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3Oct, 2011

What Happens in Vegas… You Can See Here! 2011 Top Dog Event

Every year I take my “Top Dog” Service Advisors away for a weekend workshop. These are the best of the best in C/P sales, C.S.I, and Total Sales… The Advisors invited came out from New York to Los Angeles. This year the event was in Vegas, and although I was a bit nervous about it getting out of hand, it ended up being a blast and better than I ever imagined!

Our TOP DOG Advisors were not shy to share their secrets and they had a ton of fun masterminding ideas, sharing their techniques, and learning from each other. One of the best parts was the surprise guest speaker. I managed to get the top casino host from the Hard Rock Casino. The advisors immediately pummeled him with great questions and we learned that attracting and pleasing “the big casino whales” is very similar to what our top Service Advisors do in their service drives. When pressed on what the weirdest thing a big whale guest has ever asked for was, our host finally caved and revealed it was midget strippers! Hilarious… and in true “Top Dog” form, he delivered for the guest… midget strippers!

My top 3 take aways from the event: #1 -  The Top Dogs spend most of their time building rapport with their customers. The bulk of the conversation revolves around personal stuff like kids, work, gossip, TV… the point was made that they spend 90% of their time building rapport and 10% of the time selling.  They all agreed that selling is really easy when you focus on the personal connection. It’s really true and since that meeting I have had a couple (Chihuahua) advisors complain about bad CSI and customers not buying. In both situations I asked the advisors where the customer worked, how many kids they had, what their plans were for the day.  You can guess in both situations the Chihuahuas didn’t know anything about the customer. The easiest path to becoming a high performer is developing the ability to genuinely connect and bond with people and make them feel like they are friends and family.

# 2 – Top Dogs are great at leveraging “props” to bond with their customers. Awards and letters from other happy customers are great for building credibility. Pictures of family or hobbies help break the ice and build common ground with customers. A particular Top Dog I know has letters raving about her great service covering the wall on one side of her desk and awards for customer satisfaction covering the other wall, eye catching photos of her doing fun things with her family are strategically placed on her desk, along with interesting books and puzzles as conversation starters and entertainment. I have watched customers that she has never helped walk by every other desk and wait for her to help them. It works like a charm…

#3 – This is just an observation and should be taken with a grain of salt, but I’m always trying to figure out the DNA of the top performers.It always surprises me that advisors that put up huge numbers are so unassuming. You would think that Advisors writing $350,000+ and $95,000+ in CP sales, and have consistently amazing customer satisfaction scores would be cocky, flashy, or have some sort of edge to them. Not the case in my experience… it ends up that all of the Top Dogs are really humble, easy going, reliable, and family oriented types. They consistently perform at a higher level without any drama or customer heat. They are out there and I am getting pretty good at identifying these Top Dogs (more on those secrets later). Being able to recruit this type of Top Performer affords Managers the ability to focus their attention not on putting out fires and petty issues, but on what really matters… Increasing that bottom line. Chris Collins P.S. Can you pick the best Advisor bark? Check out the vid!

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Digging for Profits By Chris Collins - Dealer Service Training Specialist

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