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Just got a call from a "car guy" vendor trying to sell my store on his product. Right away I could picture the gold chains, chest hair and large rings he must be wearing. Apparently, his assumption is that all car guys are like him and the best way to sell is to be gruff, fast talking and constantly cursing in conversation all while giving a take-it or leave-it approach (really? You're gonna hard sell me?)

Last I checked, most people (myself included) want to be talked to like people, not pawns for business gain. The real goal is to sell yourself not as the stereotypical "car guy" but rather as a friend I would want to do business with. Granted, there is a fine line between selling and 'friending' and confuse the two and no selling will take place, but function with both in a symbiotic relationship and not only will more sales come, but your customers will respect and trust you a lot more which should lead to more sales with repeat and referrals.

I digress....

-Matt Tucker

Views: 49

Tags: Car, Guy, Matt, Talk, Tucker

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Comment by T. Lavon Lawrence on September 17, 2010 at 7:45am
The transition I experienced from selling Ford to selling Saturn absolutely transformed my approach to selling automobiles - to selling ANYTHING. I went from being a slick, fast-talking showman wielding 80+ closes the way a samurai uses a sword, to unfolding into a truly valuable resource to car shoppers, earning their trust and confidence through relentless focus on getting to their real needs and values; matching those to the right products and services, and then ensuring superior customer service follow-up after the sale.

I started out a mimic - a clownish stereotype - and thanks to the influences of Saturn sales managers and Sales staff, evolved into the kind of 'Car Guy' Professional that even I would WANT to go see when shopping for a car.

My friends always come to me for advice when it comes to buying vehicles, and I educate them thoroughly; mostly, I take them through a proper sales PROCESS so that they (meaning WE) can go to the car lot thoroughly prepared to test drive and make a fair deal.

When we hit the lot, I won't do business with an 'OLD SKOOL CAR GUY' still under the delusion of old paradigms; who has failed to evolve with the times.

Earlier this year I sent one guy packing when I took a friend to Quality Imports in Fort Walton Beach, FL to test drive a RAV4. I tried everything I could to get the guy to get out of his mindless ritual and show genuine interest in satisfying the customer, but he was stuck COGNITIVELY in 'COMMISSION MODE'. It was a pathetic thing to observe. I really felt sorry for the fellow, because his mindset was his prison - the stressful look on his face a sure sign of long-term anxiety born of the type of psychological desperation inherent in not being a genuine, honest human being.

After repeated attempts to SHOW the guy HOW to sell us (which would have saved him a ton of effort), I finally just left him there with his transparent lies, marched into the showroom and asked for the Sales Manager to ask for a 'GREEN PEA' who didn't know anything.

The green pea was excellent, having not been indoctrinated with obsolete technique, and a fair deal for a great vehicle was achieved as I took the green pea through a crash course on how to sell ANYTHING to ANYBODY so that they leave the deal with a smile on their face, ready to tell everybody about the fantastic 'AUTOMOBILE SALES PROFESSIONAL' who graciously helped them solve all their problems and overcome all their obstacles.
Comment by Matt Tucker on September 13, 2010 at 6:44am
Excellent advice Jason and spot on, and when diving deeper into the reasons they are getting the new vehicle, it will have everything to do with Family, Hobby or Career. Thanks again.
Comment by Jason Manning on September 12, 2010 at 10:25pm
Consumers want a human experience. If we give the best human car buying experience we will always be accepted. Old School managers will tell the sales associate to "go talk News, Weather, and Sports" with the customer to build rapport (and most salesmen would literally try those three categories). That is the absolute wrong mindset to build rapport. Customers want to talk Families, Hobbies and Careers. I work in the 21st Century and News, Weather and Sports has been deleted from my training repertoire. We just have to start handling customers like a human, not a monster. We will always be accepted at that point.
Comment by Matt Tucker on September 12, 2010 at 9:35pm
Thanks John and very true Jason. That is the point I was making above. To the consumer, I feel that we are more than often not pinned as the last wheel in the cog of the purchase machine: ie...that we will only need to satisfy the last dangling questions of the inquisitive buyer to earn the sale.

We are all too often pegged as the bad guy, the guy out to get my money. They expect us to go for the hard close, they expect us to swindle when we can. They expect us to be what the chain wearing, fast talking "car guy" image portrays (what the 'how-to-buy-a-car' sites teach consumers). That's why deviating far from that play book is so vital.

Yes, we need to be the "car guy" that encourages a buyer to pick our brain and we better be more than prepared to give the correct answer, because in today's market, the buyer is fully armed with knowledge of the product.

That's why I said that it is a very fine line between the two. Lean to the left or the right too far, and the sale is lost. Much like you put, you will be denied and quickly so.

But keep it centered and earn the proper respect of your customer and your peers, then you are the "car guy" that can make us all proud.
Comment by Jason Manning on September 12, 2010 at 6:54pm
As a consumer, a "car guy" is an expert in cars whom I would want to pick the brain of regarding features and benefits of the vehicle I am buying. If they have all the answers to my technical questions I will accept them. I don't personally have any negative thoughts regarding the term. I think it's a compliment, but will be apparent to the car buyer grilling you with technical questions. You will be confirmed or denied. If you are denied, it will happen quickly and you might as well be wearing a gold chain and large gold rings etc. You're a fraud to the customer, yourself and your industry.
Comment by John H. Isaac on September 10, 2010 at 6:59am
Some people are caught in a time tunnel. The industry has matured and business is conducted differently now. At least for most of us "Car Guys"... I agree with you whole heartily.

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