I remember my rookie year selling cars. In my first month I delivered 11, second month eight, third month six, and downhill from there.
I'd handle every customer differently, go hard with one and back off on others. Consistency was not in my strategy.
It may have been that first month with 11 deliveries and a big pay check that made me realize the income potential in this new career. The problem was how could I do it on a regular basis. I needed a game plan.
I knew that after spending three hours with Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds. We were in my office when I realized I didn't know how to ask them to buy the car.
So of course, I started talking about everything but that. I knew I did a great job on the vehicle presentations, demo drives and touting the dealership. These people liked me. They said I was the best salesperson they ever met. How could I push these nice folks? I didn't want them to think I was aggressive and just looking for a commission.
Mrs. Reynolds said they wanted to go home and think about it. I said, “No problem. Give me a call when you've decided.” We parted friends.
Two days went by. I called them. She sounded different than at the dealership. She passed the phone to him. He said they purchased a new car elsewhere the same day they saw me. But he said they told friends I was the “nicest salesperson.”
You have to earn the right to ask for the sale. Introduce yourself properly. Ask all the contact questions. Do a full presentation and demonstration drive. Sell the customer on the dealership. Be professional. Then ask for the sale!
Here's an eight-step, low-pressure but powerful way to do that back at the dealership:
Offer them a beverage to build more rapport and make them comfortable.
If there are any questions that you have not answered, find out and answer them. This establishes more trust and credibility.
Say: “Now before we go any further, I want to make sure that we have selected the correct vehicle.” If everything is OK, go to Step Four. If not, deal with their concerns.
Ask: “Did you enjoy the ride and features of the vehicle?” If yes, proceed. If no, find out what the problem is and handle it.
Ask: “Do you have any other questions about our dealership or about the vehicle?” If they have concerns or questions, answer them.
Say: “So we have selected the right vehicle?” If for some reason you feel the selection is wrong, don't go any further. Proceed if everything is right.
Say: “OK then, if there was anything preventing you from getting the vehicle, today, what would it be?” The customer will give several conditions, i.e. the price, trade-in difference, monthly payments, interest rate and terms. Whatever their response is to your question, handle it with Step Eight.
Say: “So what you are suggesting to me, Mr. Customer, is that if the (price, trade in, monthly payments, interest rates, terms, etc.) are agreeable, you'd like to get the vehicle as soon as possible. Right?”
If everything is confirmed, clarified and closed, pull out your worksheet, fill in the details and start negotiating. But you must close it before you can negotiate it.
Do this with every customer. Practice by role playing with colleagues. Make it easy at first. As you get better, make it perfect.
Darin B. George (1-888-681-7355/[email protected]) runs the Automotive Sales College. He conducts a training program airing on ASTN in April and May.