There’s no question about it: when you want to sell to a lot of people, you have to pitch to a lot of people. To be successful with some, you have to try with many. But even though selling can be something of a numbers game, there’s more to it than stamina. Strategy is still key: asking the right questions, being a great resource, providing a great experience. This month, try these key tips to beat the odds and increase your sales.
Know the Product
With more than eight hours spent doing online research, today’s customers are extremely savvy, and show up to your dealership expecting answers to specific questions. So make sure you have those answers. Do your homework on every feature, function and benefit, as well as comparisons to similar models. Your customers have expertise, so you need to have more.
Focus on Benefits, Not Features
It’s easy to get excited about the latest features and technology, but when you’re speaking to a customer, make sure to focus on how those features benefit them. For example, don’t simply explain that a car uses lighter weight materials — make sure to point out that saving on weight also means better fuel economy and acceleration. When you help customers understand the practical benefits they’ll get, it brings feature talk down to earth, gets them excited and justifies higher price points.
Ask About Interests, Not Budget
Too often, salespeople will ask about budget or a specific buying timeline, but most customers feel pressured by questions like that, at least at first. Instead, ask about their interests so you can help them move toward a car that will be a good fit: what they like to do on weekends, where they like to travel, who they’ll be driving with. Give shoppers a chance to tell you about their interests and hobbies without pushing them for commitment. You’ll build rapport and help them find a vehicle that’s right for them.
Don’t Think About Commission
Whether you work on commission or not, never act like you do. Instead, think about the customer’s needs and being a resource for them. Answer questions. Listen. Help them make progress without pushing your own agenda. Ironically, when you push customers less for the sale, they’re more likely to trust you — and you’re more likely to get the sale.
Connect the Entire Buying Process, Both Online and Off
Today’s customers interact with you through numerous and varied touchpoints throughout their buying journey. They get to your site through a third-party listing, they check you out on social media, they submit a form, they visit your store, they click a retargeting ad, just to name a few. So make sure this journey is smooth the whole way through. Provide consistent branding across all your channels, and connect data so that every digital interaction picks up where the last one left off.
In addition, pay attention to the disconnects that can happen when customers move between online and offline shopping. For example, if your customer submitted a lead form and made an appointment, make sure that when they arrive in-store you have all their CRM data at your fingertips. This way, you can help them continue shopping seamlessly, without asking them to repeat information.
Additionally, after every customer leaves your store, check that everything is updated in your CRM so you can keep the relationship going, encouraging not only their purchase with you, but also eventual service and maintenance. There should be no gaps in the move from online to offline and back online again — data should be accessible, and used to provide the best experience possible online and in stores.
Don’t Make Assumptions
So much of personal interaction depends on snap-judgments. Especially in sales, we have to try to understand people quickly so we can relate to them on a personal level, but be careful not to make assumptions about your customers that could end up undermining you. Don’t assume the woman isn’t making decisions. Don’t assume the teenager isn’t buying. Don’t assume the poorly dressed guy is just browsing. Treat all your customers with respect, and with the assumption that they want to buy a car today. After all, that’s why they walked through your door.
All of these tips are aimed at providing the best experience possible for your customers. A seamless, personalized, pressure-free experience can set your dealership apart from your competition. And that means more sales right now.