One of the top car audio specialty chains, Custom Sounds & Tint of Texas said its 2019 sales are on track to be the best in its 30-plus year history.
The company expects sales to increase 15 percent for the year to almost $18 million, up from $15.7 million a year ago. First half sales were up 12 percent and same store sales were up 12 percent in October. The gains this year are mainly from same store sales, said CEO Mike Cofield.
The figures do not include the company’s home and commercial glass company, which was sold recently to an undisclosed buyer. Custom Sounds launched that division about 3 years ago.
Custom Sounds is preparing to open its second store in Oklahoma City this year to be followed by two additional stores in that market.
Cofield attributes the sales gains to the relentless pursuit of “training, training and more training” of its store employees.
The 19-store chain has over 140 employees, but the same strategies in training can apply to a single store operation, said Cofield. He shares part of his sales training methods here:
Salesmen are instructed that the first thing they must do is greet the customer quickly, even if they are with another customer. Then they go out to the car and explain to the customer what the installation is going to look like when it’s done. Salesmen then demonstrate sound dampening (there are displays set up in the store to show the acoustic difference).
Cofield suggests your store set up a sound dampening demo. “Now you are differentiating your store from all other competitors. You are showing them something that no one else is showing them. We have it so that you walk up and push a button to hear a stock speaker, then a button to hear an aftermarket speaker and then to hear the same aftermarket speaker with sound dampening. And the most frequent customer response is ‘Wow.’ It’s that big of a shocking difference. It’s something the customer will remember and if they go anywhere else, and don’t get shown the demo, they aren’t going to buy there.”
“Salesmen need to be trained on how to lead the sale by suggesting what the customer needs, not asking what they think the customer needs because they don’t all know. They want it to sound better and play louder. [Salesmen] need to be trained to do the one thing most salespeople fail to do…ask for the sale,” he said.
Cofield’s next key tip is to listen to recordings of your store’s phone calls and see what your customers are being told, what they like and don’t like. “It’s like being a quarterback. If you don’t watch your game film, you don’t really know how you performed in the game because you were immersed in it. Analyze the phone calls–how did the customer react, what made the customer want to come in and what made him happy.” Then for selling on the floor, he suggests hiring a mystery shopping service. They come in and video tape your salesmen and show what your salesmen look like on the sales floor. “That’s how to go from being a good salesman to a professional salesman. You have to analyze.”