How Was the Greatest Automotive Salesman of All-Time So Successful?

Automotive sales are quite relevant to our interests here at JNR as many of our programs are specifically designed to help our clients from this industry increase their revenues. Our programs focus on incentivizing automotive dealer principals, sales managers, salespeople and finance departments to sell more automobiles, aftermarket parts and financial service plans.

As a result, we thought it would be fascinating to pinpoint the reasons why the greatest automotive salesperson of all-time was so successful.

Joe Girard was a man that said he could sell anything. It would be hard to argue with him when you consider that he sold 13,001 Chevrolets in just fifteen years! That averages out to roughly 867 cars a year, 72 per month and seventeen per week! He once sold 160 cars in a single month and eighteen in a single day. Girard won the title of world’s number one car salesman according to Guinness Book of World Records twelve years in a row from 1966 to 1977.

Joe’s success story is all the more improbable when you consider the fact that he had such a tough time getting his first job as a car salesman that he agreed to generate his own leads and not take any walk-in traffic that came through the dealership!

As you can see, Joe knew a thing or two about selling cars and should be the envy of anyone involved in automotive sales, or any type of sales for that matter. This begs the question: “why was Mr. Girard so successful?” Here are a few reasons why:

1.    He understood the value of a good referral

Joe Girard’s “Law of 250” stated that most people have 250 individuals in their lives that would show up to their funeral or wedding and therefore he had a potential to gain or lose that many (250) sales depending on how well or how poorly he sold to one particular individual. He always asked for a referral because he understood that not many people will offer one voluntarily. One good referral represented a massive value to Joe and he never took that for granted.

2.    Joe was incredibly persistent

Mr. Girard knew that it was crucial to be at the forefront of a person’s mind right when they are in the market for a new car. He regularly kept in touch with his prospects by sending out thank you notes, holiday cards, relevant news tailored to their interests and even free goodies. His notes and correspondence pieces were highly personalized, not mass produced.

Joe’s work was not finished when he made the initial sale however. He was very adamant on following up with customers after he placed them in their new vehicle to make sure they were happy. This diligence helped ensure a valuable referral, and even an additional sale in the future from this client.

3.    Girard always went the extra mile for his customers

As discussed earlier, Joe kept in regular contact with his prospects and sent relevant news and resources as part of that correspondence. He would look for relevant content that he felt was particularly appropriate for that individual and send personalized mail to them with great regularity.

Joe Girard would also drop in tidbits of information about the recipient’s life that he had discovered through conversations for an extra touch of personalization. Mentions of the prospect’s children or spouses or interests were highly effective ways to demonstrate he valued their business. A high level of personalization goes a long way in making a potential customer feel more comfortable and likely to buy from you.

Since not every salesperson can be a Joe Girard, automotive sales incentive programs are commonly used to optimize automotive sales revenues and achieve a favorable outcome. Click here to request information on how JNR can implement a program for you or check out our related articles below. We have over 30 years of experience delivering travel incentive, merchandise, award and prepaid card programs for large automotive companies that drive real results and would be happy to share our experiences with you.

Related Reading:

Auto Consumers Love Rebate Cards – Rebate cards encourage test drives, strengthen customer loyalty and are the best incentive for tire shoppers

Automotive Manufacturers Can Engage Consumers with Incentives – Incentives can help close more vehicle sales, keep customers loyal and increase showroom traffic.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Automotive Manufacturers Can Engage Consumers with Incentives

Those involved in the automotive industry can utilize incentives to achieve a wide array of objectives. Incentives can be valuable no matter what segment you operate in and no matter who your target audience is.

In this blog, we will focus on automotive manufacturers and how they can engage their consumers by offering various cash and non-cash incentives.

Automotive manufacturers looking to increase sales of new vehicles and strengthen existing customer loyalty should look to three distinct incentive program solutions.

Purchase Incentives – Close More Vehicle Sales and Move Product Faster

As an auto manufacturer, the word “incentives” probably means cash back to the customer. Administration is typically most efficient and effective on a prepaid debit card. These cards empower the customer by giving them the freedom to spend their money as they choose.

While cash is helpful in moving inventory and adjusting price levels, non-cash incentives such as merchandise, travel incentives or gift cards are more powerful in sweetening a deal when cash is not enough. By utilizing corporate discounts based on quantity, these incentives can offer a higher perceived value to the recipient while being very low in actual cost to the company. Procuring hundreds or thousands of a particular item will allow your cost per item to come in well under the retail price the consumer would otherwise pay.

Although offering a gift may be appealing to some, it is important to offer a “cash out” option that equals the promotional value of the non-cash items to accommodate those who need the extra cash in-hand to make a down payment and ultimately close the deal.

Gift After Purchase/Customer Loyalty Incentives – Keep Customers Loyal Long-Term

Although most manufacturers feel that cash is the most effective way to sell cars in the short-term, merchandise and travel can be interesting after-purchase gift options to increase the loyalty of your customers in the long-run. Getting caught up in the pressure to sell today and ignore long-term loyalty is understandable, but not wise.

Carefully selected merchandise will allow you to target a very specific demographic of consumers based on their interests and needs. Incentive travel for your most loyal customers can deliver priceless, memorable experiences that are impossible to replicate. Automobile manufacturers that prioritize customer loyalty are already starting to understand that non-cash incentives are crucial.

The following are some rather positive statistics compiled by Incentive Performance Center about these Gift After Purchase/Customer Loyalty Incentives programs.

  • 75% of recipients told others about the gift
  • 30% of those recipients told 4 to 7 people
  • 98% would recommend the brand to others
  • 71% said the gift exceeded their expectations

Loyal customers are great brand advocates. They possess lower selling costs, increased profitability over time and tend to be more willing to pay higher prices for your product. The lifetime value of a loyal customer is truly astounding.

Test Drives – Increase Showroom Traffic and Sales Revenues

There is a direct correlation between the number of test drives taken and the number of vehicle sales. This has been tested in many studies and is widely accepted in the automotive industry. Offering non-cash incentives that directly appeal to your target market is the most effective way to ensure that your budget is being allocated to the appropriate audience.

The incentives should be attractive enough so that your focused demographic is intrigued, but carefully targeted to avoid accommodating a mass number of unqualified individuals that come in to the dealership and waste the time of the personnel with no true interest in making a purchase.

Incentives given in exchange for test drives are an essential component of efforts to effective sales strategies.

In conclusion

As an automotive manufacturer, a fundamental understanding of incentives is paramount. A failure to grasp or deliver incentives successfully simply represents a lost opportunity to achieve greater profitability. While this blog specifically discusses how automotive manufacturers target consumers, future blogs will examine how other automotive audiences can benefit from these programs.

If you’d like to explore this topic further, please read the full study compiled by Incentive Performance Center here, explore how we deliver incentive programs here or send me an email at khewkin@jnrcorp.com so that I can provide you more detailed information on any of the topics covered in this post.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

______________________________________________________________

JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Auto Consumers Love Rebate Cards

Enticing car buyers to make purchases with incentives is not a new concept. It has long been known that those in this market can be swayed based largely on what they receive in return for their purchases of products and services. The most crucial choice in this process lies in deciding on the most effective type of incentive to offer. Cash back rebates on prepaid cards and discounted prices are the two most common ways to incentivize consumers. Which of these is most appealing to the buyer?

A new auto study published in Incentive Magazine by Deanna Ting surveyed 1,300 U.S. consumers. It showed that auto shoppers are more motivated to make car or tire purchases, take test drives, or book car services when offered cash back rebates—typically administered on prepaid cards—not discounted prices.

This logic is not difficult to understand when you consider that a $1,000 rebate on a prepaid card at the time of purchase is much more appealing than the same value discounted over the life of an automotive loan. Saving $1,000 on the final price of the car will result in a miniscule decrease to the monthly payment over the life of even a short three-year loan. Additionally, people naturally enjoy instant gratification over delayed payoffs.

Further findings from this survey:

  • Rebates encourage test drives – The survey showed that a $500 after purchase rebate in addition to a $50 prepaid card is the most compelling formula for increasing the number of test drives taken.
  • Incentives strengthen service loyalty – Consumers said they would change their behavior and remain loyal to a particular dealer if they were given a $100 prepaid card for every year of service at that dealership and a $10 prepaid card for every service performed there. This is a fundamental way to ensure that your customers remain loyal to your dealership over others.
  • Prepaid cards are the best incentive for tire shoppers – A $50 prepaid card is the strongest motivator for those in the market for tires. Surprisingly, it is even more effective than a $60 gift card, a free year of oil changes, and even $300 worth of discounts on future tire services. Again, instant gratification wins out over future savings.

In light of these revelations, prepaid rebate cards should be a prominent part of your 2014 strategy for improving automotive revenues and increasing the loyalty of your customer base.

For more information on why prepaid debit cards are so effective, check out our free whitepaper on prepaid debit cards: http://www.jnrcorp.com/resources-whitepapers#whitepaper3.

By JNR Corp

Written by Kristopher Hewkin