Are You Cutting Prices or Raising Value?

Are You Cutting Prices or Raising Value?

The best deals are when both parties go away feeling like a winner. Here are five steps to take in the sales process to make this happen.

Creating Customer Enthusiasm While Maintaining Profits

Often — too often — the sales process is seen as a competition between the buyer and the seller. Traditionally, the buyer wants to pay the least possible for the good or service, while the salesperson is trying to get the most compensation possible. 

This adversarial method is one many salespeople never move past because they’re locked into thinking that this is simply one of the rules of the game. My Theory of 5 mentors and I, however, have a completely different point of view — one that serves both the sales professional and the customer and turns the transaction into a win-win situation for all.

How? Instead of dropping prices, we build value. For any product or service — vehicles included — when value exceeds the price, price is no longer the main focus. To do this, we have to change the way we view the sales process. The best deals are partnerships, with each side providing something the other wants and both go away feeling like a winner.

We have found that it takes five steps in the sales process to make this happen.

1. Sell Ourselves First — When the customers coming into our dealership don’t like us or trust us — if we come off as if we’re only interested in making the sale — they won’t listen to us, and the sale is over. However, if we demonstrate that we have their best interests at heart — because we do! — and we are there to help them solve their wants, needs and desires, they’ll take our ideas to heart. We also have to be seen as subject-matter experts, and make sure we understand our product backward and forwards, inside and out. We must present ourselves well and put ourselves in their position. Ask yourself: If my friends and family members didn’t know me, but only saw how I treated people, would they want to do business with me? 

2. Listen More, Talk Less — Many low-producing salespeople know their product well — and can’t get over telling you how amazing it is. They won’t shut up about it. Exceptional sales professionals ask questions and listen to what their customers say. These professionals make it a point to ask open-ended questions (the “Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” questions) with the mindset of seeking to understand. They learn what’s most important to the customer. Once they do, they provide a personalized presentation of the product according to what meets or exceeds their customer’s expectations. This builds trust.

3. Prove We’re the Best Dealership for Their Wants & Needs — Once we understand why the customer wants to purchase a vehicle — what wants, needs and desires their new vehicle will solve for them — we can start to build value in our presentation. We do this by listening to them and becoming their advocate in this selling process. To do this, we must be able to demonstrate the value of our product or service and provide evidence that our dealership is the best value and choice for them. If we do all these things, we’ll come to an agreement. 

4. Keep It Simple — While we want to be seen as a knowledgeable professional, we shouldn’t complicate our presentation just to “sound intelligent.” The mark of a true sales professional is the ability to explain the product to the average person. Jargon, acronyms and complex terms don’t “build credibility” with a person. They will stop listening because all they hear is the adults’ “wah, wah, wah” from the Charlie Brown cartoons. The goal is to keep our presentation simple and never talk for more than two minutes without asking a question or otherwise keeping our customers engaged. If we sense that the customer might be confused about a point we’ve made, we should go back and confirm they have a clear understanding of everything they need to in order to make an informed decision. Confusion is the enemy of both parties in any transaction.

5. Mind What We Say & How We Say It — When conveying our message, our words are only part of the equation. Neurolinguistic scientists have found our tone and body language can be even more important than what we say. Studies found that 55% of communication comes from body language, 38% from our tone of voice and only 7% from actual word choice. The most successful sales professionals make sure they’re putting their message across in the most effective way possible. Keep this in mind when communicating through email, texts or any other medium where tone and body language are lacking. 

I have never felt like I was selling; rather, I was guiding and supporting someone to fill a need, want or desire. I’ve always believed I am a problem solver or “solutionist.” My Theory of 5 mentors and I have come to understand that we must believe the product we’re selling is an exceptional price value for our customer. Always plan to make the transaction a win-win solution for ourselves and our customers. Good selling!

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