I know the title sounds like an ad for a clinical trial, but what I’m referring to is a problem that runs rampant in dealerships. If not checked, it can cause you to lose appointments, sales, service gross, and more.
What is conversational narcissism? Simply put, a conversational narcissist is someone who makes the conversation about them. They attempt to take control of a conversation and focus it on themselves. This is a problem if you are in any sales-type position.
If you think about a needs analysis, regardless if you are in variable or fixed ops, it is to gain information from the customer about their wants and needs. Hence the title “needs analysis”. But a good needs analysis is about so much more.
Your customers want to trust you. They need to know you have their best interests in mind. This is accomplished by talking about them, not you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t find common ground and relate their needs to your own. This is a good way to build trust. I’m saying that you need to be careful about the flow of the conversation.
In addition, so much of the sales and service process today involves engagement. Active listening and questioning are two of the keys to better customer engagement. This requires less talking from you.
Don’t worry. Conversational Narcissism can be treated, and it doesn’t require a visit to a doctor or medication. Here are some things you can do:
First, ask your peers. Odds are this isn’t something that only occurs during your sales process. Find someone you can trust and ask them to be straight with you. Do you tend to take control of a conversation?
Next, pay attention to how much you are talking vs listening in a sales conversation. You can ask more questions. We all know that listening is a skill all successful sales consultants, BDC agents, and service advisors have. Work to develop this skill in yourself.
At the end of the day, active listening and questioning are two of the antidotes for conversational narcissism. Take the time to perfect these two skills and improve your engagement with customers. Your bank account will thank you.