From Automotive News April 13, 2015: Results were based on a survey of 4,002 car shoppers and buyers from June to October 2014, as well as focus group interviews. Of those surveyed, Autotrader said, only 17 liked the car buying process as it is.
One of the major reasons given was the time it took. It seems the magic number is UNDER 90 minutes. Okay, that said; Do you think any of this has to do with how salespeople are trained? let’s just say it’s highly probable – the salesperson is the entity that has the majority of the contact with the customer, so it would be extremely safe to say that it is a big factor in the dissatisfaction with the process.
Number ONE offense: Salespeople are trained to:
- Take control
- Ask questions
- Perform the ‘steps to the sale’ at all costs.
1, 2 and 3 are all part of the problem. How could it be any other way? All of the above have the unfortunate effect of creating an adversarial relationship. It may be time to wake up and:
- Give control
- Answer Questions
- Let the customer direct a ‘path to the buy’
It takes skill to do the new 1, 2 and 3 above. It takes product knowledge and listening skills. It requires a sense of understanding to know if you have, indeed, answered questions in a satisfactory manner. It also is much more enjoyable – for both parties.
Your job now is to do things, say things that make the customer WANT to buy from you, WANT to buy from your dealership – even if you don’t have the car they eventually want.
Forget about the ‘price’ factor:
“We may not be the lowest price, but I know we are not the highest. Here’s what you will probably have to do to find the lowest price, which may be just a couple of hundred dollars difference. You take the price we give you and then go to these dealers (show where they are on a map that you keep with you) and hope that not only will you find the lowest price, but that the people you are dealing with will give you straight answers, etc. etc. etc.”
You want to train your people? Train them on the word track and method above. Price will soon become secondary as long as your prices are reasonable.
Call me at 205-967-9405 and I’ll do what I can to get you on a track to be that 1/2% that customers will call an enjoyable experience…and I won’t even charge you for it!