Ah, the stereotypical car salesman — loud, obnoxious, pushy! A customer’s basic nightmare about car shopping. You definitely don’t want to imitate him. Yet, you want to sell cars. How can you become a great car salesman without being pushy?
Here’s a secret — it’s easier than you think. All it takes is a shift in perspective, and the way opens right up. Here are four attitudes that add up to a great salesperson without scaring off your prospects.
1. Intentions Count
You may think the intention of selling is to get a prospect to do what you want. Unfortunately, that is short-sighted and ineffective. It is an intention that will cause you to push too hard to close a sale. A couple of ways salespeople can come across too aggressively is using the old saw about talking to your manager or focusing on payments instead of budget.
Begin, instead, with an intention to serve. Ask how you can best serve this customer. How can you help the customer solve a problem? The intention to serve removes the pressure to close and allows the customer to relax and be comfortable.
Also, keep in mind that women are serious customers. Ignoring them in favor of their male companion or discounting what they say will lose you a sale and earn your dealership a lousy review.
2. Be Curious
A good salesperson knows how to ask the right questions and listen to the answers. Customers come to your car lot having performed extensive research on the make and model of their vehicle of interest. You don’t need to reel off the features and make statements about the performance of the car or truck.
Until you know what customers are looking for and how much they can spend, you will not be able to identify the right car for them.
- Ask customers about their objectives for buying a vehicle.
- Determine the pain points or problems they need to solve.
- What are their desires in terms of the type of vehicle they want?
The more you know about the customer’s needs, the more value you offer.
3. Help Them, Then They Will Help You
You start by focusing on their problems, not your company. While you need to know your product and the features and benefits of each, wait until you know what the customer needs so you can match those benefits correctly.
Be utterly transparent about every step in the process. Buying a car is a big deal, so take your time and educate the customer on solutions to problems instead of pushing a particular vehicle. Help the customer understand the process of selecting and purchasing a car that will last many years.
When you help the customer first, the customer is more willing to help you.
4. Focus on the Individual
Remember, you are talking to a person. When it’s time to ask for what you want, focus on the individual. Explain why you want him or her to take that action, what the benefits are. Don’t talk about features, talk about the desired outcome.
However, to keep yourself from getting too pushy at this point, detach yourself from the outcome. You earn trust, and the customer will come to like you, rather than be concerned about your honesty.
Once you have established a relationship, even for this brief time, and discerned what problem the customer needs to solve and any desires surrounding a choice of vehicle, you can ask for this person’s business.
Your intentions color the way customers perceive you. They can tell the difference between someone who is “selling” to them, and someone who is interested in helping them solve a problem. Make it your intention to serve, not sell, and you will start off on the right foot.