Sales — One of The Driving Forces of The American Economy
The ability to sell is one of the driving forces of the American economy and the ability to do it consistently is a highly regarded skill. In the auto industry, the ability to sell is paramount to anything else. If cars don’t get sold, the dealer doesn’t make money – and neither do you.
Ken Collis, Founder and CEO of TLK Fusion Marketing has helped numerous salespeople – both entrepreneurs and employees – to hone their sales skills and catapult themselves to success. Whether you’re new to the sales business or a seasoned veteran, Ken’s tips may just help you take that next step.
No Two Deals are Alike
“When selling cars, the first thing you need to know is that every customer is different,” says Ken Collis. “Needs, desires, and lifestyles will vary from person to person, and how you approach them will need to differ, too.”
Some customers just need a new car. Other times they’re looking for some sort of change in their lives and buying a new car is a way to do that. Identifying what’s behind a buyer’s desire for a new car is the key to the sale.
They Came to Buy
People don’t go to car dealerships because they’re bored. They go because they’re interested in buying a new car. It’s up to you, the salesperson, to determine their buying triggers and sell them a car.
Don’t Lie to Customers
The relationship between buyers and sellers at the car lot has soured over time, thanks to unscrupulous salespeople of days passed using deception and fraud to sell cars. “If you tell a customer a lie, even an innocuous one, and you get caught, your credibility is shot,” says Ken Collis. “Once you lose their trust you’ve lost the sale.”
That being said, you don’t necessarily have to tell your customers everything you know, either. The point is not to pass along false information.
They’ll Lie to You
As previously mentioned, the souring of the relationship between salespeople and buyers has resulted in car shoppers putting up a heavy guard. They know that the less information they provide to you, the less information you can use to sell them something they don’t want.
They expect fraud.
They expect you to steer them in a direction they wouldn’t otherwise go in an attempt to garner a higher commission. Before you start asking too many questions about what a buyer is looking for and why, try to build a bit of rapport first.
Nobody pays tens of thousands of dollars to buy something from someone they don’t like. If they have kids, ask about them, greet them, and talk about yours if you have any. If not, mention nieces, nephews or neighbors. You want to get buyers to warm up to you before you try to sell.
If You Get Irritated, Never Let it Show
Just because someone is shopping for a car doesn’t mean they know everything about cars. Some folks don’t know much else beyond how to fill it with gas and drive. Sometimes, customers don’t even know what they want when they show up at the lot. If they ask you a lot of inane or irrelevant questions about the vehicles you’re selling, and you start to get irritated, never let it show. Be patient. Just answer them nicely and try to use their questions to glean information about what it is they’re interested in.
Talk Up Your Stock, Don’t Down-Talk Others
If there’s anything a buyer doesn’t want to hear, it’s how bad the dealer across the street’s deals, vehicles, or that salesperson is a fraud hell-bent on selling a lemon to some sucker. Consultants at TLK Fusion Marketing advise heavily against this practice because it doesn’t extol the virtues of your product. Instead, it implies that the reason they should buy from you is because they’ll somehow get screwed going to the other person – not because the vehicles you sell are perfectly suitable in-and-of themselves. You’re there to inform customers how happy a vehicle from your lot will make them, not how unhappy they’ll be with a vehicle from another lot.
Know Your Product
This probably seems obvious to people who have years in the sales industry under their belt, but for newcomers it cannot be stressed enough. Knowing your vehicles from the inside out is crucial, as you never know what features may trigger a buyer’s interest. Gas mileage, engine specs, stock vs. premium features, etc. If a buyer gets the slightest inkling that you don’t know what you’re talking about, you can kiss the sale goodbye.
Keep Emotions Positive
Never talk about anything negative to one of your buyers, even if it has nothing to do with cars. People buy things based on emotion, and they want things that will make them feel good. If something bad happened in the news recently, don’t mention it when you’re trying to build rapport with someone. Additionally, if the weather is cloudy, dismal, cold, etc. leave it out of the conversation. You want buyers focused on positive things, feeling good, and how much better they will feel when they buy a car from you.
Last, TLK Fusion Marketing advises not to be afraid to advertise yourself outside of what the dealership you work for already does. Dealerships will advertise sales and events to get people on the lot, but they typically don’t mention the salespeople working for them. You’re probably not the only salesperson who works on the lot, and you can’t sell a car if you’re not with a buyer. Let them know that you’re there and to ask for you, specifically.