We’ve all come across the “just looking” tire kicker that hits our lot on a sunny Saturday afternoon or the one calling around every dealership for a deal but won’t disclose their timeframe to buy. They have what feels like a million questions or no questions at all, they want to drive your entire inventory, or they just want to peek into a window or two and not be bothered. Each person is different regarding their purchasing process and prowess and how they warm up to a sales professional.
While some customers’ processes are cut and dry, others seemingly have their sales associates jump through six flaming hoops before they decide to purchase. Regardless of the nature of the customer, the sales associate should be working to perfect their craft with each experience they encounter.
Effective sales associates are efficient in each process that they complete. Over the phone (if they take phone ups), they are communicative and lead the customer through the call to an appointment. When working with a customer in the showroom, it’s the same. We work to keep clear and concise communication happening throughout the customer’s time at the dealership, which we anticipate leading to a sale. *always assume the close*
The question is, how does this happen? Through trial and error, we find what works and what doesn’t work in the communication process with our customers. Efficient sales associates are taking note of their interactions with customers, training from management or consultants, and evolving as they grow. They are consistently working on themselves, which in turn creates more opportunities and, of course, that statistically creates more sales.
Occasionally, when a new process is implemented on a sales floor, it can create a stumbling moment for everyone involved. However, great associates will strategize on how to overcome the hurdle and make it work because, as we know, most new processes are set in place to benefit the group, not hinder them. If the new process has multiple steps, superior associates will work on what is easy and then focus on one trouble spot at a time. It’s not about making it perfect right away either. Make the process whole by completing the steps mechanically and then it will become more natural as the “process” develops into a habit.
Just like practicing the piano, if you practice every day, you don’t lose the skill, you develop into a great player. If you do not practice the piano every day, what you learned while playing during your initial training will most likely fade away in the back of your brain with the algebra formulas you never use from high school. Skills used, practiced, and perfected on a regular basis will become habit. Skills that are not practiced or cultivated will never truly be a skill or a benefit to the person they were initially taught to.
So, what does this have to do with shoppers and buyers? If we do not work to utilize our skills with EVERY customer we encounter, whether we think they are buying or not, we will never know. We need to continue to work every opportunity with the intention of completing the process from start to finish with them. Keep working through the process and focusing on the sticking points to provide excellent customer service to each customer that we come across. If we broom the “tire kicker” they very well may go to our competitor based on their initial experience with our dealership. Take advantage of every experience and make the most of it. It will pay off in the long run.
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