Who Owns This Money?

As the economy continues to tighten up, you had better be feeling the urgency to capture customers' discretionary dollars.

The customer you meet in your showroom — by the time you’ve met him — has decided to give you a shot at his money. I’m talking about money that he has already committed to spending. He doesn’t exactly know if he’ll spend it with you, but he has already spent the money in his mind …

He wants something to enhance his life here on earth — something to make life better — something selfish! The money he’ll spend on whatever he ends up buying has somehow escaped his "needs" budget and is currently burning a hole in his pocket… but it won’t stay in his pocket for long!

I’m not simply trying to discuss the urgency that this customer has or the urgency that we should feel when we attempt to serve him. I’m also trying to get the point across that he is absolutely gonna spend that money on something because of the nature of what’s driving this purchase. As the economy continues to tighten up, you had better be feeling the urgency to capture these discretionary dollars like never before.

The big difference between what we’re selling and every other purchase a customer makes absolutely changes everything. Buying a motorcycle, especially a high-end one, is quite possibly the single-most selfish act. Other things that the average Joe spends discretionary income on don’t usually cost as much — even that giant plasma TV with surround-sound for watching football doesn’t cost half as much as a new Hayabusa or a ZX-14.

And many of the items that are vying for that discretionary income aren’t things that you do alone. Riding a motorcycle is self-serving, selfish, self-centered, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I also believe that it’s one of the healthiest things I do in my life and think that everyone should ride.

Yeah, there are yachts and airplanes, but they are really just bigger (more expensive) versions of motorcycles. The point is that we’re not selling groceries, cars or toothpaste — we’re selling a complete intangible. Fact of the matter is that we’re selling nothing more solid than a dream.

The sad news is that this customer will more than likely spend his money in a big box store than he will with you. The big boxes somehow make it easier for folks to spend money with them — not to mention offering lower prices!

Face it, most things with a comma in the price tag must be justified before they’re purchased. This is not necessarily the kiss of death, though. In fact, I am convinced, or at least I have a romantic notion, that we can capture at least half of the people we’re not capturing now because of the fact that the big ticket does have to be rationalized and justified.

Now remember, your customer can’t find a salesperson in one of those big box stores to save his life. Instead, they have all but eliminated the interaction with people who wanna sell our customer something by replacing them with minimum wage drones.

Here is the moral to our story: Make it easy for the customer to spend money with you! We work with a dealer on the East Coast who nearly tripled his unit sales over a three-year period. Here are a few facts about that dealer which expose and prove the point I’m trying to make:

  • His store is surrounded by seven direct competitors within a two hour drive.
  • He is the highest priced dealer in that entire area.
  • None of the competing dealers in his area lost any allocation or sold fewer units per year than they had before during the period that our case study dealership’s sales numbers grew.

The secret to this store’s success? Our dealer friend knows exactly who owns the money. When a customer comes into his showroom, the sale is assumed and the transaction is merely a matter of overcoming some simple logistics of helping that customer spend their money on a dream.

Do your salespeople know who owns the money? Have you already decided that it belongs to the competition or the bastards in the big boxes? The correct answer is, of course: you own it! But I can’t help you take it anymore. You have to figure out who owns this money on your own — I dare you!

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