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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Lauren Cummins

Lauren Cummins Automotive Product Marketing Manager

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6 Ways To Drop The Salesman Stigma With Effective Communication

The automotive industry would be nothing without good customer service. 107841cbce0a9022aae5ca909c4feb1a.jpg?t=1Anyone can go online and look at a car, but the sale is all determined by how helpful the sales person is for the client. They have to be the customer’s expert and resource.

The word “sell” can be a scary thing. It tends to have many negative hidden connotations that frighten customers away. It’s your job to ease their nerves and let their experience with you be the least of their worries.

Here are a few tips:

1. Save the customer time and money starting with the phone. If they call to check on inventory but you don’t have what they want, or if what you do have doesn’t fit their price range, whatever you do, don’t let that caller hang up. Offer some sound advice on other cars that might fit their needs, and offer to personally show them some features if they come into the dealership. That way, you don’t leave them high and dry without options.

2. You can’t help the customer get what they want unless you’re available 24/7. Stand out from the rest of the crowd by having your calls forwarded to your cell during your lunch break and after hours. That way, you are still their go-to resource and you don’t miss out on any opportunity.

3. Simplify the car shopping process by being accommodating to the customer’s schedule. Many people have long workdays during the week, so the last thing they want to do is be inconvenienced by a salesman when they’re busy. Identify how your customer wants to be contacted, be it by email, text message, phone call or in person. On top of that, ask them what time of day is best to contact them. That adds a personal touch that they’ll respect.

4. Sell the dealership, not just the car and be thorough on the road to a sale. Focus less on the end result and more on the process. Meet and greet with them, have them do a test drive or take them on a walk-around. Even if you don’t end up selling the car, know that you answered every burning question they had. Have them thinking “I didn’t find the car I liked, but I’d definitely refer a friend here.”

5. The job is not done when the appointment is over. You have their info regardless if you made a sale, so send them a thank you card with your business card inside of it. It’ll remind them that they made the right choice, and keep the relationship open ended for the future.

6. Follow up, follow up, follow up! If you lost a sale over not having the right car, don’t just forget about them. A trade-in that night could be the car they need. Be different just by following up with the customer--good or bad-- the next day.

Your best marketing strategy is when customers can vouch for your services and professionalism. Every dealership might have the same car, but they most definitely won’t have the same sales experience-- because they won’t have you. Make sure you stand out.

Grant Gooley
Follow up! I like how you mentioned that 3 times :) Without a follow up strategy especially on eLead, forget the rest. Thanks for sharing.
Shannon Hammons
Lauren, Great read. A lot of things you said no one does anymore. I don't understand how we bust our @#$ to get people to call or come in, and the sales people just act like oh well. I'm going to circulate this around to all of our folks if that is ok with you.
Lauren Moses
Love this. Follow is one of the main places that we are slacking at our dealership. I'm working on a better process to make sure that the salesmen are follow up properly and to hopefully boost sales. Thanks for the great read!
David Ruggles
Why do most sales people not follow up? Answer: They're into instant gratification. They'd rather haunt the lot waiting for LArry and Lorretta Laydown than do follow up. The answer is a rotation system. That way when a sales person isn't in the point or on deck postiton, they can be prospecting or doing follow up without worrying about losing their turn. Veteran sales people LOVE a properly run rotation board. The live mostly from referrals and repeats anyway. While they are with a referral or a repeat their name is going up in rotation so the moment they get done with one customer, they've earned another "Opportunity To Do Business." The skater/lot lizard hates a rotation system. How many people does it take to watch your lot? You get it watched better by 2 or 3 than by 12.
Adam Lee
As a 5 year eCommerce/Internet Sales Manager I love the ongoing conversation and challenge of being progessive and modern while at the SAME TIME keeping what HAS worked in the industry (and the larger construct of "sales" in general) for so many years alive. My GSM calls the latter part "keeping things simple in a far from simple culture". I have a mixed group of well seasoned Internet Sales Vets and absolute rookies. My rookies are mostly Millenials in their first "real" job - so THIS article is going to be the subject of our weekly Thursday "Core Sales Training". While the content will serve as an often needed "refresher" for my vets - MOST of these concepts are absolutely brand NEW to my green peas. I would love to hear feedback from the rest of you who are also experiencing the pros and cons of training and working with Millenials in the Sales Force. Also - GREAT insight David Ruggles (regardless of Generation I think you nailed it)

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