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Megan Barto

Megan Barto Finance Manager

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The 3 Most Important Words In Sales

b50db8a521d1d90e5e6b896d9ffdbf09.jpg?t=1When you hire a new sales professional, they have a TON of tests to go through. HR tests, product knowledge tests, they even have tests on their tests! They have so much to learn and of course want to learn it as quickly as possible.  Because -- if they're taking tests, they're not selling. And if they're not selling, they're probably not making [much] money.

But do they retain everything?  Probably not. Especially not right away.  But instead of trying to impress their customers by letting them think the green pea knows everything --- they should be concentrating what they do know & also admitting what they don't know.

No consumer is going to expect a Sales Professional to know every single answer to every single question.  Especially when the consumers ask the technical questions “What’s the compression ratio on this car?” Really - who knows that, and moreover, the consumer is probably only asking that question to test the Sales Professional.  But what’s the correct answer to the questions?

“I don’t know off the top of my head, but I can find out for you.”

Wow.  Did that just happen? The salesperson did 3 things there.
1.) They admitted they didn’t know something about their product.
2.) They assured the customer they would find out the answer.
3.) They built INSTANT TRUST with the customer.  
Rewind - “How did they build trust?”

If they’re going to tell the truth and admit they don’t know the answer to a customer’s possibly “insignificant” question about a car — then they’ll tell the truth throughout the process!  This is important for the most veteran sales professional to learn as well - just because they’ve been selling for 10+ years, doesn’t mean they know everything about every single car!

VOILA! Isn’t part of what we do building trust and rapport with the customer?  Yep (at least I hope it is - if not, please stop and reexamine your business model).  

Do you teach your sales professionals that saying “I don’t know, but I can find out.”  Is acceptable and important?

Larry Schlagheck
True in every type of sales, Megan. Great post. Not only is it acceptable and important but the buyer/customer/client always respects this, in my experience.
Dustin Lyons
Very nice article Megan. As a team leader and trainer, I always told my new hires as well as everyone on the team that if you don't know the answer you should respond exactly the way you said. I totally agree that it builds trust and rapport with the customer, and the salesperson can have some fun with it too. I also found that when customers learn that a salesperson is new, they are generally more relaxed and go a little easier on the sales person. They know they don't have a seasoned old school salesman trying to sell them if that makes sense. So new guys should use the "I'm new" card as much as possible. I even saw people buy because they wanted to be the salesman's first sale!
Grant Gooley
So true. Great read. There is so much to learn as a new sales rep, having the confidence to admit you need to find the answer is the hardest part. A great Sales person will do this. I agree it should be encouraged by the dealership management!
Jeff Scherer
Spot on advice Megan. Isn't it funny how very, very often the rookie outsells the top salesman? It's largely because he DOESN'T know anything, and as a consequence, he ends up selling himself. Then of course as he learns the products, he becomes "better educated," and his sales drop. It's a normal progression to think you are serving your customers by knowing your product intimately, and it's hard to argue against that, but the best advice that we provide new salespeople is to STAY STUPID for as long as you can!
Lawrence Wittrock
Many "off the wall" questions can be addressed with a question: I'll look it up-but I have a question for you- I would guess it's because you want to know what type gas this takes and the answer to that is regular.

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