Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J u n e 2 0 1 8 58 C o u n t e r I n t e l l i g e n c e C ustomers need tires and service, and you need to sell them. Most of the time it's pretty easy. A customer walks into your store and says, "I need four of your best for less," and boom, it's done! You ask, "Would you like road hazard protection and an alignment?" And they say, "Sure. Why not?" without even asking the price. Life is good. Other times, it's a bit more work. But not really. Customers either buy or they don't. I think it's hard for a customer to walk out of a store. ey know you sell tires and service, and they have demonstrated a level of trust just by showing up. When you really stop and think about it, it's actually difficult to lose a customer who's standing at your counter unless they're asking for work you or your team is not qualified to perform. Customers need to know that you care, and they need to feel levels of trust before they authorize you to work on their vehicle. When making a sales pitch or presentation, it's important to glean information from the customer. It's important to know that the customer is "tracking" with you. One way of doing this, of course, is by asking questions and listening for clues. I call it "the ZAT Method." e ZAT Method was originally birthed from a training exercise years ago when we were looking to fine-tune and improve our in-bound phone script for quoting tire prices over the phone. I introduced you to the ZAT Method way back in 2011. I noted that when quoting tire prices over the phone, you can't read the caller's body language, so we decided to add a simple question to the phone script. e question was, "How's that sound?" e thought was that midway through the call, we would ask the customer to give us some feedback by asking, "How's that sound?" Of course, when you say it fast and repeatedly, it comes out "How's ZAT sound?" We adopted it, and it worked. Anytime your customer gives you additional feedback, it's valuable. I'm going to expand a bit more on the ZAT Method today and add three simple components. Atomization: Break it down. Personalization: Make it personal. Summarization: Put a bow on it. The definition of atomization: To treat as made up of many discrete units. is was the original thought when we were developing the phone script. As a sales person and potential customer move through the phone script, there are certain segments or "units" that must be done in order. is is so critical to building trust and confidence and closing the sale. Atomization is breaking down the goal (making a sale) before the actual engagement, being prepared and confident. I am not a fan of strict scripts, but we must realize that callers or visitors have their own personal pathway to purchase, and as counter sales staff, we must have our own personal pathway to close. ese pathways must successfully intersect to consummate a successful sale and customer experience. I'm suggesting that you not only prepare, but that you develop your best personal solution by atomizing how you present. Break it down, first for yourself, then with customers in mind. Once you break it down, break it down again and again until you are highly confident of your ability to execute at new higher levels. Secondly, personalization: Make it personal. Everything I read today about customer service references the concept of personal- ized service. e first and most important piece of personalization is using the customer's name. To get your customer's name, you must first offer yours. "Good morning. My name is Wayne. May I have your name?" Use their name, but don't overuse it (sounds phony). Speak to their concerns and needs. One customer might be price driven. Make sure you make price comparisons. A price is only high or low by comparison. Some customers are more concerned about warranty. Again, speak thoroughly to their concerns seeking to gain understanding of how the customer is tracking by asking, "How's ZAT sound?" irdly, summarization: Once you've broken it down and are prepared, once you have personally met the customer needs and concerns, it's time to close the sale. It's time to summarize and close. Summarization is a so landing as opposed to a hard close. Both work, but in today's environment and sensitivities, it's better to summarize and close in harmony and agreement. e ZAT Method is actually about discovery and assistance. In discovering how the customer is tracking, understanding, and feeling, we can make the necessary adjustments during our presentation and address the areas that matter most to each individual customer, increasing our conversation rate and customer satisfaction. How's ZAT sound? ■ Wayne Williams is president of Wayne Williams Marketing, a marketing and branding company with emphasis on retail "counter intelligence." Located in La Habra, Calif., he can be reached via email at wayne@waynewilliamsmarketing.com. ZAT Method revisited HOW TO CULTIVATE CRITICAL CUSTOMER FEEDBACK Wayne Williams By

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