"I'll Take It! How Not to Get Sold By Your Customers"

Jon Quade
"Every time a customer walks through the front door, someone is going to be sold - either the customer or the sales consultant."
Jon Quade
“Good morning and welcome to Big Deal Motors. I’m Marvin.” “Hi, Marvin – I’m Benny. I’m just starting to think about trading in my pickup over there and thought I’d stop by to see how the new ones look.” “You’ve come to the right place, Benny. Have you done business with us before?” “Yeah, I bought my truck here, but my salesman doesn’t work here any longer.” “Ok – well thank you for coming in. Have you had pretty good luck with your truck?” “Yeah, it’s been a good truck and I keep it in excellent condition. And, Marvin? I only have about 15 minutes or so and want to see what it would cost me to trade.” “I understand, Benny. Well, let me get the ball rolling and get your truck appraised. We’re going to have to hurry to make your timeframe!” Every time a customer walks through the showroom door, someone is going to be sold – either the customer or the sales consultant. The above vignette has happened countless times and begs this question: Did Benny really have only 15 minutes or was he just saying that to avoid making a buying commitment? Oh, there are other examples too: • What about the lady who says she wants $8000 for her car, the manager puts an ACV of $5000 on it, and you try to negotiate with the manager instead of the customer. Presto! You’ve been sold. • Or, the guy whose first words upon meeting him are, “We’re not buying anything today.” How do you react? (Thought Bubble) “Ugh – another tire-kicker. Let me go get one of the new guys to help him.” SOLD! • Or, your customer finally agrees to the lease payments you’ve quoted him after hemming and hawing for the last half hour. You’re feverishly writing up the purchase agreement so he can’t change his mind, and he taps his watch and says, “Wow, I really need to get back to the office. Can we wrap this up in the next five minutes?” You spend the next ten minutes running around like your hair is on fire, trying to get him into and out of F & I. Sold again. While each of these situations stands on its own because of what you know (or don’t know) about the individual customer, there are some things you can do to avoid being sold in the first place. • Remain calm. What’s the worst that can happen? The customer bolts on you? When is the last time that actually happened? • Ask questions. “Benny, fifteen minutes isn’t much time – what did you really hope to accomplish today?” Questions allow you to control the conversation and get to the bottom of the customer’s story, so arm yourself with 4-5 good ones that you can easily rattle off as the need arises. • Seek a solution. Avoid focusing on timing or pricing or whatever the issue is; instead, try to propose something that solves, at least temporarily, the customer’s need. What other thoughts do you have? How do YOU avoid getting sold?
Jim Bell
Great reminder Jon and for some reason all of this sounds familiar as I jog my memory back a few years.

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