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Question:

Hi Geoff,

I did your Level lV NLP training over 15 years ago at Holua Resort a SVC property. Back in the day with Simon and Joe. Anyway hope all is well, I was wondering if you had any material I could refresh with? Thanks so much.

Aloha,

Robert Donsì

 

Answer:

Hi Robert,

Great to hear from you.

You’d like to refresh the effects of that course in your head – I take it you no longer have the course notes…?

It’s hard to know quite what to advise without you being more specific about what you’d like to achieve. I believe you are referring to a Level III course as opposed to Level IV. I don’t think we ever ran a Level IV for Shell Vacations, only for Resorts USA, Joe Malone’s previous operation and that was held at Treetops in PA and was co-hosted by Dr. Wil Monteiro as I couldn’t have done it without him. So… assuming we are talking about Level III what we covered was:

  • Interpreting behaviour
  • Language patterns and questioning skills
  • Managing one’s own state of mind
  • Modelling (copying) excellence/great performance
  • Understanding how our senses operate in order to consciously manage some of the filtering that goes on
  • Plus a little bit about belief structures and also, attention

I brought this set of topics together because they were the most appropriate for the job we were training for so you won’t find them in any single source. Everything imaginable is on the internet somewhere though so to progress, all you need to do is identify your topic and search. Avoid using NLP as a phrase though because there is so much garbage swamping the genuinely useful material it’s almost impossible to find anything clean and authentic. Some NLP communities have generated spurious gobbledygook by the truckload, attempting to pass it off for real science with everyone ‘in the know’ keeping up the pretence so their house of cards won’t collapse. I recommend you research the topic of interest through proper scientific channels.

I have a very small, but growing smattering of advice and ramblings on my website but have avoided posting much actual material on there because, while it might attract traffic, I earn my living by delivering training sessions. To that end, I seek clients who want to book my services!

If you need help narrowing your search or you have a specific question for me, fire away! I’ll be glad to help if I possibly can.

Best wishes,

Geoff

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Question:

Hi Geoff, don’t know whether you remember me? I used to work for a well-known Korean franchise dealer in the South East and we had training in some really nice hotel in the Cotswolds. That got me started in my career which has been good so far. I now manage a small, exotic used car operation and I have two needs. One is to do with my one and only salesman and the other is about sales. I’m getting a lot of people who say they’ll travel hundreds of miles to save a few quid, using the internet to shop for a similar car to mine and then vanishing. I find I’m giving all the expertise and advice and then never seeing them again. Your thoughts? Cheers, hope you’re well, it would be great to catch up on the number below, or the email.

Neil Bakewell

Answer:

Hi Neil, That would have been the Manor Hotel, Moreton-In-Marsh, lovely place. Every used car is unique so my first question is what are they buying instead of yours; older, higher mileage, newer, cleaner? Whatever it is, it’s not exactly the same. If yours is more expensive it needs to be better in some way, or your service must make up for any price difference. If neither is true, or those factors are not ‘sold’ the customer will be right to go elsewhere. Be sure you are making the most of your reconditioning and your aftersales promise. Do a tour of your premises and introduce the customer to your technician (assuming you have one), your admin person or anyone else you have in your team. Explain what you’ve done in reconditioning and preparing the car and share your knowledge about what to look out for on the particular model of interest; these last points will be like mini cautionary tales and will build trust in you and your car. When it comes to preparation standards, aim high – be the best. Keep an eye on the competition by Googling for similar cars to yours and seeing what’s out there. Collect some details about the other cars so you understand the choices the customer has available and without running them down, be sure to present yours favourably against the main alternatives. Of course, you must also be competitive. I’m assuming you and your cars are fair value, but if not get competitive. If your cars do plenty of test-drives but stay in your showroom, you’ll know something is amiss. Finally, be confident, cool and look after your customer’s needs. Do all this and you’ll get the rewards you deserve. I’ll email you directly about your salesperson so we can be discrete.

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Question:

Hi Geoff. I know that the key to closing a sale is to raise the customers desire for the product, and this in turn will then lower the logic/cost of the product, but could you help me with some key points on how to raise the customer’s desire please?

Beth

Answer:

Gosh that’s a big question Beth, you are talking about the whole idea of what a salesperson does, so if you think you are having trouble raising desire let’s go back to basics: The customer will pay for something if he/she wants it. The more they want it, the more they’ll pay (although you have to be aware of the competition in this). So, what makes someone want something? It’s all to do with them predicting for themselves how it will make them feel. If they imagine they will feel fantastic, they’ll want it more, but if they only imagine it will be sort-of-alright, then they won’t be in quite such a hurry. This is where you come in. If you can really gain an understanding of their lifestyle and usage, their specific needs, wants, desires and so on, you can paint the pictures of their future which include all of the ‘feel-good’ benefits of ownership. The better you are at painting pictures they recognise as relevant (accurate portrayals of their use), the more likely they are to put themselves in those pictures, experience something like excitement or deep satisfaction and consequently want to make the purchase. Assuming they want to make the purchase, it now has to become urgent or it will just be a ‘one day’ thing. THESE ARE THE MOTIVES THEY WISH TO MOVE AWAY FROM: 1. Life’s too short to wait, they need it NOW 2. The current one they own (if they do), will go wrong/let them down badly/continue to be inadequate/fcontinue to fall in value 3. The one they want will be sold/go up in price 4. They will miss out/be left behind/appear foolish. THESE ARE THE MOTIVES THEY WISH TO MOVE TOWARDS: 1. They will be envied by others 2. They will be making a statement of their success, good sense and happiness 3. Life will be better with the new one 4. Troubles and worries will be behind them. I hope that helps!


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Question:

Hi Geoff i did all my training with you back in the day for Haven when all new sales people were sent away for a few weeks to Hemel hempstead. I am running a park now which has never really been sales focussed before and trying to bring it up to speed using my experience from my last 11 yrs with the Talacre beach group. i am finding it difficult to get customers (walk-ins) to park tour as there is a lot of competition around me and all they want is a price list and then they are bolting out the door….Also the owners seem to be a bit wary as they haver only ever upgraded when they decide!!!

Shaun Roberts

Answer:

Hello Shaun, I remember you very well and am glad to hear from you. You won’t make much progress handing out price lists and without taking people on tour it’s hard to get people interested in the merits of the park so your dilemma is very real. You’ll need to stop people in their tracks when they come in. I think you need to face the situation head on and say something along the lines of, “Most people who are looking for a holiday home around here just shop from park to park comparing prices. Then after they buy something they begin to find out that perhaps the park isn’t right for them after all. We get people coming in quite often asking what it costs to move onto (this park). Before you fall into that trap, decide what you really want from a park and figure out your budget and shop properly. I’m quite happy to help you know which park offers what around here… I know we can’t satisfy everybody and each person has their own particular needs. Tell me what they are and I’ll point you in the right direction.” Then I think you should have some POS which identifies the key benefits of your park and what you offer. That would be facilities, tenure, pricing, site-fees, customer service, family-owned or whatever sets you apart even just a little bit. Next you must learn all of the key advantages and drawbacks of the competition. i.e.: More facilities but higher site-fees. Great pitches, but no pool. Cheap site fees but very old caravans looking like an eye-sore. This will help you narrow down people’s choices for them. You must be prepared to send some away to look elsewhere but also those that stay will have recognised you are genuine. They’ll know that no park is perfect, all are a compromise of one kind or other and it’s a matter of what your compromises are and whether they match their shopping list. All of this is like a pre-tour mini-presentation. It’s also an intent statement of sorts. If you find you struggle when compared to the competition that may tell you something and you might need more help. Let me know. Keep in touch! Geoff


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Question:

Hi Geoff, don’t know whether you remember me. My name’s Don Goodall and I met you on a 2 day General Management course all about how to run a dealership. If it helps you remember, on day 2 the fire alarm went off twice and we ended up sitting in the beer garden discussing workshop loading. Anyway, it’s still the best course I’ve ever been on and the only one in 18 years I’d like to do again! Purpose of my contact. I can’t find my course notes and can’t remember the KPI for helmets. What do you reckon? Regards, Don

Don Goodall

Answer:

Hi Don, you were sat next to a bloke called Phil who’s father had left him the shop but wouldn’t stop interfering and kept us laughing solidly for the entire course. You were the only person with an electronic diary system for the workshop too if I remember rightly. So, helmets: The difficulty is, normal margins (say 30% and up) and normal stock turn (6x) simply don’t seem to work for helmets. It’s just about achievable at the low-price end but you end up turnnng your money over nicely and selling in volume but making an insignificant amount of profit. Helmets are jewellery in a motorcycle dealership. It’s normal to display them at the back and to make sure they are well lit and mighty colourful! 3 brands is plenty unless you can manage with just 2. Have strong reasons to stock more than that, especially if with the main brands you’ve got 3 or 4 ranges between them. Follow the pyramid stocking system (contact me again if you’re unclear on that) and monitor sales carefully to avoid lost sales. Price for profit but give people reasons not to just try them on in your store and then shop on-line. Better still, get staff selling up and bundling so the shopping evolves and their basket changes so much they become less attached to whatever they’ve already seen on-line. Also, a bit of urgency can help. If there are any problems with their current helmet and they might not keep it as a spare, offer to keep it at the store and get it destroyed, otherwise some teenager might end up using it in 5 years time and it won’t perform properly. All in all, if you can vary margins (not mark-ups) from 25% to 50% and turn stock from 1x on the slowest to 6x on the fastest and end up somewhere near 2.5x – 3.5x with an ROI of about 100% then you are in the right ballpark. It’s not great, but it’s right where most people are. Finally problems occur from: i) Pilferage, ii) Damage during display iii) Over stocking the wrong stuff iv) thinking that selling lots of £60 helmets with a 30% margin will make you rich – it doesn’t. Hope that helps and nice to hear from you. Geoff

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