So, who are YOU? What’s your deal? What do you have to offer?
Those are the questions almost every customer wants to ask, but rarely does. See, many of them don’t consciously think about needing those answers, but the lack of answers leaves a hole in their confidence level of you as a dealership.
We’ve touched on this idea before, briefly, back on this topic. Now let’s dig a little deeper.
Most experienced sales professionals work the information into the presentation. As they “sell” the car, they also manage to “sell” the dealership. It is important to do so, because each customer needs to have two questions answered:
1. Why should I buy this car?
2. Why should I buy it from this dealership?
Unless you happen to have a specific one-of-a-kind unit, the customer has lots of places and similar vehicles to choose from in their search. The internet and smart phones made that search not only a lot easier, it also puts it into the palm of their hands.
So, you need to set yourself apart. How? By promoting those things that you do well.
Do you offer service?
Do you offer quality cars?
Do you offer better financing than most of the other dealers?
Do you offer better care after the sale? — More on this topic HERE.
How stable is your dealership?
This bit is important. People want to be assured you are not a here-today-gone-tomorrow business.
Confidence in the sale sells cars. Part of that confidence rests in the seller.
This is part of sales training. Your sales staff needs to be aware of who you are. They need to believe in the owner, and buy into the process. That’s hard to develop in sales people if you do not own it.
We covered once the idea that your sales staff should be part of the dealership, and not feel like outsiders themselves. I’ll be honest, commission incentive aside, if your salesperson would not refer a friend to the lot, then they are going to have a very hard time convincing any other customer to buy from you.
I get it, having sold cars myself, the pay is the primary driver for most salespeople. Employment longevity in this industry is a rare thing, but there are those out there. What those sales people have in common is an honest belief that they are selling good cars for a good dealer. You can not, and will not, ever buy that kind of loyalty. It must be earned. This is something that is built over time. It cannot be created out of thin air.
If you are a new dealer, then what you have to sell the employees on first is your commitment to them. Good cars to sell at good pay, good benefits (when you can,) and good conditions to work in.
I personally believe that the days of the “hired gun” are about gone. These are the kinds of sales people that float from one dealer to the next. They can sell a lot of cars to a lot of people, but too often, their games, lies, and cons run out. You may have enjoyed some short term profits, but the long term leaves you with complaints and a bad reputation.
This concept does not end when the ink dries. Customer Relationship Management teaches that customers who buy durable goods must be appreciated not only at the time of sale, but after the sale, as well.
If you look at the FTC Buyers Guide for used cars, there is a place on the back marked “See For Complaints.” This must be the name of someone at the dealership who is authorized ot hear and process complaints about the used car after the sale. I met a dealer once who hated putting a name there, because his position was that “As-Is Means NO COMPLAINTS.” I went to another dealership once that kept copies of the signed “As-Is” Buyer’s Guides in a desk drawer close to the door. He explained that was so that they could pull them out and show anyone complaining about a car to remind them they weren’t entitled to complain. As I stood at this dealership, a lady who had bought a car just days before, came in asking for help because the water pump literally came apart in the middle of the road. They promptly pulled out her As-Is, shoved it in her face, and the sales manager laughed as her told her she was, and I quote, “Sh*t out of luck.”
Long story short, neither of these dealers lasted long. Frustrating thing to me is, that it’s dealers like this who complain the loudest about a lack of customer loyalty, that customers won’t pay their notes, and the lack of profits in this business.
Thanks for visiting. Next time, we are going to revisit the Snake House. Put your boots on, and get ready!