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Are Salespeople A Dying Breed?

Salespeople will only become obsolete if they refuse to adapt and interact with customers the way that they expect.

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The world is changing faster than ever. We now live in an age of smart devices and the Internet of Things that not only puts everything we need or want at our fingertips, but learns about our preferences and lifestyles. Developments in vehicles exemplify these changes. The dashboard is now a control center that integrates every part of your life. Seats adjust to each individual, and cars drive and park themselves.

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The internet makes shopping accessible 24 hours a day, and big data is employed to ensure customers get the latest information on vehicles that match their interests, lifestyles and financial ranges. What isn’t delivered is found in seconds online from a wide range of sources including customers who own or owned a specific vehicle and shared their experiences and opinions. And, manufacturers make it easy for customers to select, customize and even order their new cars online.

You have to wonder, are salespeople a dying breed? The answer is unequivocally, no.

Salespeople still have an important role, but it has changed. Unlike in the past when salespeople focused on communicating information and closing the sale, today, salespeople are responsible for helping customers find and select the right vehicle, one that fits their needs, wants and desires.

To do this, salespeople must:

  1. Be 100 percent present and work with a single-minded focus on each customer. They must ask questions, listen and understand each customer’s unique wants, needs and desires. They have to approach every interaction from the customers’ point-of-view and help them experience the vehicle by demonstrating it and guiding customers as they sample the features that make it an exact fit. Finally, they must introduce customers to the “family.” Give them a tour of the dealership. Introduce them to everyone, not just the managers.
  2. Help the customer “fall in love with the vehicle” so price becomes a secondary concern. Price is the last issue to discuss and should take the least amount of time.
  3. Convert customers to clients. The follow-up call is a critical part to extending the relationship. Before calling, each salesperson must understand the desired outcome, perhaps a referral, an additional sale or a stronger relationship. They should plan what to say and write it down. And, they should prepare for unexpected questions.

Salespeople will only become obsolete if they refuse to adapt and interact with customers the way that they expect. After all, a salesperson’s  job is not to sell, but to help customers find the exact product or service that meets their needs and, in doing so, to make sure their experience is positive.

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This is the one thing in sales that never changes, regardless of how technology impacts our world. Make this your mantra; say it, repeat it, believe it and do it.

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