While we’re the experts in training your sales teams what to say to get more customers to your dealership- we are continuously striving to learn.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “the secret in education lies in respecting the student.” That’s why we reached our to our community, largely our students, to see what advice they have been given throughout their years of experience in the industry. Hopefully this collective wisdom will help all of us better ourselves as we head into the new year.
Tip #1 “Have Patience. To you it’s a sale, to them it’s an investment of hard earned cash.”
Yes, we know you want to sell that client a car today but we need to respect the shopper and move at a pace they feel comfortable with. If you’re too pushy to make the sale, you’ll come across desperate — the last thing you want the customer to think.
Instead, address their concerns, listen to their needs and take your time to make them feel comfortable with their purchase.
Tip #2 “Be a problem solver, not a salesperson.”
Empathy + Availability + Accuracy + Advice = Money in Your Pocket
Selling isn’t about trying to convince someone to buy something, it’s based on identifying a person’s needs and showing them how your product can meet these needs. Every customer has a problem that they need to solve, whether their car is too old, they’re looking for something more affordable or maybe they need a bigger car for their growing family.
As a salesperson you need to be able to ask them the right questions to understand what their pain points are and help them find a solution. Ask them the right questions and they’ll tell you what you need to know to sell them a car.
Tip #3 “Never be the one to speak first during negotiations.”
Mastering negotiation is a skill that is sharpened through experience. We’ve been consistently told that you should never speak first during the negotiation process. The reason being is that inherently people have a disdain for silence so they’ll look to fill the void. With tensions heightened, your shopper may fill that void with information that is crucial to give you a sense of what their expectations are.
Remember, negotiations are about a win-win and it’s good business to make sure that your customers leave satisfied. Don’t forget that today’s shopper is a source of referrals as well as future opportunities!
Tip #4 “Focus on the micro-moments and not the actual sale. Sell the customer on taking the next step in the sales process.”
As defined by Google, a “micro-moment occurs when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped.”
There are hundreds of micro-moments that people experience when leading up to the purchase of a car as shoppers turn to YouTube, manufacturer’s websites, dealer’s websites, third party sources each time gathering more and more information that leads them to a buying decision.
Make sure when they reach out to your dealership, you capitalize on this micro-moment by providing them with relevant information and making the important connection with them.
Tip #5 “Make a friend, ask them to buy.”
You know who people buy from? People they like. You know who people like? Their friends. Okay we don’t all need to be friends, but we do need to gain the trust of potential buyers so they know they’ll be taken care of.
I mean, isn’t it the fear of all car buyers? That they won’t get a good deal or even worse, they’ll be taken advantage of?
Buyers ultimately need someone who provides them excellent service at a fair price.
Tip #6 “Treat every single person like they are a guaranteed buyer.”
This couldn’t be more true, especially when shoppers are proactively reaching out. They’re looking to buy, they just need to know that they’re making the right choice by buying from you and your dealership.
You should always assume that if someone comes into your dealership, they’re there to buy, even if they say they’re just looking. All that means is that they want some space. Make yourself available so that when they have a question, you’ll be there to assist. And if they call on the phone you should assume they are doing so because they want to come in. So assume the appointment – after all they’re reaching out to you!
Tip #7 “Chasing = desperation. You wouldn’t chase the ex, so don’t chase the customer.”
There is a difference between proactive follow-up and being too pushy. You need to find the balance.
Buyers can be at different stages in the buying process and may need more time. However, if you’re following up on a regular cadence and providing them value you increase your chances that they’ll come to you.
Again, don’t reek of desperation. It’s not cute in a relationship and it’s not cute in car sales.
Tip #8 ““No” many times means “not yet”. Or possibly “no” means “I need more info.””
Your skill as a salesperson is to uncover the objection and then work to solve that problem. Reread tip #2!
Tip #9 “Stop talking and start listening.”
Two ears one mouth. Remember, you need to actively listen to your customer and they will tell you everything you need to know to sell them a car.
Tip #10 “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
You never know who your next client will be – it could be the woman who pulled up in the highline vehicle or the gentleman who is driving the old beater. Did you know that the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton, used to drive an old pick-up truck from 1979 until his death in 1992. Ok, he’s probably not your best lead for a car purchase but the point is that you wouldn’t expect that behavior from a billionaire. Don’t make assumptions based on how people look and remember to treat everyone with respect regardless if you think they’ll buy or not.
We couldn’t be more thrilled by our community’s advice. Some of you have been in the car business for over 20 years and we know these tips ring true regardless of time. Underlying all of these is the common sentiment that we are in the business of helping people and when done right, we will not only help them but also help ourselves.