“A good first impression can work wonders.” – J.K. Rowling
There are a number of things affecting the auto sales field that you have absolutely no control over, ranging from the overall economy to the weather to the marketing whims of your make’s manufacturer. So, when it comes to the things that are in your control, you’ve got to make the best of every situation that comes your way.
Some of this might seem obvious, but everyone has blind spots, especially in areas that aren’t continuously examined. Make sure you are not dropping the ball in a spot that you take for granted.
Walking into your dealership is no big deal for you. You do it every work day, and it’s commonplace for you. Not so for your customers. Walking into a dealership is something alien to them, and can be overwhelming. It might be years between visits for them and, if you believe some studies, that last time was not a pleasant experience. So, you’ve got to ask yourself, what can you do to make this time the time they’ll fondly remember?To put clients at ease, you’ve got to look the part. If things go well, the customer will be spending a lot of their hard-earned dollars at your dealership. Dress like the professional you are to begin to earn their trust. Make sure you’re well groomed, your breath is fresh and your work area orderly. This should go without saying, but there should be nothing potentially offensive on your desk, and this includes political material — there’s no need to alienate a potential client with something outside the bounds of this relationship. You’ll interact with many types of people in a dealership, and this is a special day for each one of them; be the professional they’re hoping you are.
Along with looking the part, you need to act the part, as well. The customer doesn’t care if you were up all night with a fussy baby. They don’t want to know that this has been a down month for you. Meet them with a smile. Look them in the eye. Listen to them. Let them know from the moment they walk in that you are there to help them find the right vehicle — to solve the problem they have, or might not even realize they have — and that they are about to have a positive experience with you. They may have come in armed for battle (again, read some studies about customers attitudes towards car sales), but let them know you are on their side, and will work with them to find the vehicle and the deal that they want. You are a professional and you are their advocate.
Next Month: While you might have the in-person part of the sales process locked down, keep in mind that you’ve got to get them in the door. So, next month, we’ll take a look at your phone and email performance.