I want to touch on something I'm starting to see in my dealership. Just a quick summary, I work in a "negotiation-free" store where we display upfront pricing and make buying easier. With that comes some other changes in our culture; sales not paid on gross profit but units, and the way we hire among other changes. The way we hire and WHO we hire is what I want to touch on here.
We have been hiring more salespeople based on their personalities and potential rather than sales ability. The idea is to develop your people so they can "sell" to a customer. There has been a trend that I've seen develop...
...salespeople being too nice.
At least they think they're being too nice. When I talk to some of the salespeople on the floor and ask them how they're doing, they tell me not so good. Of course I ask why? They tell me they their managers tell them they're being too nice to their customers. Here are some of the things they say...
Does this sound familiar to anyone? It does to me. As a matter of fact, I was the same way for a long time when I first started in automotive sales, so I know how they feel. I want to give my take on this and have some feedback from others as to how you would handle these dealership challenges.
In my opinion...
There's nothing wrong with being nice.
There's nothing wrong with empathizing with your customers.
There's nothing wrong with believing their objections.
What IS wrong, is that's where we stop! I'm a firm believer in not selling, but consulting. There's a difference; don't you agree? (got you to say YES didn't I?) (just did it again ;) Customers want you to be nice, believe in what they're telling you, and being empathetic to their situation. They are scared of the commitment! Not the dealership, the process, or even you; the commitment. Being committed to something that requires courage, decision making, belief, and a little faith. Your customer WANTS you to tell them it's ok. They're making a good decision and you're going to stick by them. So when they say, "I need to go home and discuss it with my wife", it's ok. Be nice, empathetic, and believe them. BUT, now is time not to shake hands and part as friends. It's time to recap and ask him if his wife were to say yes, will this be the car they want to own? If he says no, go back. You missed a step. If he says yes, then maybe offer to have him take the car over night to show his wife, just do something different. The other thing is GET A T.O.! There's nothing shameful about a manager TO. They're not emotionally involved in the transaction, so they might pick up on something you will not see.
It's ok to be nice, just don't forget to ask for the sale... more than once!
I want to get some feedback to this blog. Has anyone else experienced this in their career?