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Late last year, business guru Danielle LaPorte released a new business planning tool that she called The Desire Map. The concept was both simple and deceptively brilliant. In our lives, LaPorte reasoned, we go after specific goals assuming that achieving them will make us feel good. Instead, she argued that we should start with a clear picture in mind of how we want to feel and use that as a barometer for the goals we set and the actions we take.
Once we know how we want to feel – and her concept uses terms that range from “powerful” or “connected” to more descriptive ones such as “divinely feminine” or “explosively creative” – we’ll have an easy way to identify the right goals for us. Her approach to designing career goals can also help you sell more cars.
Many car shoppers quickly outline a list of the features or priorities that they want. The car needs to have a sporty feel and a sunroof or a high safety rating and plenty of trunk space. Maybe they’re fixated on a specific model, such as an upgrade to an SUV or luxury sedan. Or they’re attached to the idea of a brand, as in “today’s the day I’ll get my Mercedes.” It could be that they feel constrained by their budgets, or by practical considerations such as needing a pickup truck for work.
LaPorte’s methodologies suggest a different approach might be in order. How many times have you had buyers ultimately unhappy with a purchase they’ve made, after coming into your dealership certain of what they were looking for? Making core desired feelings part of the buying process can help ensure better outcomes for everyone.
Let’s take a closer look at a case study. If a car buyer walks in off the street saying that he wants something that’s sporty and has a sun roof, you can make some assumptions about his motivations. But if you asked the buyer what his core desired feeling was, you might get a variety of answers. One logical answer might be that he wants something that people will notice, that might help him meet dates or impress potential clients. His core desired feelings would be attractiveness or affluence. Your sporty car might be the right fit for him after all. But you could also suggest a higher end model that more effectively achieves the same thing. Understanding the underlying psychology that’s driving his purchase helps you sell a him a car that’s actually a better fit for what he really wants.
Another common case study might be a mom that’s ready to trade in her small sedan for a family car. Her features list might not surprise you: good safety rating, plenty of space, and a reasonable cost. But if you probe her core desired feelings, you might end up in a different place. One mom might want something that feels practical and that blends in with the other cars in her neighborhood. A mini-van could give her a sense of belonging with her peers. Another mom might need those features, but is dreading a mini-van. Instead, her core desired feelings might be a car that also identifies her as active or outdoorsy and doesn’t scream “mom car.” She could be a great candidate for a cross-over or SUV. That small difference in core desired feelings may help you make a sale to each different customer that produces a higher level of satisfaction.
If you’re looking for a new technique to help increase your automotive sales this year, think about how you can use your customers’ core desired feelings to connect them to the right car. By identifying what’s underlying an interest in a specific car, you’ll more effectively close deals and be able to suggest the kinds of upgrades that skyrocket your commissions and build loyal customers.