Why is the car business the only business that insists on training sales people to ‘control’ the customer and not answer questions? All other large ticket sales (now that stereo shops are a thing of the past) have determined through research that those who are best at answering questions are the ones that people will buy from. So where did all of this wacky training come from that is thrust upon the auto business?
I’m going to go way back into the past to make some possible explanations of this phenomenon.
Possible explanation #1: The 1920s – 1950s When automobiles were a luxury item that most people either had none of or one of, the dealer might have determined that as more people could start to afford this ‘luxury’ that ‘ether’ was the only way to make sure that they pulled the trigger. This might explain why car salesmen decided to ‘control’ the customer rather than let the customer buy. By applying a liberal dose of ether, we could make sure that the sheer idea of the luxury wouldn’t be passed up whether the person could afford the vehicle or not.
Or, we could go back to the time (1950s – 1980s) when vehicles were much less dependable and there was no internet or any other way to do research outside of the dealership itself. Could this time period have made necessary a selling method that was designed to keep information out of the hands of the customer? This is highly possible especially if the product being sold was less than ideal! This also might explain why Volkswagen Beetles became so popular, it was a lesser investment to begin with, so the customer didn’t have to fret over their lack of information. Since there weren’t that many brands that competed on the price of a VW, it was either go with the Beetle or get manipulated by the car guys.
The last 15 years or so, the choices weren’t so easy to make. So, a lot of training companies came out of the woodwork and made livings teaching ‘control’ of the customer. Now, there might have been something to it about 15 years ago when the information age was still in its infancy. People did go to several dealerships before purchasing a vehicle, but all recent data indicates that multiple visits to multiple dealerships just does not happen anymore (if it ever really did). At this time I want to share with you a plethora of information on this subject care of Tom Watson. Visit the site http://www.iwanttothinkaboutit.com and listen to several of the modules (3 to 7 minutes each). He’s done the research and he absolutely knows what he is talking about because he has spent the last 25 years quantifying the results of various methods. This is not guesswork.
So, before you spend one cent more on training, you might want to consider the free training contained on Tom’s site. Why is it free? He figured that an advertiser driven site would be the best way of getting the material out there to all industries. He’s been on the road for too many years and wants to cut it down as much as possible. Sure, he’s still available for in-house training if that’s what the dealer wants, but he’s giving you the tools to use and practice if you want to do it on your own.
Also visit Killer Meetings his site for great meeting starters.