Please bear with me as this is my first venture into "Blogging":
As the month draws to a close and managers are pushing for numbers, the Automotive Professional will stay focussed and keep to their winning process.
I'm speaking with the true professionals; those who set and attain goals; those that commit to their dealership and to their customers for the long term; and those whose success stems from integrity and ethics. With such a negative consumer outlook on our industry, perpetuating the stereotype by utilizing antiquated tactics aimed at "one-off" gains will go nowhere in sustaining your business. I encourage you to be open to suggestion and growth in your process, but not at the price of professionalism and integrity. We all know that people buy from people they like. Let's go back to making the buying experience a pleasant and (dare I say) "fun" process for our customers. Sell the value in your dealership, in your service, and stand behind those items. Take the time out of your day to do those parts of the process that help build rapport and prove that you have the customer's best interest at heart.
Part of the process for us, which I've found more lacking as time goes on, is our ability to respect our customer enough to know where they stand. It's the term that has become almost despised on the floor - "Follow Up". I'm confused that so many sales people will do almost anything in the moment for a deal, but fail to do anything that might ensure the deal for tomorrow... Or next week... Or next year.
Yes! I have personally followed up with non-buying customers and have sold them a vehicle after a full year of communication. I don't necessarily suggest a constant dialogue, but what is the harm in letting someone know about a new model or a special promotion on a demo (provided you are actually appealing to their needs and wants, as determined in your Counsel and Qualify step when you initially met them)? I just don't understand how a sales person can spend three hours building a rapport with a potential customer and then ruin it by either using some "last-minute" closing tactics, or even worse by not calling them afterwards to intelligently discuss the experience and their objectives. In many cases people get overwhelmed by the dealership and are able to make their decision within 2-3hrs or returning to the comfort of their homes, or while removed from the environment at lunch with the other decision maker(s).
I encourage some of you to ask yourself the questions you ask your clients on the phone. Are they customized to each situation, or do they sound like a script that is read to everyone? Are you asking intelligent questions about how the vehicle they viewed will fit their lifestyle, or is it a closed-end question like; "Just wanted to see if you guys have any further questions about the 6 Series we looked at."? Are you engaged and really interested in finding them a solution, or are your questions geared at selling a car? From the wealthy Aston Martin customer to the price-sensetive Chevrolet customer, all should get the same attention to detail and will quickly loose interest in you as their chosen professional if you don't display a vested concern for their needs.
I guess the moral of this story is that as a sales person we need to be professional. It's the customer's trust that will earn you repetition, referrals, and rapport!
There are so many other elements to discuss, but as it's my first blog attempt I'll wait to see how my views are received.
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