As each customer walks into a showroom, salesperson’s heads immediately go to the door. Their heads start spinning and kicking into “sales mode”. Maybe they have a pre-loaded script in their heads of what they say. Maybe they fly by the seat of their pants. The end goal is always the same; to sell the customer a car.

With all of the different ways to interact with customers swarming around, what’s the one way that you can please every customer and guarantee that when they leave, they’re a customer for life.

Any guesses?

The answer to the question might be disappointing for some: There is no one way to please every customer.

No matter what the sales gurus say, no matter what your inspirational calendar of the day declares, there is no end all-tell all way to make sure that every customer you come into contact with will end up buying a car.

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t try to make the best out of every single personwho walks into the door. There is a way to sell more cars, there just isn’t a way to sell all the cars.

The truth of the matter is in simple Sociology: All people are different. If you were to offer each of your customers a free pizza in order to buy a car, this may work for some. Others may not like pizza. This is a basic example, but the truth remains the same; you cannot depend on one sales tactic to “rope in” all of the showroom ups.

First and foremost, it shouldn’t be considered “Roping in”. We moreso enjoy the idea of “earning the business of” the person you’re trying to sell a car to.  That said, earning someone’s business will take a little more than a scripted greeting, test drive, credit run, and deal negotiation.

You have to take the time to get to know your customer. What are they at your dealership for? Don’t start selling a car to someone if you’re not even sure if they’re there for that reason. Could they be a service customer? Maybe looking for parts? Take the time to learn why they’re there before you shoot off your best script.

Listen more than you speak. I’ve heard so many sales trainers claim that you need to stay in control of the conversation. Absolutely not the case. A customer knows that salespeople want to be in control. It’s the unfortunate stigma that comes along with the territory. Surprise your customer. Ask a question, and listen to their response. Think they’re done talking? Give it a few extra seconds, they might have more to say.

Answer questions honestly. The aim of the game is not to get one over on your customer. If you lie to them, or omit the truth, they’re going to find out, and there goes your referral business. People are intelligent. They’re in your dealership for a reason. If that reason is to buy a car, then they know it’s going to be a more pricey experience than buying a cheeseburger at a local restaurant. Concealing facts and hiding the truth will get you no where. Your customer needs to trust you.

Following these simple steps in any customer interaction is key to earning the much deserved trust of your customer. Whether you meet your potential customer by shaking their hand, or online through auto dealer chat, the goal is the same; to gain trust, and to prove that you know what you’re talking about.

The one way to please every customer is to treat every customer like they’re like no other customer you’ve ever had.

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Comment by Marsh Buice on August 21, 2012 at 9:16pm

Katie, great points my friend. As the Bible says, "Be quick to listen and slow to speak.." That is one of the hardest things to do bc we are naturally competitive. Your customers will tell you how to sell to them..we just have to be aware. I've made a career on being straight up with customers-often telling them what they dont want to hear. I've lost deals by being up front with customers but my customers have promoted me and made me successful in the long term. Thanks for the tips, Katie.

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