I’m driving and we’re going around the turns and I’m hitting the brakes and it’s squeaking and moaning and crackling and all that stuff. Smoking. The whole thing is emotional psychology. They’re devaluing their trade in themselves.
Now, we get back to their car. I don’t have to say anything. Wow, this thing is junk. You don’t have to say a word. They’re doing it all in their mind. Now we get back to my desk and it’s time to talk about your trade in and they think it’s worth five when they came in, but based on the steps to the sale now I’ve got them thinking, “Maybe it’s not worth five.”
When it comes back time to hit them between the eyes with the trade in value, which it could be worth five, but my job is to take it in as least as possible. I’m going to say it’s worth three. They’re going to say, “oh my God, three grand. Are you kidding me?”
Well, what about, don’t forget it’s got this and it’s got that. Usually we meet in the middle and make a sale.
Andrew: You know what, I’ve actually, I’ve been thinking about this since you told me that that’s one of the tactics that you used and I realized that websites do this to me, too. That some sites, like if they want to sell me SEO services, they might have some kind of free report that I can get, free analysis on my own website. All I have to do is enter my URL, and as soon as I do I get this free report that of course tells me all the things that are wrong with me site. And it’s not personal. It’s not like these guys are saying hey, go buy our stuff because we’re going to rip into your site.
They’re just pointing out the flaws where it could be better and it makes me much more eager to sign up and I can see that being used more and more. To just let the customer know, here are the things that are wrong with your site, here are the things that we can fix in a non-confrontational way. You’re not walking around saying, your car stinks, you need me. You’re just touching and I want to think of ways that we can do that too online. All right, by the way before I go to the next one, and the next one is one that I’ve been wanting to talk to you about, the Chameleon tactic. You’re in this space still, you’re building a website in this space. Can you tell me about that, about hybridlocate.com?
Matt: Yeah, what we’re doing, Andrew…
Andrew: How do you deal with this stuff?
Matt: I’m sorry.
Andrew: I’m sorry, go ahead, tell me a little bit about the site that you’re building.
Matt: Well, what I’m doing is I’ve, since day one obviously in the car sales, when my boss was saying, hey, go back and do this and go back and say this, and go back and tell the customer this. I started to see a lot of voids and disconnects in the car buying process. Obviously it’s no secret. How many people do you know that just love to go buy a new car? I mean, it just doesn’t happen. Nobody likes it.
That’s the perception that I want to overcome and what I’ve done is I’ve personally streamlined the car buying process where there’s no, you know, it’s 100% transparent. So everybody knows what’s going on, there’s no hiding, there’s no nothing. Then I’m taking that and combing that with eco-friendly cars. I believe, I truly believe that the future is eco-friendly and Hybrid Locate will combine my passion for going green and I want to help people buy a car the right way, the hassle free way, being transparent.
Andrew: So, you’ve seen stuff that can happen to a customer when he walks into a store unprepared and you’re saying, I’m going to arm people, that’s going to be my mission with the site?
Matt: Right, because I want the consumer to be fore-armed and fore-warned more than ever before because they are extremely out of their comfort zone and in my opinion, I shouldn’t have to pay more for the same car as you are wanting to buy based on my lack of negotiation skills. And that’s the thing in the industry, in the car industry, you and I can buy the same car at the same dealer and we both got cash and I may pay two grand less than you because I know how to negotiate better. That’s not the way it should be and that’s the way it is. And it’s one of the last industries that is like that. I don’t think that’s the future. I think the future is transparent and I want to show that it can be fun, it can be transparent, it can be painless. We’re so starved of our time that I want to streamline it and go green.
Andrew: All right.
Matt: So, that’s the mission of Hybrid Locate.
Andrew: And speaking of transparency, I want to learn more about what you guys do internally. Before I go to the next idea, pair analytics. If you go to PairAnalytics.com, you guys can see a site that does the website analysis really well, if you just type in your URL, and you and I shouldn’t do this Matt during the interview because, because I don’t want to take bandwidth away from the interview, but I realize Pair Analytics, you type in your URL and he analyzes your site and I think he tells you all the different SEO problems that you have and all the things that you can improve and then I think he’s sells a service that will help you rise up higher in search engines. And I don’t want to play with it now while we’re doing an interview, but I want to put it up as an example.
Matt: Sounds like he doesn’t want to, he don’t want to point fingers, he just wants to fix the problem.
Andrew: Right, yeah.
Matt: That’s what I want to do. You know, I’m not pointing…
Andrew: You can see there’s not much sales going on on his website, he’s just saying, let me analyze your site for you. All right, next one, the chameleon. You say be a chameleon. How do you do that?
Matt: Well, you have to, you have to mirror your customer and you have to remember these people are coming to your dealership, to my dealership, with so many objections and so many barriers, before I even open my mouth I have to overcome rejections. Hey, I’m Matt, welcome to Royal Gate, how can I help you? Your name is? And, oh, we’re just looking, we’re just looking, just looking. You know? First stop, not buying anything today. OK, OK, yeah, yeah, yeah. Same stuff.
Andrew: We do walk in defensive, exactly. I’m always worried, what are you guys going to do to me?
Matt: Yeah, I mean, if you look at the car salesman, I mean you should see it, Andrew, it’s unbelievable. Don’t look them in the eye, you might buy a car. So, many people shop on days off, like when we’re closed, because they’re just so scared that they might buy something.
Andrew: So they wait for you guys to close. That way they can walk around your lot. I guess the lights are on even at night and they can get a sense of the cars and then they can come back.
Matt: Right, right. Then they’ll call you on Monday and say, “Hey, I picked out this car. Can I please buy it? And please be nice to me.” It’s funny but the chameleon is you have to mirror your customers. There’s a lot of people that like to come in and just abuse the car salesman because it’s an industry where it’s formal but it’s just you and me and we’re penciling out a deal and we’re going at it. So if the customer is very aggressive and very talkative and very in your face, then you have to be a chameleon and just give it right back to them. Because if you don’t, you’re not going to sell anything.
Andrew: Wait. So if a customer’s coming to you aggressive, you should be aggressive back to them?
Matt: Oh sure, sure.
Andrew: Really? OK.
Matt: Because if you don’t, they’re just going to abuse you. If you don’t stand up and say, “Hey, that’s not how it works.” The hardest thing salesmen do is they can’t say no and when a customer asks for this, they ask, they ask, they ask, the salesman will go back to the desk and say, “Hey, the customer wants this,” just say no. They expect you to say no, but if you don’t, it’s like a shark, they smell the blood. Once they see that you’re timid and you’re backing down, it’s over. They’re just going to attack you.
Andrew: What do you mean by “attack you”?
Matt: A good example . . .
Andrew: Yeah, give me an example.
Matt: I’ll give you my example. So the other day, I was working a deal with a doctor and an engineer so they came in with all their charts and graphs and what they should be able to buy a car for based on their research and what they should get for their trade-in based on what they’re selling in the papers and all that stuff and the customer right before them, was just an old horse-trader. We were just flipping coins for $500, you know what I’m saying, to make a deal, real outspoken and cowboy hat and just a crazy guy. So I sold him, now, my next customer, bam, they’re in your face five minutes later so now you have to completely be a different person, be a chameleon and you have to mirror your customer. So now it’s like, “OK. These people are very shy. They’re very smart, very well-spoken.
Andrew: They’re walking in with charts and graphs, that kind of thing.
Matt: Yeah, and at the end of the day, my closing technique was I used the Ben Franklin close because they had all their graphs and charts and all this stuff and so I just got out a sheet of paper and drew a line right down the middle and I said, “OK. So you’ve got pros and cons. Here’s the pros on mine. Here’s the cons.” Obviously, you load up this side with why they should buy a car and you keep this side a little light and then you turn them around and that’s you overcoming their objection. Now, instead of me saying, “What are you doing?” and tearing up their graphs and throwing them in trash and just being real aggressive and real pushy, pushy, pushy, they’re going to be off. They’re going to be out. You’ll never sell them. But if you be a chameleon and just kind of do what they do, you’ll sell a car.
Andrew: I see. With the guy before, if he’s coming in all excited and non-analytical, if you sit down and start giving him a chart and a graph or you start drawing a line down a piece of paper, he’ll feel like you’re just a dork as you start pulling out a pencil and paper. But with these guys, because they have charts, you want to mirror them. You want to give them charts right back. You want to give them an analytical sale right back. I see.
Matt: Right, right, right. The guy that comes in and is demanding, he wants to argue. He just wants to argue. If you told him his trade is worth $15,000 and it’s only worth $5,000, he’d say, “$15,000? Are you kidding me? I want $20,000.” There’s just that type of buyer.
Andrew: I see. All right. I don’t want to force us to think about how we can use each one of these tactics on-line, but I’m getting ideas as you’re talking. I could see maybe on a sales page having three different links, one about, “Well, how does this stack up against the competition?”, or one that is really supposed to draw the eye of the person who’s analytic, another one that’s supposed to draw the eye of the skeptic that’s like, “Yeah, right. This site won’t work,” and once they click in, you address them like they’re the skeptic and so on. You’ve picked your big personalities and you address them with the links that you have on your site. I see.
By the way, going back to the thing about being aggressive with someone who’s aggressive with you, if I walk into the store and you walk up to say hello to me and I say, “Dude, I’m not buying anything. I’m just looking around,” you don’t say, “OK. All right. Whenever you’re ready, come to me. What would you do instead when I say that? Hey give me some space here, I’m just going to look around the store and when I’m ready to buy I’ll give you a call. I see where you are. I just don’t want to be sold today. What kind of reaction would you give me?
Matt: If you listen to that, you’ll starve, because that’s what everybody says. They’re just looking. It’s their first stop. They’re not buying anything.
Matt: That’s all smoke. It’s just smoke and mirrors. What they’re wanting to do is, they want to buy a car, because like I said, they’re not there to buy milk.
They’re there. They came to me. They’re not there to buy milk.
Andrew: No one walks into a car dealership for pleasure, just to stroll around with a baguette.
Matt: No, no, no. If you do that, then here’s what I do. I would say, Hey, that’s great, let me know if I can help you. By the way, are you here for the big sale or what type of vehicle are you looking for?
“Well we’re just kind of looking around.”
“Hey, no problem. Would you like someone to take you down to the inventory?”
“No, we’re just going to look around.”
You just kind of feel around and then you have to watch them. It’s almost 100% body language. If you see them and now they pay attention to a car on the showroom. You can walk up, nonchalant, and this is the new Grand Caravan. If you’ve got three minutes, I’d love to do a three minute butterfly walk around and show you the product. You’ll see if they’re like, “Hey pal, get away from me.” Then see you later.
What’s funny is, you’ll get a lot more done with honey than vinegar. If you come in and start beating me up, then you’re not going to get a better price, because you’re the tough guy. There’s a few ways to disengage that smoke and mirrors and overcome that objection. But, Andrew, it’s per customer because everybody’s different. Everybody is different.
Andrew: So, what you’re saying is the person says to you, I’m not really here looking to buy. You try, from what I’m sensing from you, you try to entice them to let you sell them by saying things like, I’ve got secret inventory downstairs or away. They know they can’t get it on their own, so they think, “Secret? Show me.”
Andrew: Or you entice them with money savings by saying, Are you here for the big sale?
Andrew: They might think, “What big sale? Show me.”
Andrew: But you don’t push too far. Then you stand back and wait for them to look like they might need you. You look for your opening and that’s when you walk and you say, Can I show you this car that you’re looking at.
Andrew: You know by the way I see you’re looking in the trunk, there’s extra space underneath the trunk that you may not have noticed.
Andrew: That’s what you’re trying to do.
Matt: You just go. You don’t ask, you just keep showing them and keep going, keep going, keep going. You play on their emotions and build rapport and the whole qualifying. Before you know it, someone that’s just looking, an hour later, they’re coming out of the business office smiling with a contract and leaving in a new car.
The just looking is just a stall tactic from the customer. What I do, Andrew, is because I’ve been at the same dealership for so many years is, I’ll let them know I’m the floor manager. I’ve been here 14 years, I’d be happy to take care of you.
What that does is, the last dealership we went to, the guy was a week old and everybody’s new. I understand that. He didn’t know his product. He didn’t know any answers. He had to keep going back and ask somebody for the answers and it’s very frustrating.
Now they come to my dealership and they’re expecting the same thing. That it’s just going to be inexperienced people that say, The inventory’s down below. Here’s my business card. If you see something you like, write down the stock number and I’ll get a key and show it to you.
Andrew: I see.
Matt: That’s not how it works. I’ll build rapport because I want to build – – not to brag – -, but if you tell them, Hey man, I’ve been here 14 years, I treat people with respect. I’m not number one in the store because I’m ignorant to my customers.
It’s going to do two things. It’s either going to scare them away because they know I’m going to sell them something. Or they’re going to be, “that’s nice, can you show us this?”
Again, it’s just tactics. It’s just them stalling because they want to buy a car, but they don’t want someone to tell them to buy a car. They want someone to assure them that they’re making the right decision and to make it personal.
Because it’s the second biggest ticket item you’ll ever buy.
Andrew: Yeah, house then car.
Matt: What’s that?
Andrew: Number one is house. Number two is car.
Matt: Yeah and I’m closing you like I said. Sometimes in a month, sometimes in two hours on 30, 40, 50 grand. It’s a big emotional, huge emotions. Huge.
Andrew: Jeremy did the pre-interview. Jeremy Weiss, our producer, talked to you before we started. He has a few lines written down that he uses when people are especially reluctant to tell a story or to go with this process to just put them at ease so they can understand the value that they’re going to get from this. He’s found that instead of trying to riff on a spot and hopefully land on way to explain to you what we’re trying to do, if he just has a few lines in his head ready to go, he can be assured of success when we’re going through.
We don’t have much time with you, so we have to nail it. Do you have lines like that, that you pull out, when a customer is especially belligerent, especially aggressive or especially challenging? When he’s acting like a tough guy and you need to say, “dude, back off, I’m a human being, too, and I’m not going to be railroaded by you, here. I’m not your monkey.”
Matt: Yes. It’s like, don’t treat me like your last salesman and I won’t treat you like my last customer.
Andrew: Oh, okay. So you have those lines in mind. If they’re being aggressive, you don’t back down and shrink and become this apologetic footman. No. You have that line and you go for it.
Matt: That’s what excites me, the aggressive ones excite me. I love to negotiate and it’s fun because they’re in my house, so I get to call the shots and I’m in control. I’m in control of the sale as long as I don’t lose control. If I’m in control then you can play or pass. Here’s the deal. And it’s funny because they’ll say, “I want your best price. No negotiations, you get one chance to sell me a car.” So I’ll come back with $25 Grand. No. That’s not it, and you think they’re going to leave because they said one chance. Then you take it away, you do the take away close and you take the deal off the table. Okay, we’ll sell it to someone else for more money, no worries. It’s a Jeep and Jeep’s are hotter than potatoes right now. And you build that excitement. And if they didn’t leave, after you gave them your best price, well then, they want to buy something. So now you just have to figure out their objections, overcome their objections and you have to isolate them…
Andrew: Isolate the objection, you mean?
Matt: Yes. Just hold their hand and you’ll be all right.
Andrew: All right. I want to ask about the butterfly method, since you brought that up, but first let’s do a little bit of adjustments here. I see you lean in every time I talk, and it’s probably because you lowered the volume really low so that we wouldn’t get an echo. Let’s raise the volume just a little bit and I’ll keep talking and I’ll listen for an echo and if there’s no echo then we know that we’re okay. How does this sound for you, because there’s no echo right now on my side? And I’ll keep talking. Does it sound okay to you Matt? Now you can hear me okay?
Matt: Yes. Say it again.
Andrew: My name is Andrew, and I’m here to do an interview without an echo. Great. There’s one thing I see on my side, which is, I think I’m having a good hair day today. I’m looking pretty good. I wiped the camera earlier so it’s smudged and it’s not making me look my best so what I’m going to do, is I’m going to pull a t-shirt out, the spare t-shirt I have for the days when it pours here in DC, and I’ll just wipe that camera down with that. That’s the best I’ve got for it. Here it goes guys. Oh, you know what, maybe it’s not the smudge, maybe that’s just the way I look. Speaking of t-shirts, later in the interview, I’ve got to open this bag up that came into the office from… I’ll explain it later. I’ve got to remember to do that, so I’ll keep it handy here. All right, the butterfly method, what exactly is that? What’s the butterfly method?
Matt: Butterfly is just a product presentation. What you’re doing, what the goal is, is to get the customer engaged in the process. The butterfly is just a term for, when I take you down and I show you cars and I see you walking towards, whatever, and you’re showing interest, then, I will take that car and I will pull it out of the spot that it’s in so I can open up all the doors and the lift gate and the hood and everything. I’m just going to start at the front and I’m going to butterfly around the entire vehicle. Just kind of float around. I’m going to touch on safety, utility, value, performance and styling. I’m going to tailor that butterfly, that walk around, to you.
So, if you are a woman that’s pregnant with a kid in a stroller, then you want to look at minivans, and I’m going to tailor my walk around about safety and security and things like that. I’m not going to tell you that it’s got 300 pounds of torque and 450 horse power and six speed transmission, she may care about that but that’s not my tailor. You want to tailor it to safety and security and value and things like that. You want to get them engaged, and what I mean by that is put them in the car. Put them in the car, instead of saying this is the steering wheel, and this is the lights, you’re just pointing things out, a monkey could do that.
You have to get them in the car. Here try this, touch this, see if the seat fits. How’s the steering wheel, and you get them in that car and you get them engaged and you do that by doing the butterfly. And once you land on something that peaks their interest you’ll see their hot buttons. If you’re paying attention you’ll see what makes them now you just pound on that, what ever that was you just pound on it.
Andrew: So I think there are a couple of things here that I take away from this as an internet guy and that is the first is the Butterfly Method which is the way that you show it off. I think of guys who do tours for their product on line, or panic for the software program called Transmit where they show you the full application and they walk you through everybody and every button and everything that you’ll be able to do and you download and install it. So that’s one thing I’m learning just the way to show off your product.
The other thing is that you customize your sale to the listener, to the buyer. In private I talked to an entrepreneur who does this with his mailing list. He has hundreds of thousands of people on his mailing list and if you click on one of his offers or one of his articles email about starting a business he’ll put you in one bucket where he talks to you about as a guy who hasn’t started yet. If you click on something it indicates then that you have started and you’re ready for the next step he’ll put you in another bucket. And then when he has the same product to sale he’ll talk to one person about it in one way, and another person the other. So if it’s an email system he might say to the new guy.
The best way to start your business is by collecting email addresses and that way you establish a long relationship with your customer. If you talk to someone that already has a business it’s if you haven’t been pushing email, you’re missing out on a tighter relationship with your customer, who’s already buying from you and you’re missing out on new customers who’ve just been shopping at your site and not fully committing to buy on the first trip. This is the product that’s going to solve it. Those are the two takeaways I get from you. And it takes a little technology I think to put it together. It’s a good idea planted in our heads and to be hopefully have some people in the audience act on. You’re nodding, what do you think of that? Did I get the right message from it?
Matt: Yep, and it goes to the chameleon, he’s being a chameleon because he’s targeting what you’re looking at so he’s got different buckets and he’s streamlining that right to that specific clientele based on their needs. So he’s taking their needs, separating them in groups and the (?) come in then he’s targeting those specific. Instead of a gorilla, instead of a gunshot approach he’s using a very direct mailer
Andrew: I can even see taking it to the next level and people have accused me of doing this but we haven’t done this yet. Where you send them an email with multiple links and depending on what people click on, then you start to bucket them and address them differently. Maybe one link would have an aggressive tone and how ever clicks on that. That’s the guy you should be addressing in an aggressive tone with your mailings. You shouldn’t be a wuss with that guy he’d respect you more if you were pushing back on him. Taking more of the Tim Sykes approach if people have seen that interview on Mixergy that’s a good one to see, that’s an aggressive approach. All right, you and Jeremy talked about doing your research by using technology to your advantage so you can sell more. How do you do that?
Matt: What I’ve done is streamlined a lot of the sales process so let’s say you bought a car from me three years ago. You bought it and you did a five year loan. And you bought a Grand Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan. Well I used technology to my advantage by I will go in and look at your deal from three years ago and I will see what you paid, what your interest rate was? Who the loan was with. What you bought, because I have all of that information in front of me.
And then, I will take that and I will build my deal. So what I’m doing is building my deal that I’m going to present to the GM that we’re going to talk about and present to you. Now you don’t know this because you’re on the couch watching a movie and you have no intent of trading in your car. No thoughts about it at all. But if I do all my research and I use all my technology to my advantage where I can get in and I can see what you owe. I know how many miles are on it because you’ve serviced it at my dealership. I know what you paid, I know the vehicle exactly, every option on it because I can go in and look at the event history and all that, all that technology.
And then I will use that and I will find a vehicle, I will match that up with the vehicle you have now to compare to something that I have in stock. Only instead of an 09, it’s a 2012. So now I use my software that tells me all the rebates and all the discounts and all the incentives there are available on my new 2012. Then I take your information, I plug you into a TDM mailer and see if you’re eligible for things that you don’t even know you’re eligible for. Meaning sometimes you get things in the mail and it’s a voucher and you just pitch it because you’re not in the market for a car. Well now I go to my GM and or myself, now I just do it myself, I don’t go anywhere.
Then, I’m going to look at the trade-in. And I’m going to run an appraisal value on your trade-in, and I’m going to say, it’s worth 10, he owes 12, but I got 3 grand in rebates, and I build the whole deal up front. The whole deal. Now, when it’s time to call you, I have something to talk about. Instead of saying, hey, it’s Matt, Andrew, it’s Matt at Royal Gate, how’ve you been, haven’t heard from you in a while. Hey, want to buy a new car? No. Hey, it’s Matt at Royal Gate. Listen, I was doing some research and I found that, based on your miles and what you’re paying now, and you paid 6% in 09 which was normal, but rates are a lot lower now. 2919, something like that.
So what if I could put you in a 2012 for 10 bucks more a month with no money out of your pocket and maybe I added some new features? Maybe it’s got more features than the 09, which is usually the case. Now what are you going to say? Well, you know, gosh that sounds good. I mean, 10 bucks more a month, I can get in a new van with no miles and more equipment? Man, I’m in. So now I’ve pulled you into the market. I’ve taken you, that had no idea, you’re on your couch, and I’ve pulled you into the market and I’ve sold you a car based on my (?) and my technology to build the entire deal up front and present something to you instead of just saying hey, I need a trade-in, I need your van, you want to buy a car?
Andrew: And that (?) is really effective.
Matt: Oh, it is. I won’t say I created it but I know for a fact that in my Midwest region, I started doing that because prior to that, the industry wouldn’t disclose anything. If you’re on the phone and you’re telling me, what’s my payment? Man, I don’t say a word. I’ve got to get you into the store. Nothing happens until you’re sitting in front of me. Nothing.
Andrew: It wouldn’t allow you to talk about what you knew about their deal on the phone. You’re just supposed to entice them to come in the store.
Matt: Right, right. And you pull them into the market and that’s what takes a salesman from 15 cars to 25 cars, because they’re not waiting for them to come. If you wait for them to come, he won’t come in until he’s done paying that car in 5 years. But if you pull them in, then you’re going to sell a car and you’re going to get them in sooner and you’ll see them sooner and that’s what it’s about.
Andrew: That first story that you told us, you said that you were talking to that woman before she even came in the store, that you started selling her online. How do you sell someone online?
Matt: Oh gosh.
Andrew: What were you doing with her?
Matt: I sent Jeremy a whole transaction, a whole script from the first…
Andrew: Jeremy Weiss has a script that you use with clients?
Matt: No, he has an actual sale that’s from the very start to the very end, online sale that took about a month and a half. But every email back and forth, everything I’ve done and all the leading questions that I asked him and all the leading emails, knowing what the answers will be, you know what I’m saying? So it’s just like chess.
Andrew: Can we give this out or is this private?
Matt: Well we just have to privatize it but Jeremy has it.
Andrew: If enough people ask for it in the comments for it to be worth our while to privatize it then I will have someone privatize it. Let’s say if we get, I dunno…
Matt: This is priceless. It really is. Because it starts at the very beginning when the customer’s just looking online, just making an inquiry, not really buying, and each email back and forth just builds it more and more and more and more and more and, you know…
Andrew: Let’s say 10. If 10 people comment and ask for it, then I’ll pay someone internally to privatize this and hand it out. But I would personally like to see this with the private information there, I wouldn’t reveal it to anyone, I’d love to see how this happens.
Matt: It’s gold. It really is.
Andrew: So what are some of the elements that you use to close a sale online?
Matt: I would do, okay, I’ll send you window stickers. Here’s what it is, Andrew. It’s just overwhelming them with information. If I overwhelm you and I kill you with kindness and I just keep going farther and farther above your expectations then I have a lot better chance of selling a car like I’ll send you a window sticker.
Andrew: You just walk around with your camera phone, take pictures of all the stickers that are in the dealership and you email that to me and you say, “Hey look, Andrew, here, these are some of the options that we have in the store.”
Matt: There’s more technology than that. I can go in, just copy the VIN number, paste it, pop up the actual window sticker like you’re standing there looking at the car. I can just email the link to you so you can open it up and see the whole window sticker, see the prices, see the packages and then I’ll say, “Hey, you can buy this one for this,” or I’ll send one that’s $30,000, one that’s $28,000, one that’s $25,000 and just give them a choice. It’s the menu selling, right? This is menu selling. Here’s A, B and C. You got free, premium and gold. Pick one. Each one is going to benefit us, right? Now, we just send them emails on the window stickers and just, “Here’s what you can buy one for,” and just keep going and keep going and then he sent back and he said, “Well, this one’s perfect, but it’s got trailer tow. I don’t need trailer tow.” I’d go back and say, “Well, here, try this one on,” and I’d send him another window sticker with prices. He’s like, “Yeah, that one looks good. OK.” Now, this is all on something that I don’t even have in stock. I don’t even have the car in stock. It’s not even my car. I’m using everybody else’s inventory.
Andrew: Oh, OK.
Matt: Right? He don’t know that and I’m not going to tell him.
Andrew: Really, does it matter that much? You can get other cars from other dealerships if you don’t have it in stock, right?
Matt: Sure, sure.
Andrew: By the way, if you were to do this to me and send me all this stuff, I feel too guilty to not show up at the store.
Matt: Exactly, exactly. You’re obligating him to buy something because I’m just killing you with kindness and I’m going above and beyond and I’m showing you that I care and I want to earn your business. I just want to earn your business. If you do that, 9 out of 10 people are just going to flop right in front of you and sell a car, but it’s cool online because you can do so much. Andrew, people buy cars that they’ve never seen, they’ve never test-driven, nothing.
Andrew: I would do that.
Matt: What’s that?
Andrew: I think I would do that. I would feel comfortable doing that.
Matt: Yeah. I mean that’s the way it is. The Internet has made the world such a smaller place. It really has. I’ll send a car to California and I’ll wire the paperwork, I’ll wire the money, the paperwork. I’ll never see you, I’ll never meet you and I’ll sell you a $50,000 car. It’s pretty cool.
Andrew: There’s only one time that I bought a car because I did a test drive and that’s the BMW X5. Before then, I was driving a Land Rover. What’s the one that’s really boxy? I forget.
Matt: There’s a Range Rover.
Andrew: Not the Range Rover. The one that was down from that. It was so boxy that I felt that as I drove from LA to Vegas, I would feel the shaking of it when I got to 70 miles an hour and then I got into this X5.
Matt: Yeah, it’s like pushing sled through the wind.
Andrew: I’m sorry?
Matt: It’s like pushing a sled through the wind.
Andrew: Yeah, it was just straight up like this at the wind, you know? No aerodynamic, nothing. The same thing on turns, but I didn’t notice it on turns so much then I get into this X5 that the guy tells me, “You should take a test drive,” and I thought, “I don’t need a test drive.” I see what it has. I care really about the warranty and the comfort more than I care about the way it drives. What’s the difference? Then I took a turn and it was like driving in a little car that was so responsive and instantly, no matter what I was asking afterwards, I was sold. I needed that kind of comfort.
Matt: Right, right.
Andrew: I don’t know why I even told that story, but it’s funny how little things like that that you don’t think will get you excited gets you excited about this process. I think that’s why we’re all worried about walking into a dealership. We know that there are buttons like that that we’re not even aware of that are built inside us that if you push it, we’re yours.
Matt: And I am highly trained to see that and capitalize on that and take control.
Andrew: It kind of reminds me of Neil Strauss who I interviewed here who did the same thing with picking up women. He knew that there were little buttons that women had inside them that if he pressed the button, they wouldn’t necessarily sleep with him, though from reading his book I could tell that that often would happen, but they would pay attention to him. They would buy into his personality and they would be more eager to talk and continue to get to know him. When you see those buttons in other people, it just makes you feel like you have control over your world. Not necessarily of other people, but you feel like, all right, there’s an operating system to people. They’re not just these crazy people who are walking around randomly. There’s an understanding of how I can work and interact with them.
Matt: Right. People just want to make sure it’s a good decision that they’re making. They want to be assured that they’re doing the right thing, that they can afford a car, that their family is going to enjoy it and they just want to be assured. I mean, they don’t want to be sold, nobody wants to be sold. They just want to be assured that they’re doing the right thing, and that’s it.
Andrew: My goal, by the way, with these courses on Mixergy Premium and these interviews, is to look for those buttons or those leverage points that we have and show them and learn from people like you who know where they are and then teach others how they can press those buttons. How they can use the operating system of other human beings.
Matt: I’d be happy to help. I’ll tell you everything I know.
Andrew: I appreciate that. All right, speaking of everything you know, there’s one tactic that I’ve been wanting to ask you about because in the notes here it looks a little mysterious. Here’s what it says, do not skip this step and don’t ask, follow me, do not give them an out. So, I don’t exactly understand what that means but they’re all things, all those little phrases that are within this non-sentence I want to understand. What’s a step that I can’t skip and how to do I get people to follow me without giving them an out? What does this mean?
Matt: Well, the biggest mistake that a salesman will make when they’re trying to close a deal is they’ll ask if they can have the sale. Now, you need to ask for the sale but you really can’t just say, can I sell you a car? So, the human nature is, you’re looking for a way to get out. As soon as you get out of your car and start walking to my dealership door, you’re already thinking, I got to get the hell out of here, you know. Because now you see three or four salesman, and man we’re on you, you know, we are on you. So, now your thinking, oh my gosh, I got to get out of here, I got to get out of here, don’t look them in the eye, you know, we might have to buy something. That kind of stuff.
So, the thing is you’re always looking for an out, the customer is always looking for a way to get out of there so if I don’t give you that out then you are probably going to buy a car. And what I mean by that is, let’s say we’re going down and we’re going to test drive a car. Or I’m doing a butterfly and I got you in the car and I’m doing the butterfly presentation and then it’s time, well, I need you to drive it, you got to drive it, right? But I’m not going to say, hey, would you like to test drive my car? You don’t say that because they’re going to go, no, no, no, I just want to know what my trades worth. No, we’re just looking, just looking. OK. But if you say, hop in and follow me, then I’ll just get in the car and start driving and they’re in the car, you know, and then we’ll go on a test drive. If I say things like, I got, at my dealership I have a 41,000 square foot service department that is just knocked out, it’s like a strip mall, OK?
Well, I show that off 100% because nobody else has it and I’d be a fool not to seal that sizzle, right? So I show that to everybody. Well, if I were to say, hey, can I show you my service department and show you the lounge and stuff like that and show you the kids room? No, no, we just want, I just want to know what I can buy this car for, I just want to know what my trade-in is worth, I just want to know what my payment is, you know. So if I ask, you’re going to say no because I’m giving you the out. So, I don’t ask, I just follow me, and I just start walking and there’s two things that are going to happen. They’re either going to follow you or their not. If they don’t, you’ll turn around and you’ll have to go get them but nine times out of ten, you’ll turn around and they’re right there. Right?
Andrew: You don’t even look. You don’t look back until you get to your destination. You just say, let’s go to my office and we’ll take a look at the numbers and you walk without asking them, do you want to go back to the office and look at the numbers? Without checking back to see if they’re following you. Just assume that they’re going to be following you.
Matt: They’ll be there.
Andrew: I would be there. It’s socially awkward to hear someone say, let’s go, and then just stand there while he’s walking away.
Matt: Right, I mean what are you going to do, you know. So, it’s such a fun business. It really is. It’s so fun. It’s just a great deal. I recommend it for anybody that wants to really earn what they’re worth, you know. You can earn what you’re worth and that’s hard to find these days.
Andrew: Yeah. There’s an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry Davis said that he always wanted to be a car salesman and he went on the lot and everyone looked at him like he was crazy in that episode because, I guess it was supposed to be one of the crazy Larry Davis moves. But I just kept watching and saying, no, I also had that fantasy. I also dreamt of being a car salesman. At least for a year of my life. Just to learn sales in an environment where you’re not supposed to really be selling. Or time shares. When I was growing up I wanted to sell time shares for a summer, just to see how they closed those tough deals.
Matt: Yeah. It’s great. On that episode that you’re talking about with Larry David, he says, hi, I’m Larry. Oh, my name’s Margaret. Oh, my mom’s name is Margaret. Or my sister’s new partner. No matter what they said, oh, I got a cousin named Jack. And then the guy’s like, so what’s the wheel base on this car? And he’s like, oh, it’s big. It’s big. You know. And then he says, does thing roll over and he starts shaking it, you know, and the alarms going off, you know. I mean, that’s a great episode, that’s funny.
Andrew: What about that? You have to know all kinds of, when people ask you about what’s the wheelbase on this, they don’t know the answers and they don’t really care and if they did care they could’ve look it up before they got there. But you still need to know all the facts, right? To close the sale.
Matt: Right. Because they’re testing you. They’re testing you. They want to know if you know what you’re doing and if you’re capable of selling them a car. Because…
Andrew: So it’s not about the number, it’s just about making sure that you earned the right to talk to them about this car.
Matt: Right. You have to earn their respect, you have to make a friend before you make a sale. It’s so much easier to close somebody when you’ve, when you’ve made a friend, you know. And I’m good at making friends because I like to talk, you know. And so, but, yeah, they know, now when I started, Andrew, man I could say whatever I wanted because you didn’t know any better. You didn’t know what I paid for the car, there was no internet. Well, there was but it wasn’t like it is today. And now, though, you’ll get tested by someone like the doctor and the engineer because, believe me, you get in a match with an engineer, you’re done. You know, that’s not going to work.
Andrew: So you just sit and get as much data into your head as possible? All kinds of numbers.
Matt: Yes. You have to constantly training. Constantly, constantly training. I’ve been there fourteen years and I still take online courses and I still train every Saturday morning with all the new guys and all the salesman. And I’ve been there fourteen years and I still have an owner refreshing my skills to make sure that I’m staying in tune. You know, my ax is staying sharp.
Andrew: What’s a fact that shocks? What’s a fact that gets people’s attention? Like, in other words, here’s one that I heard. I went to see a sales training by someone who worked with I guess Jay Abraham, and he said, you always have to know every number you possibly can about you’re product. He said, when I was training a shoe salesman, one of the facts that we discovered was that your shoe sweats half a cup of sweat every day and when you have that fact in your head and you’re selling a shoe that breathes you can use that fact to impress the customer and explain to them why the breathing matters. I want you to know every fact you possibly can about your product. And that’s a little one that, you know, half a cup, I don’t remember if that’s exactly it, but it’s not far off.
Matt: Sounds right.
Andrew: And it stuck with me and it was shocking enough that I paid attention to it. It’s one of those facts that’s easy to use and has a lot of power. Do you have any of those? Did you train with any of those?
Matt: Yeah, we do that a lot, Andrew, and what we also do is because of the internet and the knowledge that’s out there for the consumer to gather, not only do I have to know my product, but I have to know the Chevy and the Ford and the Honda because they’re comparing them and they’re shopping across the board. So most people that are looking at a Dodge, they’re also looking at a Ford or a Chevy, you know what I’m saying. So not only because the first thing you’ll say is here, I have 300 horsepower in my Dodge truck. Well, the GM guy told me his has three seventy-five.
So, now you have to overcome and isolate that objection of why, you know, your product is better than they’re product so you have to know so much more than you used to. It’s incredible. It used to be so easy. Now it’s just you have to be so in tune and so connected with everything that’s going on because of consumerists. And you have to mirror the consumer so if they’re, if they’ve done their research and they know what they’re talking about and you start babbling like an idiot and making stuff up, you’re not going to sell a car and they’ll see right through that. And they’re testing you, they’re testing you, you know.
Matt: They love to catch you lying.
Andrew: Or not knowing.
Matt: Bluffing, or not knowing. Because then they just, again, they attack that. They’re like a shark. You know?
Andrew: All right, we’re already a little over time but I’ve got four other big ideas.
Matt: I’m sorry.
Andrew: We’ve got to through all four of these big ideas, let’s go quickly through them and then I’ve got to remember to open up this gift that I got. It makes me feel more comfortable to open things on camera instead of on my own. All right. Four, number one of four is ask qualifying questions to overcome objections. This is what I was talking about with Benjamin Franklin, he would ask questions to get people to agree with him instead of pointing out where they were wrong and it worked so powerfully that he started using it almost for evil purposes, to just get people to do whatever he wanted. Talk to me about how you use it in car sales.
Matt: What we do in car sales is we start getting commitments, many commitments in the very beginning, and once we get your head shaking yes, even if it’s just like, ‘Wow, it’s a great day. It’s nice and sunny outside.’ ‘Yes it is. It’s very nice.’ And you just start shaking your head and you get going and I just start getting little bitty commitments from you, little trial closes along the road to the sale. For example, if you’re on the test drive and you say, ‘So, how’s it drive? How’s it feel?’ ‘Oh, we love it. We love it.’ ‘So, is this something that you think you might want to put in your driveway?’ That’s a trial close, because you’re on the test drive. You’re not at your desk penciling out a deal; you’re dropping little, ‘No, no, we . . . no, no, not this one.’ Now you got to isolate that objection and you overcome that objection. They just told you that they want to buy something, but it’s not this van. OK. So . . .
Andrew: I see.
Matt: Which van is it? And, just to qualify . . . Qualifying is more of a . . . You got to pepper in some rapport and you have to be a real good detective; and a real good detective will ask the right questions, they’ll asking leading questions, and they’ll know the answer if you go down this route. I know if you answer this way, I know what I’m going to say; if you go this way, I know what I’m going to say. You know what I mean? So I’m going to overcome your objections.
Andrew: So, there are two reasons why you ask questions. You’re asking questions sometimes just to get them to say yes and to feel . . . What do you get out of getting someone to ‘Yes’ all the time and to agree with you?
Matt: Well, you just . . . It feels good, because you know that you’re in control; and if you can get them to say yes, then you’re in control of the sale. And if you do your job . . .
Andrew: Ah, I see. OK.
Matt: If you do your job and you didn’t skip any steps, now when it comes time to ask for the money, it’ll be a lot easier to get the money because you showed them all the stuff, you sold all the sizzle, and you already got them going, and you got a good friend, and they go to the same church, and you know, that kind of stuff.
Andrew: What about if you get someone to say yes a few times, then they feel like they’re in harmony with you? Does that happen too? Is that part of it?
Matt: Yeah, and I get a lot of that, because of the repeats and referrals. So, right off the bat, I sell a ton of cars just from people coming in that I’ve sold to over the last decade. So, it gets easier and easier and easier as far as an initial objection with the customer, because you’ve built rapport already, and again, it just goes back to treat them with respect. Just be a person. Just treat them like a normal person, and chances are the guy down the street didn’t do that. And it makes it a lot easier, because all you got to do is the right thing. Just do what you were taught to do, what you were raised to do.
Andrew: And the other thing you’re doing with questions is you’re checking to see, can you close the sale. You’re not closing the sale yet, but you’re seeing, is this person ready to be closed?
Andrew: So it’s, ‘Could you see yourself driving this?’ If they say no, ‘Well, why not? What are you feeling about this car?’ You isolate it.
Andrew: If they say yes, you know, alright, we’re getting ready to go back home to the office, home office, and we’re going to close the sale there.
Andrew: And so, you don’t have this situation where you say, ‘Alright, let’s close,’ and have them say, ‘Well, I don’t want to close. I’m not looking to buy this car.’ I see. Alright, let’s see, anything else on here? No, let’s go to the next one. ‘Get them to engage by allowing them to touch in and visualize the process.’ We talked a little bit about that. Oh boy, we have way more than four. When I said four earlier, it’s because I didn’t scroll to the bottom. Alright, but we’ll go for another three. So, get them to engage by touching and visualizing the process. How do you do that?’
Matt: Well, it’s just getting them engaged. It’s like, ‘Have a seat. Hop in. Hop in. How’s it fit? Try it on for size,’ that kind of stuff. And then what you’ll do, like I had a specific example the other day. I had a family come in and they were in like a two door Monte Carlo, and there were four of them. OK. So they’re like struggling to get out of this car. Well, obviously as a salesman, I look at them and they say they want to buy a minivan. Well, no duh. OK. So they come in and they say, ‘We want to look at minivans.’ OK, and I took them down to the minivans, showed them some product, opened one up, just one out of the blue just to start showing them the inside of one and getting them engaged, and trying to get them involved and talking and going and flowing and everything. And I happened to open up one that the kids jumped in the back. Well it had the Sirius feature that we have, Sirius satellite, on our vans and it’s streaming video. I’m sorry, it’s streaming . . .
Andrew: Cartoon Network. Nickelodeon.
Matt: Cartoon, Cartoon Network, Disney, and Nickelodeon. OK and it’s all live. It’s right there on a screen. So, flip that on. It’s done. The kids are in the back going, ‘Ahh. Can we buy this one? Are we taking this one home?’ Now, you got the kids on your side. Now, you’ve got the kids on your side. Now, you’re closing the parents, and you’re using all the tools. Whether the tool is software or whether the tool is an 8-year-old kid, you’ve got to use that to your advantage.
Andrew: Yeah. I feel like Yammer does that by encouraging anyone in the company to sign up to Yammer and start engaging with it. Meanwhile, they’re basically selling themselves by touching and experiencing Yammer, and then they back to, not the parent in this case, but the boss and say, “We need to have Yammer in our company, and they are like the kids who are selling the parent.”
All right. Next one, pinpoint the biggest awkward moment you need to overcome to get the final sale.
Matt: The biggest?
Andrew: Is it the biggest awkward moment? So, here’s a story that you guys talked about. “I had two kids and parents come in a two-door coupe, and they went in to test drive for a Durango, and I pulled up next to their car and made sure they knew that with this car everyone can get out of their own door.”
Andrew: Tell me about that? I’m kind of reading it off of here.
Matt: That’s a closing technique. What that is, what you do is you tell them. I feel like I’m having confessions. [laughter]
Andrew: You are.
Matt: What you do is, when you’re on a test drive, and when you pull back into the parking lot, then you say, “Hey park it over here in Sold Row”, and, “This is where we put our sold vehicles.” OK, and now they’re thinking, “Oh, did we just buy something? I don’t know what’s going on here. What do we do?” The other one is to have them pull in and park next to their trade-in, next to their current car. When you get in a Durango, and everybody has their own doors, there’s lots of room, everybody jumps out and everything is cool, now they’re looking at their little two-door car, and they’re thinking, “God, do we have to pile back into this thing?” You know what I mean? Now the emotions are going, and now you’re clicking, your going, and now you’re taking advantage, or you’re capitalizing on their emotions. You are going to sell them a car based on techniques like that.
Andrew: I see. So the awkward moment is…
Matt: Hopefully, you’ve done everything else right. Nothing works unless you’ve done it all right. If you skip a step, you’re dead in the water.
Andrew: The awkward moment is, you watch this family coming out of this two-door car, and you realize, boy this is tough for them to do. You drive them around in this bigger car that you’re trying to sell them, and when it’s time to stop you don’t stop back at the dealership at the front and let them walk in and have a cup of coffee. No, you stop right back at their car and you drive that car, or you let them think about driving that car, and that is going to put this comparison in their minds that will make their old car look really uncomfortable and the new car that you are trying to sell them feel like, “Boy, this is spacious.”
Matt: You have to have fun. You’ve got to have fun, and you make it fun by pulling in, and you look at the car, and you’re just, like, “Really, seriously? Are you going to?” You just look, and they’re like, “Oh, God. We’re not getting…” It’s like you really don’t want to get into this car. Well, maybe we’ll give you a little more for the trade-in and try to get you out of it. You just keep going. Price sells cars. At the end of the day, if the price is right, you’re going to buy a car.
Andrew: We are so arming anyone who wants to go and buy a car. They came in here with the same purpose that I had, which is we want to learn how we can improve our sales techniques. We want to become better sales-people online and better sales-people in person, and that is why we came to learn from you. At the end of the day, when it is time for us to go shopping for a car, we’re going to be watching for these tactics. We’re going to be armed with it, and we still have more. Of course, if anyone wants to go arm themselves even more, the way that they could go beyond what we are going to do in this interview, they can go check out Matt’s website, which is hybridlocate.com. Matt is really into eco-friendly vehicles, and if you are, you will especially like the website.
All right, next one is “silence will get them to sell themselves on why their car stinks.” How do you do that?
Matt: We can probably go past that because we’ve talked about the silent walk around, the touching and running your hand over blemishes and stuff like that. That’s kind of the silent deal.
Andrew: Alright, in that case then, we’ve covered all the big ideas here. I want to do a quick plug here, and we stopped at the perfect moment because Evernote, which is what I use to go through all my notes, just crashed on me. I will say this, if you guys want to take this further, if you’re really into sales, there are two courses on Mixer G Premium that I’m going to recommend to you.
The first one I’m looking at here is not really looked at enough, and maybe it’s because we had some technical issues when we recorded, but it gets a lot of praise from the few people who did go through it. It is the course with Nicholas Holland on closing sales, and the part that everybody is complimenting me on, I say dozens of emails I think I’ve gotten from people who’ve taken the session, the part that they really like is the part that we just came up with towards the end of the course, which is where I act like a potential customer of Nicholas’ and he walks me through the sales process and if you listen to him tell you what he does, watching him use it on me will open your eyes to how you can implement it too. If you’re a premium member, go to mixergypremium.com and take Nicholas Holland’s course. It’s part of your membership. If you’re not, I hope you sign up and take that course.
Another one that gets a lot of praise is the one that we recorded with Dane Maxwell about how to sell online. Now, Dane taught it for selling on web pages. It’s a copy writing course, but I’ve had entrepreneurs tell me that they took his outline, outline of the course, they sat in meetings face to face with a customer, and they just went through the whole checklist that he gave people and they used it in a one-on-one conversation with someone who they’re trying to sell. These ideas work both online and offline and if you’re a Mixergy Premium member, take it. If you’re not, I hope you join us by going to mixergypremium.com and sign up. Every month, we give you lots of courses and of course, there are hundreds of interviews and dozens of courses already teed up for you to sign up and start participating and learning from.
All right, so I want to do one other thing, and then I want to ask you about the best times in the day for people to go shopping. Actually, why don’t we do that and then I’ll open up this bag. Such a little thing, but it’s sitting on my desk and now I feel like I have to keep addressing it. We’ll talk about what that is in a moment. First of all, you recently had the end of month, end of March, and you and I talked about what happened there. Tell me about how the last day of the month is different from all the other days and what we should know about it if we’re ever going to buy a car.
Matt: Okay. Well, there are two things. First of all, really, you can buy a car any time and if you work your deal, if you negotiate the deal successfully, it doesn’t matter when it is in the month. You’re going to get a good deal if you do it right, you know what I mean? If you negotiate, you get a fair price, but what we did in March, March was our biggest month probably since ’08. We just finished a monster month. I’m sure today you’ll read that sales are up 40%, again, nationwide for the car industry, which is fantastic. We’re at 18 million in ’05 car sales to 8 million in ’08. Now, we’re at 12. This year was supposed to be at 14.5, but yesterday, you see, we can’t close the books on a weekend, OK? So really, Monday, yesterday was our last day of the month, OK?
Andrew: Which is April 2nd.
Matt: Yeah, just because of the way it fell and we can’t officially end on a Saturday, OK? So, we get the next day.
Andrew: You put it forward to the next business day, OK.
Matt: Yeah, we get an extra day. It’s good and it’s bad. It takes away from April because now it’s the 3rd and nobody has anything out, but anyway, so we had to get to a big number and coming in to Friday, it was like, “Man, we’re not going to make it.” I mean a big number. You get to 200 car sales and that’s a big number because the dealer, and this is just specific with my dealership and Chrysler Corporation. If we got to 200, which was like 125% increase over last March then the dealership would get a couple hundred grand. It’s like 900 a car retro to first car. That’s a big chunk of money. Yesterday, it got down to where we needed probably 12 cars. I’m talking this like 9:00 at night. This is after a 14-hour crazy, crazy day and we’re just taking deals. We were just taking deals, meaning if I’m $1500 away and you still run the market, you just bought a car. The GM came around and he’s like, “Show me what you got working.” I showed him three deals. He made the deals in 30 seconds.
Andrew: Because he’s so eager to close the deals to have a high end to the month that he will take deals that otherwise he would be aggressive and reject and push back on.
Andrew: Now, he needs to close them quickly in order to get them in.
Matt: Yeah, because here, I’m going to lose 10 grand to pick up 200.
Matt: I mean that’s good business.
Andrew: Or wait, you’re going to lose 200 to pick up 10 grand.
Matt: Yeah, exactly. No, no. What I’m saying is if I get to my number and I pick up 200 grand from Chrysler, and I had to lose 10 grand on deals, because I’m giving you 8 grand for your car that’s worth 6 grand, I’m going to lose a little bit to make that money.
Andrew: Gotcha, gotcha, okay.
Matt: So now we’re getting down and it’s like gosh, we need 8 or 9 more cars. Well, the pre-owned manager’s daughter bought a car, our county manager bought a car, 4 salesmen bought a car, you know what I mean? So we just started taking these deals that sometimes maybe, I worked a couple of deals in the middle of March, that I didn’t make. We don’t make every deal, obviously, it would be great if we did. So now I got these little deals on my back burner that I try to stay in touch, and follow up, and try to make a sale, maybe in 30 or 60 days.
Well now, you come down and, this doesn’t happen every month, this isn’t an every month thing. But it’s most months. So now we come down and it’s like gosh, you know, make that deal. Let’s just do it. Do this, do this, do this. Now it’s like, oh my gosh, I just sold 4 cars in 10 minutes. And you’ve got to call your customers, are you still in? OK, yeah. And then you’ve got people all over the show room. Just all over the place. And if you’re away on the trade-ins, just making a deal, making a deal, making a deal. And it was just crazy. The employees, they employees’ families were buying cars.
Andrew: You know what? This even happens online to me. I remember when I was buying ads from Yahoo back in the day. At the end of the month, at the end of the quarter, they were really eager to close the deal and I would be able to get deals that otherwise they’d laugh at me for. And where they tried to drag their heels and use the power of their size against me, at that moment, there is no power in their size. They are more desperate than I am to close the deal.
Matt: Right, right.
Andrew: All right. Let me open this up before I say goodbye. So I got this gift, you know what, it just happened to come in yesterday so I have it here and didn’t have a chance to open it up and the card with it says, “Dear Andrew, it’s very nice to meet you in person at the launch conference where I spoke because we love your show and you loved our t-shirts”, I commented on the t-shirts they had on the floor, “we took the effort to design a similar effort for Mixergy. Keep up the great work. Pascal.” There’s the card. I think this is from Bizplay, let me see if I can hold up my second monitor, this is kind of an awkward…that doesn’t really work. That doesn’t really work, but it’s good to know that it doesn’t.
Basically what Bizplay does is it gives you big screens to have in your store so you can promote things, have news and weather and you know, I guess promote things, but really control (?). So I’m curious, I’ve always wanted to have a Mixergy t-shirt and for some reason I have it, so let’s see what they got for me. What does it say here? “Meet Andrew who loves to see you on Mixergy”, oh I think their shirt also had a “Meet” and then the person’s name. Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. What do you think of this t-shirt?
Matt: I like it.
Andrew: Am I showing it properly? And, of course, on the back they’ve got Mixergy.com. I really like this shirt, too.
Matt: That’s a nice wearable.
Andrew: What’s a wearable?
Matt: Clothing. Anything that you give people that they can wear, with your logo on it.
Andrew: Let’s see…actually, it fits. Not bad.
Matt: Look at that.
Andrew: Home of the ambitious upstart.
Matt: That’s nice.
Andrew: (?) Some kind of a Mixergy t-shirt. The reason we don’t is because I’m not good at design. I mean, look at the design of this video. I have to wipe the screen clean during the interview and it looks like it still didn’t make it any less fuzzy. It’s blurry. Anyway, thank you guys over at Bizplay for sending over the t-shirt and Matt, thanks for doing this interview with me. I’m going to urge anyone who’s listening to go check out your website, which is hybridlocate.com and Matt, thank you again.
Matt: You’re welcome. Let’s do more. This is just touching the…
Andrew: Isn’t it great?
Matt: Just the tip of the iceberg.
Andrew: You know what, here’s the thing. Sales is very intimidating until you get to know some tricks, some tactics, I should say. And then you want to try it out. Like anything else in life, it’s intimidating until you know a little bit about what you’re doing and then you want to do more and more and more.
Matt: Right, right. It’s fun. It’s like, wow, this really works.
Matt: So, yeah. I would be happy to…all these tactics and all these closing techniques can be applied online, offline, on the Internet, you know, people you’ll never meet, people you’re sitting across from, phone calls, it’s all selling. It’s just sales. But I’d be happy to teach you.
Andrew: But let’s ask the audience this. Guys, let me know what you think of this interview. Do you want to see more interviews about sales, I personally can’t enough of it, but I don’t want to impose my passion for sales on an audience of people who just want to get back to (?). So, if you’ve listened this far come back to Mixergy and let me know in the comments of this interview what you think of it and I’m looking forward to it. And of course, if you got anything out of it, in addition to telling me, I hope you find a way to reach Matt, it’s probably on his website, hybridlocate.com and let him know that you appreciate the interview that he did.
I’m going to do it right here, I’m going to say, Matt, thanks for doing this interview, and thank you all for watching and being a part of it.
Matt: Thank you, Andrew.
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