A very smart dealer once told me that selling cars was the easiest thing he had ever done in his career and owning a dealership was the hardest.  His trick was listening to the customers.
There is far less one-on-one communication that goes on between a salesperson and a customer today vs. John Paul Strong: For almost 15 years he has worked solely at the dealer marketing level and has mastered all necessary skills to lead the company in the digital, traditional and direct contact forms of media. March Newsletter – What Are The Three Most Relevant Topics To Increase Traffic and Sales?
Strong Automotive MerchandisingStrong Automotive Merchandising generates the highest level of quality traffic per dollar spent by focusing on sources that yield the greatest return for our dealer clients. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Faculty Development website. Eye contact, nodding, small facial expressions and the occasional echoing of words are all examples of active listening.
He would let the husband describe what he wanted in a car while the wife explained what she didn’t want. The general manager and the used car manager were discussing  a deal they couldn’t close with a customer. What struck me were their phrases.


The last 11 years have been spent strictly working at the Tier 3 level growing the company to nearly 70 employees and over 125 successful dealers nationwide.
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Well, the funnel technique gives us a useful visual reference for thinking about questioning skills. Sometimes it may be necessary to repeat or rephrase this question to give the appraisee more thinking time and further opportunities to raise information.
But for a whole host of reasons it can be very challenging to stay focused and really listen to someone, particularly in a more formal discussion such as an appraisal.
The salespeople (both floor and Internet) need to remember to listen and learn what they don’t know before they tell customers what they know.
Strong works hands-on with most clients and has played a leadership role in all dealerships the company handles. Working down the narrowing body of the funnel we use a series of probing questions to draw out further specific information and help complete the picture.
For one thing, it can be tempting to think ahead to what your next question is going to be.


His focus is to insure the traffic created is immediate and measured in car sales for clients.
Closed questions then have their place to draw out, check or confirm specific pieces of information, or to get the appraisee to commit on a point more precisely.
Both employees and clients find his attitude and attention to their business infectious and energizing. This then brings us to the bottom of the funnel where we clarify, using a short summary, what we have got out of the discussion, aiming to check our understanding of the main points.
The solution to this takes the form of what is termed a€?active listeninga€™ and we can use the acronym LISTEN to gain some useful guidance on this. Strong is a nationally recognized speaker in the automotive industry, has authored two books on creating next day traffic and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s program on Executive Service Firms.
He is also a firm believer that “attitude is everything” and that there is only minimal space between being good and being exceptional.



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