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Last week we began a two-part series on the brain. More specifically, the science of how it works, or Neuroscience. This is a hot topic. Leveraging scientific knowledge about the brain can create a better sales process, drive more dollars to your dealership’s bottom line and create happy women customers that remain loyal to your dealership for years to come.
Let's check “under the hood” at the Limbic System and the Neocortex. After last week’s Part 1 article, you know that when selling cars, it had better be your NeoCortex doing the work – and definitely not your Limbic System. When selling to women, having the optimim level of engagement with your buyer is imperative. While you know that intellectually, it helps to have reminders in place to reduce the natural tendency to let your brain’s autopilot take control.
1. Know what matters to women. Women have a list of needs when buying a car, but emotional factors also figure into this decision. The top reason women report buying at a particular dealership is not price. The top reason is the customer service and treatment received. Price ranks second. This is important, because it really means you have to have the best price and top that off with unparalleled sales and customer service.
When it comes to what women look for when working with a specific sales person, trust and respect rank first and second. Here, the Limbic System is at work in your woman prospect’s brain, comparing you with her memories and making emotional judgements. The easiest way to build trust is to listen carefully and remain present.
2. Be confident, but not overly so. Confidence matters in life, but over-confidence can derail a potential deal. Overconfidence can allow you to miss the subtle emotions from your prospect that may be signaling she is apprehensive, intimidated or frustrated. Keeping overconfidence in check can help you ask the questions necessary to mitigate any concerns she may have.
Her emotions may have nothing to do with your dealership or your sales process. She may have brought those emotions with her from another experience, and it is up to you to find out how to overcome the issues. Listen more and talk less to help you assess how the deal is proceeding.
3. Stay logical. While emotions will play into a car sale for your woman buyer, it is important that you stay logical and focused. Relying on your intuition, instinct or “gut feel” has great potential to mislead you. Relying on a “smile” from your prospect as an indicator of her happiness, can be completely wrong. Studies show that 90% of people smile when they are frustrated. Again, culture and gender can be at play here – women often smile out of habit to placate others.
Your instinct has a good chance of perceiving false signals of success. Keep a logical perspective on the immediate situation to keep from misreading anything.
4. Find out what you don’t know. I’s easy – and natural - to rely on experience and knowledge when selling. Your prospect will expect you to have answers to her questions. Often times, however, it’s what you don’t know that will break the deal.
Maintain an open mind, and ask questions until you know what you need to know to lead the sale to a successful close. For example, some women may have trouble articulating their issues about the car they want, the warranty, or the loan. Don’t assume you know what they are asking before you answer a question. Careful not to interrupt or answer the question before she’s finished asking.
There is nothing easy about being human. But paying close attention to paying attention will make a real difference when selling to this emerging, powerful market in the New Year.