I’ve just spent 6 of the last 9 days working with 2 very professional sales teams; both from high volume and very profitable Honda stores in the SE; profitable because of their fixed operations and used car departments. 42 different sales team members, consultants and managers alike, went on videotape to demonstrate their skills at presenting the numbers and handling the most predictable objections. We have videotaped over 10,000 sales team members during the last 10 years; from Honolulu to NYC, Seattle to Miami, and most places in-between. The results are as predictable as the customer’s objections.
When a sales team is able to move the prospect from the meet and greet to the write-up they have done way more right than wrong. In all likelihood they have sold themselves, their store, and the vehicle. Some might even say the vehicle is “sold” but the money hasn’t changed hands. The prospect was “sold” up to this point very successfully, or they wouldn’t still be around. However once the write-up starts, the SELLING STOPS.
The best of the best suggest more cash or a longer term when there is a payment objection. I wonder how many customers exclaim “WOW, did you hear that honey; if we put down more cash and/or extend our term we can lower our payments – I didn’t know that!” When hearing the trade-in objection 90% ask the customer what they think their trade is worth, then rapidly move to a confrontational conversation by making the customer defend their number - brilliant?Of course the “we have to recondition your vehicle because it’s a pig” justification is used universally. How many prospective customers really care what a dealership has to do with their trade, in order to make a profit?
The price objection elicits the most moronic of responses; the most sophisticated being some version of “if you can’t afford a nice one, you’ll have to settle for a not-so-nice one.” – Charming.
Automotive sales people get a bad rap from the buying public not so much for who they are, as for what they are taught to say by the “industry experts” and often, their managers. Sales people make a poor living, not because they don’t work hard, but because they are trained to fail and work within a dated sales process that is offensive to the consumers, expensive for the dealers, and inefficient for all parties. Sales people turnover at an atrocious rate because the system is broken.
Dealers leave billions of dollars on the table because once the financial aspects of the transaction have to be dealt with, the SELLING STOPS. What takes place during the negotiating and closing sequences of the sales process is the caricature of what the public has come to despise. This site, and most others, are loaded with "how to use the Internet better" advice. Lots of SEO, ONG, KTT, and BS talk. Problem is, there is a difference between marketing and selling. Both are important, but selling seems completely neglected. Too many seem to feel "the way it's always been done if fine." Wrong, the “Emperor has no clothes on.”
What say you?