Gia Le is from Australia with a mixed heritage of Chinese and Vietnamese. She started her career in finance and insurance with an automotive dealership. That’s where she got her start in sales. In the beginning, she went from almost being fired three months into her job to being the top-performing consultant in Australia’s largest automotive holding company. Later on, Gia realized she wanted to have more flexibility in her life. She looked for ways she could use her skills and pursued another career that would give her more freedom and flexibility.
She tried real estate for a year and noticed that digital marketing, an emerging platform, was being underutilized in Australia. Four years ago, the use of social media was just starting to blossom. She saw that as an opportunity and decided to build a digital agency where she made just $500 in her first month. Today, her agency is growing across Australia and Asia.
Selling using out-dated methods
When Gia started with the dealership, her company offered several training programs. She learned the techniques and rehearsed the scripts but nothing was working. The old methods of selling didn’t work for sophisticated customers who saw sales tactics as insincere. She was in the new world using out-dated methods of selling. She struggled for three months until the right mentor appeared. He pulled her aside and told her not to focus on the sale. Instead, he instructed her to focus on the people and realize they’re more than just selling finance and insurance.
Salespeople want to solve a problem and deliver a service.
When Gia started connecting and focusing on her clients’ pain, empathizing with them, and gaining their trust using the art of storytelling, she started closing nearly 70% of her clients. The dealership was fast-paced and it was important the salespeople could close a transaction in less than a day.
In Australia, financing and insurance make more money than the actual vehicle, comprising 60- 70% of the dealership’s profits. Gia learned to never give out her business cards because she knew that was a customer’s consolation prize, that they were leaving her with hope and hope she didn’t pay the bills. She had to close before the client left.
Growing the business through repeat and referred business
People think referrals happen by luck. Getting referrals is actually all about having the right strategy, being disciplined, having a strong thought process, and making sure that the system is bigger than yourself. Gia took advantage of her downtime as a salesperson when Facebook and Google were still growing in popularity. While everyone else was busy trying to find new clients on Facebook, Gia was busy prospecting her old clients. She understood that 90% of her next sale was going to happen before they even walked into the door. When her clients came back, they had made a conscious decision to return to Gia. They remembered who Gia was, what she did and the way she’d treated them.
Not many salespeople kept in touch with their clients the way Gia did. It takes a lot of discipline and tenacity to follow-up, especially when you’re busy. Gia made it a point to have at least six touchpoints when working with a new client. For example, sending a gift, making sure a thank you note got sent within thirty days, hand-writing birthday cards and calling on an anniversary. With consistency and automated systems in place, relationships were built. It was because of her dedication that clients were consistently referring to family members and friends.
Build a connection
Staying connected is the key. The relationship began when clients signed the contract. Gia would assist them when they wanted to make a claim due to an accident, enabling her to assist clients with a replacement vehicle. She could also help with the contract and make more money for the dealership. Everyone benefited because she stayed connected and earned the client’s trust.
Gia’s current team also emphasizes having a relationship with their clients. They go beyond what they offer and know they aren’t just selling products and services but also trust and a promise. They even help clients who have poor credit ratings.
There are many ideas to grow your sales but discipline and consistency are key when using repeat and referred business. If you decide to make 10 phone calls a day to original clients, do it and watch your business grow.
“How to 10X Your Income With Repeat and Referred Business” episode resources
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