Remember the time you walked into your first dealership where you sold cars? Your eyes were as big as oranges, looking at all the new vehicles in what was most likely a very impressive showroom. Everything was fresh and exciting, and one thing we learned early in our career was that excitement and energy sell cars! So what happened after that first year? Those entry-level units became no longer attractive, and we said to ourselves, we would never want to own one of them personally. They became difficult to sell because we cut to the chase and threw value out and gave them away. We started selling money and not the product or value.
You were excited the first time you saw those vehicles, and customers have that same reaction until we suck the energy and excitement right out of the experience. Shortcutting the sales process, going right to the money, and skipping demonstration-rides will suck the life out of any sales presentation! Why would customers want that product or any other product you offer in their driveway if the product doesn’t have any value to you?
Professor Mehrabian famously misused rule that 93% of our communication is non-verbal, and 7% is verbal, still has significant effects on that sale than most sales professionals could ever imagine. The bottom line, what we’re trying to accomplish is a transfer of money by presenting a level of value we provide to our customers. We earn a transfer of dollars by understanding the dynamics of the sale. Does it matter what our perspective is, or aspect of the how unit aligns within the product line up? The short answer is no, and the consequence can hurt us more than it could help.
What happened to the way we viewed and reacted to our customers? There are hard-working and honest people in this industry. Many can easily flourish under the dynamics if they can become the glass of water in the ocean of a dessert. A typical example is the client who comes in looking at a $45,000 vehicle, wants no money down, and wants their payment at $350 per month. Right away, we start teaching these people math 101. The point is, people are turned off and turned away because the negotiation was handled poorly early in the process! Customers aren’t looking for a math lesson; they’re looking for someone who has their interest. Next time try using the following, “two and two will always be four, I can’t make it three, and I can’t make it five. But I plan on being the hardest working professional that has ever worked for you, now let me find a reasonable solution you’d like”. Most customers are just looking for someone with a fresh and positive outlook who doesn’t have that us against them mentality. Remember that transfer of dollars concept? Most of us adopt the “Golden Rule” approach when we new to automotive sales. I challenge you to make it your passion to treat customers honestly and with integrity during the relationship. Starting today, take an interest and not a position in your customers.