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I love going out to dinner when the wait staff remembers me and greets me like a friend. The looks on my guest’s faces are priceless!!! Everywhere I go; it seems the red carpet is waiting on my arrival. Even my friends are eager to join me because via association they too get special treatment. So, how did I earn my VIP status? It was easy. I just started treating each person I meet as a friend. I use their name in conversation. I give them my attention when they speak. I use polite words like “please” and “thank you”. I part company with a farewell and “see you again soon”.
Want to be known as the dealership in town with the best customer service? Then flip the script. Treat the potential buyer like a friend and build a relationship. A sale really is about creating that relationship before creating the sale. It is hard to disregard someone and their needs and wants when you seem them as your equal, a person with needs and wants just like you.
Building a relationship is the key to building trust. When you trust someone, you tend to trust them with your hard earned money during the sell. When you trust someone, you tend to take their advice and value their opinions. When you trust someone, you tend to listen to what they have to say and place value in their words. When you trust some, you believe they have your best interest in mind. Trust is part of the sales process.
Automotive sales staff recruiters should be looking for individuals who have the ability to form relationships. Relationships are something we all can relate to. We all have the experience of being in relationship, but good and bad. Even though relationships tend to be a universal human experience, there are people who are just naturally better at forming relationship than others. Relationship building is not often a talent someone will list on a resume, but can become a part of your interview discovery.
Even though forming relationships is a real concept that all people can relate to, salespeople can slip into the trap of seeing their customers as a task and not a person. Automotive sales are not a point of sale, click it and forget it, here are the keys to your car transaction. Successful dealerships understand there is even more income to gain after the sale. Therefore management and sales performance training programs should have a focus on relationship building as one of the key ingredients to the sale. Reinforce with both your sales staff and management team, that building long term relationships with each customer is not as much about being popular but about being successful beyond the achievements of today.
Your dealership does not need balloons, spot lights, red carpets or even velvet ropes to be the hottest spot in town. Your dealership needs relationships to be seen as the VIP spot to purchase and service a vehicle.
Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is also the current Ms. Florida Forestry Queen, promoting her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.
Copyright © 2014, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.