Well well well, it’s been an interesting few months since my last blog. A lot of changes, a lot of improvements and of course, a few more “whoops” along the way but that comes with the job, Right?
My college results landed mid-way through the summer, which was an indication and a “light-bulb moment” that the full-time work and full-time college was becoming too demanding and not sustainable. I really thought long and hard on what to do regards my future, If I’m not giving 100 % to something I’m passionate about I’m not happy.
I had three options: 1) Leave my job to finish college! 2)Leave college to stay in my job but give up my personal goal of getting a Business Degree.
But thankfully I have a knack of getting my way around things. Option three was stay in my job but do my degree online in the evenings part time. It’ll be demanding yes, but it’ll be more manageable than what I have been doing the last two years.
It’s safe to say I’ll be keeping busy anyway & For every problem, there is a solution! I wish I could tell myself that when a problem arises like sending an invoice to the wrong finance company (Whoops).
So, In the last few months what did I learn?
1. Confidence: One thing a customer relies on and trusts. If I’m not confident in what I’m selling they won’t feel confident enough to hand over the money and trust us to do business. I need to sound as though I know what I’m talking about. The usual scenario when I walk out onto the forecourt “Hello how are you, is there anything I can help you with? Ah yes, I was wondering can I speak to a salesman in relation to this car! Well Sir, A sales woman is going to have to do you” If he laughs it off he’ll be a bit of craic, if his face stays stern you’re in for a tricky one. But stay poised and confident, trust will shortly follow. (Trust me)
2. Punctuality: It’s on my CV that I’m punctual, but sure looka, it says I’m into art as a hobby too. Everyone’s CV has a little white lie somewhere. I’m always a last-minute person for everything. Even when I try be on time something always happens, flat tyre, stuck behind a tractor, and more often than not I can’t find mascara (yano yourself). But in the last couple of weeks the stress-free mornings between no college and getting up that little bit earlier, I’m in at “around 8:30” in comparison to 8:59. Getting paperwork organised and setting some sort of a structure for the day ahead helps a lot. Note: Not hitting snooze 10 times helps here. We are all guilty of it!
3. Presentation: I never thought dressing myself every morning would be such a task! Women need more credit in this industry for how hard it is to pick outfits that are “suitable”! It’s another job in itself. I can’t just throw on suit trousers and the same shirt with a different tie every day. Men have it handy! I on the other hand learned maybe it’s best not to wear white jeans to work. I wore them one Saturday and Mr “Smart Ass” O’Loughlin said, “Aoibhin there is a call waiting on line 1, Its Joe Dolan looking for his pants back” the joys of being the “junior”. To be honest, him being so old and all, I didn’t even know who Joe Dolan was, so the joke was a little delayed until I used the trusted google search!
All joking aside, Presentation is key when selling a car. Looking professional and well-kept is essential but not just your own presentation, the presentation of the stock is also key. Washed, hoovered, smelling nice, tyres slicked, parked straight and neat! You never get a second chance for a first impression. When the customer you spoke to over the phone calls in, make sure all the above boxes are ticked, along with no fuel light illuminated on the dash. God forbid you wouldn’t want the car to run out of fuel on a test drive AGAIN!!!! now would we? (Whoops)
4. Time Turnaround: One of the most important things I’ve noticed and learned over the last year! Once a finance application comes through GRAB IT, CALL THEM, PROP THEM. The idea of a new car is hot in the customers head once they submit an application form, once accepted the excitement of the prospect that a new car is within reach means that the closing of the sale is a natural progression.
5. The Assumptive Sale: Something Mr “Smart Ass” O’Loughlin here is brilliant at. Basically, ringing the customer telling them they are accepted for finance and “Right ya boy ya, when do you want the car delivered?” …Maybe him being a little (a lot) older and more experienced he is able to read the situation and the customer better. It seems to work a lot for him, I need to practice a little more. As I said in the last blog, I still hear those words every day “Wax on, Wax off”.
6. The “Stop Talking” Method: Sir Kevin Egan’s favourite two words STOP TALKING. A typical scenario is something like:
Me: Hello Sharon, I’ve great news, I have you accepted for finance at €321 a month with a 2-year warranty and a service plan. The car is ready for sale it just needs an NCT and is booked for tomorrow at 3:15, So I can have you in your new car by 4pm. (STOP TALKING)
Hopeful response: (Thinking in their head they’ll be in a new car by tomorrow) That sounds great Aoibhin.
Me: Great I’ll go ahead and get cracking on the finance docs for you. (STOP TALKING)
Hopeful response: “Brilliant, See you at 4pm tomorrow”.
Me: RAISED HANDS IN THE AIR and a Calm tone in my voice, “No problem Sharon see you then”.
Note: A thing to remember after the excitement of the sale is to actually bring the car for the NCT and not let yourself forget!! As I’ve said plenty of times and I’ll say it again, Whoops…
Now that doesn’t happen exactly like that all the time. If it was that easy we’d all be in this game! But essentials like, Quick time turnaround, Confidence when talking and most importantly a team of people making the whole show run smoothly behind the scenes is what it takes!
We here at Kevin Egan Cars have a team of people that all have independent jobs to make things click and tick correctly. Someone to picture the cars, someone to service the cars and someone to wash and park the cars. Without that whole operation happening behind the scenes, things wouldn’t be as smooth.
Now that operation is being changed and improved on a daily basis, because we are constantly evolving and improving as a whole! You can never sit idle and stay the same even if things are going good! You need to change and evolve in order to stand out and be different from the rest!
One of our most frequent sayings in our office is “Every day is a learning day in the car trade”.
I’ve been in this industry now for just over a year. There’s been moments along the way where I feel I’m 31 not 21... There hasn’t been one day that’s been the same, no customer the same and no deal the same, and I absolutely love it. It keeps you on your toes. Oh, and the company car this month to was a nice wee bonus. It’s a diesel, isn’t it? (Whoops)