All too often, dealerships employ frustrated sales people who seem to fail more often than succeed.
While there are hundreds of reasons for this (personality, lack of training, product, etc.), the responsibility lies with both the salesperson and management.
To improve their success rate, sales people should consider these seven common reasons for failure and take action to ensure they get back on track for success.
Sales people often lose sight of their true objectives. By asking and answering a few simple questions — “Why am I here?” “What's expected?” “How do I measure up?” — their focus can remain clear and steady. Complement this with the practice of monitoring their goals and objectives as part of a daily routine, and they've taken the first step toward success.
Attitude is critical. In sales people, no matter how it is expressed or what circumstances are faced, it must remain positive. Often sales people will meet customers who have a seemingly negative viewpoint. The professional must recognize this as an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive, and avoid being drawn into a negative perspective.
Interest sparks job enthusiasm. With a plethora of technical advancements, constantly changing products, services, warranties, and practices, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Keeping a keen interest in various developments, not only at the dealership but in the automotive business in general, will give sales people an edge. That, in turn, will spark enthusiasm in customers.
All of us at one time or another may have wondered, “Why should I learn new ideas and different ways when the old ways work fine?” But in the automotive business, there is no “status quo.” Learning must be a constant goal, and successful sales people seek opportunities to learn with each encounter they have every day.
Having a deep understanding of the job, the product, warranties, etc., is often taken for granted. As a result, sales people may find themselves working nine to 10 hours a day with no comprehension of their goals or achievements. The professional salesperson must approach each day with a plan and clear understanding of their desired results.
As part of a team, each person has to be able to rely on a fellow associate for assistance and support. When a salesperson is unreliable and cannot be trusted, then failure is surely the only possible result.
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand customers' problems from their point of view. Sales people must take the time to identify with each of the customers' concerns in a genuine manner if they want to meet or exceed their expectations and ultimately succeed themselves.
Keeping these seven reasons in mind and developing action plans to avoid failure traps is the first step to a successful career in automotive sales.
Richard F. Libin is president of Automotive Profit Builders Inc., a dealership consulting firm specializing in customer satisfaction and maximizing profits. He is at [email protected] and 508-626-9200.