I am a female salesperson trying to make a living in the Automotive Business.  I find myself doing well at disarming customers and now I'm working on holding gross in the deals I do.  I'm not afraid …

I am a female salesperson trying to make a living in the Automotive Business.  I find myself doing well at disarming customers and now I'm working on holding gross in the deals I do.  I'm not afraid to ask for the sale but keeping control is a little more difficult with a dominant customer...any ideas?


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Comment by Lizelle Landino on November 9, 2011 at 12:46am

Jillian, Enjoyed reading this and it takes me back to some years ago. The first great thing you are doing right now is that you are asking for ideas and help? You want to learn and conquer your duties as well as you can:-) I just wrote a post on what I believe is the most important "THE MOST" factor and ingredient to be successful in sales and in fact in any career you choose. I can tell you some stories on how I struggled to overcome challenges and hurdles. The most important factor is to never ever doubt your passion, your intuition and your goals. Never engage or give negative people your time:-) They are negative for reasons that NEVER normally includes you - work hard - do it with a smile - go the extra mile - fake it till you make it :-) Best of luck to you I wish you much success!

Comment by Jillian Christiansen on November 8, 2011 at 11:35am

Thanks Bobby...quite the hot shot you are!  Read your profile...might take some time to look at your training material.  Seems a bit different than the norm...more forward thinking...LOVE IT!

Comment by Jillian Christiansen on November 7, 2011 at 6:18pm

Yes..I live and operate in the moment but I'm always thinking about the future......

Comment by Pat Kirley on November 7, 2011 at 5:34pm
Take it one step at a time, concentrate on what you are doing now, don't get distracted now by future plans. Learn a little from others and use it to suit your style, clients like individuals, people deal with people, they don't want a script.
Never stop learning.
Comment by Jillian Christiansen on November 7, 2011 at 4:56pm

Yes!  I love your perspective.  I have great intuition.  Even though I do not have the product knowledge down yet, I'm overcoming that...FYI: I listen to my coworker but then i take the info and use it in a way that makes sense for me.  I'm pretty good at thinking on my feet.  So you are a trainer I see...I was married to a trainer for 24 years...I think this is why I'm doing well.  I believe knowledge is power!  I can never know enough, read enough or be educated enough.  I read books constantly and continually want to further my education in this industry.  The customers of today are NOT the customers we delt with 5 or 10 years ago.  The customers of today are educated and knowledgeable about thier product...they want to be treated personably and with respect.  I'm finding that by following up with everyone I meet...even if they don't buy from me, by making friends, keeping great notes on everyone and sending  personal notes and a monthly personal newsletter and following up on those who aren't quite ready to buy...I'm having great success already with referrals and be backs...It's going well.  I look forward to two or three years down the road when I am more educated and established in this town and this store...I'm rocking it now and then I'm going take it by storm and be one of those consistant sales people that the others  say, "How is she dong that every month??" I'd really love to do training some day...I've spoken in fron tof pretty large groups before in other venues and I do quite well and I'm engaging...so I have big plans!!!  Thanks for your help!



Comment by Kurtis Smith on November 7, 2011 at 2:32pm


I could not agree with you more that you are very smart and let me tell you why! The fact that you are asking questions, means that it is only a matter of time before you get your answers and let me start by giving you a few of them. The first thing that I would like for you to do is to consider a different perspective; one that does not take into account that you are a female but a Selling Professional. Let me explain. Believe it or not, your inherent abilities and feelings as a woman gives you a tremendous edge over your male counterparts because you are able to empathize with, relate to and in essence feel during the selling and buying experience which makes you more relatable and thus more effective. The issue that you are experiencing with the “dominant customer” is not a function of you as a person but a gap in your knowledge of how to identify and interact with different social styles. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot control people and anyone who believes that is truly mistaken. Think for a moment if you would allow someone else to control you, to do something you would not want to do and how would it make you feel? Is it even possible? The fact is if the customer likes you, they will allow you to take them to a place where you want them to go and if they do not, you will not have a deal. Your ability to become effective at working with and through people is critical to your success as a selling professional.

I commend you for seeking out knowledge by listening to your coworkers as a means of improving upon your skills, but the danger in mimicking what you are hearing without understanding how to interact with different personality traits is that you will meet with resistance, 75% of the time and not know why. Your action plan is to learn about the different personality traits (amiable, analytical, expressive, and driver) and how to interact with them in order to develop rapport quickly because ironically, a bottom line, driver personality as you described earlier responds much better to a mirrored reflection of themself than a soft spoken, easy going individual because they find them annoying. Does this make sense? Feel free to reach out to me anytime; I’m here if you need me.

To our mutual success,



Comment by Jillian Christiansen on November 7, 2011 at 11:59am

Thanks!  Great advice.  My confidence is growing.  I work with a few very talented salespeople...one in particular who is amazing at controlling customers.  He sits next to me so I try to listen to his conversations and learn from him.  He also helps me a bunch by giving me feedback on my phone calls and onteractions with customers.  Not all the salespeople here are like that.  Most agree with me when I freely admit I don't know anything yet but in the next breathe expect me to know it all...but I'm learning...I'm eager..and I'm teachable...and I'm SMART!

Comment by Pat Kirley on November 6, 2011 at 6:36am
Hi Jillian,
Times are hard, so glad to hear you are make a living. The dominant customer is hard to deal with, but you have to be in control, don't let him/her take over. What I do what the dominant customer is explain the process, they usually want a price on their trade first, tell them no, I need to find a ar for you first, you might have to insist but if you do you regain control and the chance of a sale.
Comment by Joe Clementi on November 5, 2011 at 11:42am

Jillian - Congratulations! This business is a great challenge and can be very rewarding if you work it correctly.  As for your direct question: Dominant buyers hate it when salespeople use "sales" language.  Become passive with information, and give them what they ask for and more. Tell them that no only will you provide them with the information they want on the car but you'll give them enough information to make an informed decision.  Down payment, monthly payments, trade values and interest rates. However, the key here is that you have to ask for reciprocity.  The more you give them the more you earn the right to ask them to buy.  Assuming you have built value in the product, yourself and the dealership?  There is a wealth of information on the blogs posted on this website.  I would reccomend you read as many as possible.  I would read: Marsh Buice, Bobby Compton, Stephanie Young and Jim Kristoff and Kurtis Smith.  They have great articles containing pertinant information.  You can also visit my blog: http://frontlinetrainingteam.blogspot.com/

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