Joe Girand holds the world record for the most number of cars sold. What was it that made him so successful? Read on!
Joe Girand is famous for being one of the world’s best salesmen, and holds a Guinness World Record for selling the most cars. Joe sold 1,424 cars in a year, an average of 6 cars per day. Over his 15 year career, he totalled 13,000 cars. An impressive record!
Joe didn’t start his career as a salesman. In fact, in his early years he had all sorts of jobs – as a shoe shine, a delivery boy and a kitchen hand. But at the age of 35, and while struggling financially, the owner of a car dealership took a chance on him. And voila! On his first day he made his first sale and he never looked back.
Joe went on to become one of the best salespeople in his region and later the country, then eventually, the world.
“I believe what many salespeople do not: the sale really starts after the sale, not before.”
Becoming a sales ace doesn’t happen overnight. Before Joe started selling cars, he did try selling shoes, and even tried real estate, but he failed at both.
What is it that leads to success in this space? Is it perseverance? Or do salespeople need to find their own perfect product fit?
It may require a combination of both, but ultimately it’s product knowledge, motivation and knowing your audience’s needs and tastes that are key to achieving sales success.
Over his 15-year career in the automotive industry, Joe developed a series of strategies that he believes led to his success.
EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
Joe treated his customers like royalty. They knew that if they ever had a problem with their vehicle, it would take just one phone call to Joe to provide assistance in a matter of minutes. This was a key differentiator for Joe, as he knew that other dealers took hours or even days to respond to customers in need of help.
A SIMPLE THANK YOU
Joe was the best at ensuring his customers never forgot him so that every time they were considering purchasing a car, they easily recalled their previously positive experience with him. How did he do this? Joe sent his customers thank you cards, writing individual notes to each customer, ensuring each was unique and memorable. Writing around 400-500 notes in between sales, he sent them monthly to each of his customers! And an extra one at Christmas.
Joe firmly believed that a sale starts after the sale and not before. And this belief led to 65% of his sales being generated from people who had bought a car from him previously.
BUILD LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS
Joe approximated that each customer has a network of at least 250 people. A number you might invite to your wedding.
Joe always treated his family, friends and acquaintances with the utmost care and respect. Joe would take this even further with work-related contacts, inviting them at least once a year to lunch or a social outing. His relationships resulted in a circle of advocates that fostered a constant flow of customers.
Joe devised a savvy customer acquisition strategy from the very beginning that he maintained throughout his career.
With his phone in hand, his book of contacts and a bit of creative licence…
Joe would make cold calls in the morning, pretending to be contacting a customer to tell them that the car they’d purchased had arrived. After then apologising for seemingly calling the wrong number, the conversation had effectively been struck up to the point where Joe could ask the receiver, usually a housewife, when their partner, or decision maker, would arrive home. And then at the suggested time, Joe would call back and ask if they were thinking of buying a new car, to which most people said “no”.
But this wasn’t the end of the conversation – Joe would then ask them when they planned to change cars, write a note in his diary, and then call them again when the time had come. What did he get out of it? The opportunity to make contact again nearer the customer’s time of need.
Bird dogs are people who seek new potential customers to purchase new products and services and in exchange, they receive a commission. They effectively set the precedent for the first iteration of modern day affiliate programmes.
Joe Girard paid $25 for each lead they sent him. He had quite a variety of bird dogs – in barbershops , banks, finance companies, towing services, auto repair shops. The result? One in three sales made by Joe Girard was attributed to his affiliate network.
Do you love the sound of Joe and his approach to selling?
At Onlive we are on the lookout for great salespeople, like Joe, who are passionate, charismatic, enthusiastic, and maybe even a little eccentric. People who want to become ambassadors for the brands they love, by hosting highly engaging and entertaining shows that the audience can participate in, and which results in sales at scale.
If you love this story and think you might love selling even more, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us your information and we’ll be in touch!