What's Salesperson's Role?

Who would ever think about stopping a sale in today's economy when the opportunities are so few and far between? But nearly every day I get emails from people who have read my articles or blogs or who have participated in APB educational programs. The correspondents lament about sales people who simply were not interested in helping customers buy. Is business really that good that a salesperson can't

Who would ever think about stopping a sale in today's economy when the opportunities are so few and far between?

But nearly every day I get emails from people who have read my articles or blogs or who have participated in APB educational programs. The correspondents lament about sales people who simply were not interested in helping customers buy.

Is business really that good that a salesperson can't take time to call the prospect back? In the last 30 days have you had an encounter with a salesperson that made you feel the same way? I am certain that everyone reading this column will say, “Yes.”

Furthermore, if you ask your friends, family and colleagues all will say “yes” as well. As a salesperson, the question to ask is how many people answer, “yes” while thinking about you?

More often than not sales people stop the sale. Many do so without ever knowing it. Only by turning your idea of “selling” upside down, redefining your job, understanding that you, too, stop sales, can you stop sabotaging yourself.

No matter the business, everyone at some time has stopped the sale. They just don't realize they did it.

Sometimes it's not what you say but how you say it. Learning not to stop the sale is a process. It takes practice. It starts every day when you choose what attitude you will bring to every situation you encounter throughout the day on the showroom floor.

If you give 100% attitude, 100% effort and 100% performance, you will get 100% results. Listen to your customers, intently and genuinely. Help them find the right solution, whether they purchase today or later.

Treat each individual like a real opportunity or even better like royalty; like you'd want to be treated. Give them a positive experience they'll never forget, one that is unique, different from and better than your competition, one that doesn't necessarily just focus on selling cars.

Create an environment and build a connection with customers that makes them want to buy from you.

Focus on building a relationship of trust and cultivating clients for life.

Nurture and inspire those around you because your success is intimately intertwined with the success of your colleagues.

Respond to the following, true or false: “A salesperson's job is to sell products and services.” False! A salesperson's job is to help people buy, not sell them anything. Products are offered not sold, that's up to the client! When sales people understand this, price becomes a secondary issue.

Sales is not about selling price or meeting quotas, selling as many cars as possible, or winning sales contests. It's about building relationships.

Sales people who concentrate only on selling aggressively and closing quickly to exceed their goals or quotas, often create situations where customers feel pressured, where their needs are not being heard, and where they feel like the salesperson is more concerned about his or her commission than in helping them select the right car.

This results in the one thing that no salesperson or dealership manager ever wants: Turning buyers into shoppers who leave the dealership in search of someone else they can do business with.

When this happens everyone looks for someone or something to blame. A negative attitude develops and permeates the entire dealership.

Ultimately, sales people should be focusing on converting shoppers into buyers.

To learn more about this vital topic, check out my new book, “Who Stopped the Sale?” It is available at http://www.whostoppedthesale.com.

Richard F. Libin is president of APB-Automotive Profit Builders, Inc., a firm with more than 42 years experience working with both sales and service on customer satisfaction and maximizing gross profits through personnel development and technology. He is at [email protected] or 508-626-9200.

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