May 24, 2018
Episode 26 :: Built (and Sold) Ford Tough with Jay Hopkins, GM of Hopkins Ford
When coaching sales teams, inevitably the selling…
When coaching sales teams, inevitably the selling/buying process for cars comes up. Everyone has been on the buy side and earned a war story or two. Or three. And yet, there are sales similarities between vehicles and lumber and building materials—both call themselves Dealers, both interact and negotiate with B2B and B2C customers, and many are multi-generational, family-run businesses. That’s why I sought out an expert perspective from the other side of that desk—Jay Hopkins, General Manager of Hopkins Ford outside of Chicago, Illinois. The dealership showroom is a great laboratory for deconstructing the sales process because of the tight—and very visible—feedback loop between Introduction to Trust Building to Value Proposition to Product engagement to Negotiation and ultimately, Commitment. (Or not.) In 2004 at age 25, Jay took the wheel of the family dealership, just in time to get sideswiped by the Great Recession. The learning curve was steep, but Jay—in leadership with his younger brother, Jeff—not only maintained the success his father had built, but has added to it. Hopkins Ford is now rated #1 in customer satisfaction in the Chicago area out of over 200 Ford dealerships. In this episode, Jay and I dive into the qualities that make a sales person stand out. We also discuss why it’s critical to let new sales people make their own mistakes, how the internet has changed the way people buy cars, and how to ensure key influencers are engaged in the sale—even if that influencer is a dog. (That story kicks off the episode. You don’t want to miss it.) Enjoy my conversation with Jay Hopkins of Hopkins Ford!