What your company needs the most is optimistic leadership. As the owner or manager your staff are looking for someone to provide them with direction. There is so much negative thought in the mainstream media and on social media that positive words need to be spoken into your staff. This negativity is deadly on the sales counter. You need your sales staff to be as cheery as they can be. Be the ones that speak positive messages to your customers. Especially as to your presence and your desire to help fill the customers need.
I would suggest that you start everyday reminding your sales staff that today and every day for the next month or so will be about helping every caller. It is going to be about what can we as a company do to help this caller.
Especially in this challenging time, all calls are precious and need to be treated that way. You need your sales counter to be highly focused on closing every opportunity. If your sales calls are slowing then you need to close EVERY call. Most sales counters close less than half of the calls they receive. More than ever price is king. Many retail customers have less money and need a vehicle to provide access to the basics for them and their families.
Since you are open your goal is to at least cover overhead. You may not be profitable these next few months but you can stay open and stay strong in your market. The biggest obstacle you have is keeping your company and especially your sales team focused on closing every call. As the saying goes “every obstacle has an opportunity and every opportunity has an obstacle”.
I can guarantee you that the LKQ’s of the world are out there trying to buy every piece of salvage and close every call. They are or will lower their net profit expectations on every piece of salvage and on every part whether it is an in-stock part or an out-of-stock part. They will take advantage of this time to take as much of the market as they can.
You need to turn your sales staff loose on making deals. You need to be flexible on anything that might create a barrier to a close. You have already invested heavily into the stock you have – purchase costs, dismantling costs, etc. What you need now is money flowing in to keep you moving. It is easier to maneuver a ship when it is in motion than when it is barely moving.
Think about what your production and delivery departments can do to assist in getting parts into the hands of your customers. Can we offer reduced shipping costs? Can we put it in a box and have it delivered to their door? Can we be open earlier, later or on weekends?
One department in our company is responsible for almost all of the profit generation in our companies. As they say, sales cures all! When sales are good, most all problems are manageable. When sales are bad, every problem seems insurmountable. This is why we need this department running on all cylinders now more than ever.
If you can rise to meet this challenge you will reap the rewards in the end. This virus will end and your company will prosper. You as owner, sales manager, etc., will determine how this will play out. “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”.
You can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you respond to it. Those that take control of what they can control will be the ones who will be in control of the their market place once this has passed.
During this time, we have received many calls, text and emails about how to approach this challenge. We continue to work with sales staff and managers and to encourage them to make it happen. Most of our trainings still occur before the sales counter opens or after it closes. More valuable than ever are constant encouragement and coaching. Thinking about how to organize your company to be flexible, productive and profitable during this time is critical. Please let us know if we can help you in any way through this time.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Rich Tyler Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, email@example.com; 512-963-4626