Building Value by Using the Magic of Painting a Complete Picture
When we’re selling a vehicle to an individual or family, we’re selling more than a car or a truck. We’re selling a solution. We’re offering them a way to resolve a pain point they might be having, or to improve their lives by giving them additional options and more freedom.
Most customers don’t understand this essential difference between what they might consider an expense — they could be adding a new monthly payment in their budget or increasing one that they already have. By reframing this experience — from a cost into an investment and benefit — we not only smooth the way toward a mutually advantageous outcome, but we make the buyer feel better about their purchase.
When selling any product or service, one of my Theory of 5 mentors, Eustace Wolfington, once shared with me three basic questions that every customer will have. These questions might be conscious or subconscious, but each question must be answered before we can come to an agreement. They are: What is it? How does it work? and What will it do for me?
We’ll illustrate these questions by using an extreme example: We’re selling a magic stone (an actual magic stone — we’re not trying to swindle anyone), and our asking price is $1 million. Will this be a hard sell? Only if we don’t answer the questions.
Question No. 1 — What is it?
No matter the object or service, the customer has to be clear about what it is we’re selling. If this isn’t clear, we’re not going to agree on its value. While answers to the question can be simple — in this case, it’s a “Magic Stone”— it can be more complex if we’re selling a service, or if we’re highlighting the differences between two seemingly similar objects. We must make sure the customer is clear about what exactly it is we are selling.
Question No. 2 — How does it work?
With our magic stone, one of the barriers to coming to an agreement will be the price. We have to justify this in the mind of our customer, and to do this, they not only have to know what it is, but they must understand how it works, at least in a general sense. When it comes to our stone, “The Magic Stone” will create the best life for our customer in all areas of their life. When they understand the function or purpose of what we’re selling, they can fully enter into the discussion.
Question No. 3 — What will it do for me?
With this, we take the theoretical benefits of what we’re selling and paint a picture for the customer of what their life will be like when they buy the Magic Stone we are selling. We share with them actual specifics of how this will solve any challenge in their lives and enrich them beyond the price.
For our Magic Stone, the answer to this question would be, “You will have a perfect relationship with your partner and will raise children who will thrive in the world. You will always have spiritual clarity. You will excel in your career and have wealth and prosperity in abundance to support your family, friends and charities. You will never be sick a day in your life, and you’ll always be in peak health and physical shape.”
Now that we’ve painted the picture of how fabulous their lives will be, the asking price doesn’t seem as steep, does it? We’ve shown how the value exceeds the price, and explained it to the point where they can see themselves owning our stone and enjoying all its many benefits.
So, we know there is no “Magic Stone.” The magic is always within us. Our attitude, thinking, willingness to ask insightful questions, specific positive daily behaviors and commitment will give us all the results we want in life.
Bringing this back to the dealership level, our customers are coming to us because they either need a vehicle, want a new vehicle or are looking for a vehicle that will better suit their needs than the one they currently have. When we answer the three questions, we’re engaging the customer in a discussion, rather than “pitching a product.”
Part of this is listening to the customer first, so we know which vehicle in our inventory will best meet their needs. Is this a vehicle for a new teenage driver? An SUV for a growing family? The first new car a young adult will buy or lease with their first job after graduating college?
Once we clearly understand what their needs are and what challenges they are working to overcome, we can start to answer the questions they have, whether they know they have them or not. They become actively involved in the process, and involvement equals buy-in.
The customer is enthusiastic with their purchase — and we earn profitability in this transaction — once these three questions are answered. That is what we call a “win-win” outcome.