Want to know more about how
your salespeople are performing? Use a mystery shopper. CAUTION:
don’t utilize this article if you have high blood pressure.
You are going to be amazed, flabbergasted, and downright upset
by what you find.
Most large cities have professional
firms that specialize in this type of research. If you can’t
find one or feel their service is too expensive for your budget
right now, ask a relative or friend to help.
Mystery shoppers look and sound
like any anonymous customer who might walk in your door or call
your business on the phone. But their motivation is different.
They might buy or they might not. They want to see how your
salespeople respond to their inquiry (and that might include
This is the perfect way to determine
whether you and your staff are asking for the sale each time.
Your mystery shopper will tell
you valuable things such as how many times the phone rang before
it was answered and whether or not the salesperson was courteous.
Good ones will report the impression they had when they first
came in the door. Were they greeted well? Were they recognized
(as a customer)? Were they assisted within a reasonable time?
A mystery shopper is a hired
investigator who on a minor level will reveal insight into how
your operation is coming across to all customers. He or she
will also inform you of areas where you and your sales staff
need to apply some technique or go for further training.
Hiring a mystery shopper or
two periodically will keep the bugs out of your sales and help
ensure your progress toward significant success.
It’s simple: give them
lists of parts you know are in stock and have them shop. Also,
have them buy at least one. AND... Have them return one. Get
your blood pressure medicine ready for this report, and be sitting
down. And you were wondering why your sales weren’t growing?
I used the results obtained
from mystery shoppers objectively to track progress of new hires
as well as the performance of all the salespeople. I prepared
objective criteria for the shoppers and tabulated scores for
the salespeople, which were handed out to all of them.
Now that you understand what
a mystery shopper is in relation to your own business, turn
the table around and send this same artisan to your competitors.
A good mystery shopper will inform you of their habits, good
and bad, just as well as he or she does your own. You might
be surprised at what you learn. You’ll learn two things
for certain: what NOT to do and what to do BETTER.
Don’t forget to subscribe
to my free monthly auto recycling e-newsletter, with news and
tips, register at www.autosalvageconsultant.com.
Next month: More good stuff
from Chapter 5 of “Salvaging Millions”.
Remember, only you can make
Ron Sturgeon is past owner of
AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations,
with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North
Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In
2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published
to help small business owners achieve significant success, and
was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership
and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate
holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at www.autosalvageconsultant.com.
He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, (best)
or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.