The Art Of Desking – The Three Essentials Of Automotive Sales Negotiations

Desking: Automotive Sales Negotiations

Negotiate Your Way To Profitability

Poor negotiating skills are fine when the economy is rocking, but that doesn’t fly when we actually have to sell cars. In order to turn the tables in our favour and win the highest percentage of deals with the highest possible gross, we need a playbook — a clear set of expectations and responsibilities so our team can execute and handle any situation in or out of the dealership.

So let’s talk about Automotive sales negotiations or what I like to call “the art of desking“. Every football team has a playbook to be learned, internalized and practiced in order to handle the fierce competition and pressures of the game.

Every team needs a good playbook

The key to a great playbook lies in three essential areas that are often overlooked…

“The playbook is the foundation of the team’s beliefs, expectations and responsibilities & done well, every player will be able to work as a unit to execute and handle any situation on or off the field.” 

A great team has great plays, repeatable process and flawless execution. But these 3 factors only come with practice. And guess what? It’s no different from the car business. Market competition is brutal. There’s constant pressure on gross and we have compressing margins. Customers are even armed with information making them formidable negotiators.

So think about your team. Do you have a group of offer presenters or professional negotiators?

Don’t want to read? Check out my video

So what are the three essential steps?

Have clearly defined plays for every stage of the desking & negotiating process:

What is your ultimate goal on the first pencil and how is it structured? And more importantly, what are we saying? How do salespeople overcome the objections when they come up? What about the second pencil? How are you being creative to make the numbers fit into the customers budget while still improving the gross? What’s your plan to wrap up the third and final pencil? Who presents the final numbers? How do you go to the last bump to ensure maximum profit? You got to have clearly defined plays for every stage of the desking and negotiating process.

Eliminate the time monsters that kill the deal:

Don’t forget, slow kills with negotiating, so how and when does the customers information get inputted into the CRM? How and when does the customers trade information get placed into the CRM? When is our formal appraisal getting done? Do you have the all-hands-on-deck mindset when it’s time to negotiate or do sales people feel like they’re interrupting you and too busy to work a deal?

Have a training and coaching plan so you can practice and develop skills:

What training are you giving your salespeople so they have the knowledge and tools they need to succeed? Are you practicing as a team so that their skills become instinct? How often do you video them and use it to improve their overall performance? When and how do you coach your salespeople to set then up for sustainable success?

Take these questions and make a change. It’s time to rethink your process TODAY! Go set up a meeting with your management team and use these questions to get the conversation started and get your playbook right so you can win more deals and hold more gross!

 You’ve got the ball. What are you going to do?

  “Train insane OR remain the same”

Want to learn more about negotiations? Check out our 2 minute article here.



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