Look at the sales process you have in your store. If you were asked to rank the steps in order of importance what would be at the top of the list? Now, if I asked you to rank them in order based on execution what would be at the top. In other words, what steps do you do well and which steps not so much?
I feel that the most important sales steps are the needs analysis, or fact-finding step and the walkaround. However, it is my experience that these are also the steps that are skipped the most. Why are they skipped? That is a topic for another post. The fact is we need these two steps more now than ever.
As Elmer Wheeler once said, we need to “sell the sizzle, not the steak”. The customers may have more information than ever before, but so do salespeople (hopefully). Our cars and trucks have more bells and whistles then they every have.
When a guest first walks on your lot, how do you think they view your product? More often than not their research has all been based on price. Sure, they have a general idea about what they are looking for. But do you think they know the ins and outs of the traction control system? Do they know the inspection and reconditioning process you put your pre-owned vehicles through? Do you think they should?
When performing a walkaround consider this: A few years ago Xerox did a study. They found that there were three ways people learned.
1. Visually – This one is a no-brainer. Make sure you show your guests the features of the vehicle.
2. Auditorally – We have all heard the old adage “stories sell cars”.
3. Kinesthetically – It is important to let your customers lift up the tailgate, move the seat forward, reach down and feel the fully-boxed frame, etc.
Xerox found that when all three elements were used in a presentation it was fifteen times more effective. Make sure you incorporate all three elements into your walkaround.
Customers are coming into our dealerships with more information than ever before. Invoice, rebates, and trade-in values are readily accessible. They can push a button and get multiple price quotes. This information used to give the salesperson leverage, a way to get control over their guest. Salespeople can get this control back, but it is not by withholding information. It is by sharing the features, advantages, and benefits with the guest by doing a complete walkaround.
So, how well do you know your product?