Meet & Greet: No Brooms Allowed
By Justin M. Osburn
Published in the BHPH Dealer Magazine December 2017
If you want to throw the broom away and polish up your sales department’s meet and greet, here are the 4 steps using my acronym “MEET”.
- Maintain the RIGHT “Greeters” (Sales Professionals)
- Exit the Door
- Enter the Door
M “Maintain the Right Sales Professionals. The meet and greet is the customer’s very first personal interaction impression. It truly will accelerate or put brakes on the sale. Hire sales professionals that have the right attitude, personality and character. It is difficult to mess up when you have these three characteristics checked off on a sales person. A positive and enthusiastic attitude brings optimism and improved morale. Couple that with an outgoing and gregarious personality and you have a bright and shiny “people person” who can make small talk with just about anyone. Throw in character and they won’t steal from you and will be gracious for your strong leadership. If a candidate checks off these three boxes, the rest can be taught. Now that you have the right person, its your duty to teach them your process. You must have a process if you expect them to represent and perform in a specific way. Your expectations of how they dress, smell, sound, where they should be and when, etc. should all be clearly spelled out in the interview and training phases.
E “Exit the door. Regardless of the internet’s advances, BHPH lots still have plenty of foot traffic. To prepare and train sales staff, the initial interaction can be somewhat… intimidating. Refer back to step “M”. If you hire the right person, they love to talk to people. However, coach sales teams to use the door as an object that reminds them to get prepared for the meet and greet. When you hit that door, it should remind you of the three things you need to accomplish to move the prospect to the next step. . These three things a sales person should be an expert at, through a lot of perfect practice. They include:
Presence: The right sales person with a lot of perfect practice will become comfortable with the meet and greet. This comfort will improve their presence. They should practice being confident, friendly, offering smiles, being fun, agreeable and prepared with good questions. Avoid things that could deter a strong meet and greet like bad breath, poor body language and/or no idea what to do because they have poor direction.
Introduction: A great introduction example: “Hello, have you been here before or is this your first time? Great, my name is Justin, what’s your name (Handshake and offer them a business card)? There are many others, pick your preference or have several situational plays. Remember, a quarterback may have called a run play, but them team is prepared to audible a pass if the defense lines up a certain way. When your team has the basics, you can build audible into their playbook.
F.O.R.M. stands for Family | Occupation | Recreation | Message. It is easy to remember and gives the sales person a formula to walk through a conversation with a prospect. The sales professional can ask about their family, move to their work and then what they like to do for fun. The “M” in F.O.R.M. refers to message. What message do we want to present. The next action for the customer is to go inside. We go inside so we can move the sale along. Have your sales professionals come up with their own ways to present this message, examples:
“I have more details about that vehicle inside, lets go check it out.” Turn and walk toward the door and they will always follow.
E “Enter the door. When the sales professional and customer open the door, again, let the door be a reminder to the sales professional to ask a question, “Do you have your driver’s license?” You ask this question in a manner that sounds like you are asking if you can have it. The prospect will offer you their driver’s license and the sales professional makes a copy. Use this step to point out the restrooms, coffee, kids area, and to get them to the sales professional’s office or desk.
T “TO. The last step in the meet and greet is to get the manager involved. We know early turnovers are highly effective. Do not wait until the customer decides to leave to introduce the manager. Managers must be engaged and willing to do TO’s. Managers should be highly qualified to assist in moving the sale forward and into the application process. They can communicate the story of the dealership, the process and provide confidence and transparency to the customer.
Being great at the meet and greet will improve lead to application percentages. Leads will not convert to approvals and sales without first obtaining applications. Managers should always track each sales professional’s performance on leads to applications. Through great training and practice, this can unload much stress off the operation and begin to perfect the flow of converting leads to sales.
Email me your favorite meet and greet story at firstname.lastname@example.org.