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We all have to face it; the internet has changed the way our business has been conducted. It has affected used cars and now with the whole dare I say it, TrueCar (I won’t open that can of worms) movement; customers want transparency.
Are you giving it 300% so far this year? Yes, I said 300%. What I mean by that is are you presenting to 100% of the customers that you talk to? Are you presenting 100% of the options to the customers? And are you doing this 100% of the time? With transparency taking over our business models, we have to try to stand apart from the others. What makes you different from the guy down the street selling the same vehicle?
I know that this is a lot of basics, but how many times does a customer walk in the showroom and announce, “Who wants to sell a car today?” and go right to a desk and go to numbers without a presentation? I know we are all guilty of it at one time in our lives (insert sarcasm), but do you really want to put your paycheck amount in the hands of the guy that did a piss-pore walk-around? Build some excitement and why the customer should buy from YOU! I read recently that only 1 in 5 shoppers are true price shoppers. Hmmm....something to think about.
Your Character will have to stand out. I asked some non-automotive friends of mine to describe a car salesman to me. Some of the words that were said were very harsh. They see us as untrusted, deceitful, pushy, shifty, full of lies. How do we overcome this? When that customer comes in the showroom, we have to welcome them as if they were coming into our own home. Don’t fake it, be sincere. Don’t badger them with 50 questions; try and come up with some common ground and see what exactly they are looking for and try to fit those needs with their wants. Actually have friendly conversation with them. One of the couples I asked this question to was in the market recently and have done a lot of car shopping. They actually said that there was one salesperson that sat there during his presentation (if that's what you want to call it) clicking his pen the whole time. Their son actually took the pen from the salesman and told him that he "was driving him nuts." What does that say about us? Unfortunately, just because of that one salesman, they may have a bad taste in their mouths whenever they walk into a showroom.
When you are building that rapport with the customer, have some fun with them. That will show that you are a fun person to deal with and buying a car can be fun and not like going to the dentist. You have to remember that you are dealing with someone that is ready to spend a lot of money and they chose to come into the dealership that you work at for some reason. It may be that you have the right car, your dealership may have a good local presence, or some type of advertising brought them in. The dealership spends a ton of money monthly to get customers in the door and you owe it to them not to just waste time with that customer so you owe it to your employer that you commit the 300% rule. Make it happen and cheers to 2012!