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Unless you're some sort of crazy selling machine, keep reading!
Contrary to what the title of this article suggests, I am not going to write about how to sell less. Rather, I will focus on some of the simple steps to the sale that often go overlooked that prevent more deals from being closed. In vehicle sales, the amount of units you push directly affects the amount of money you collect so it’s crucial to keep yourself in check so that you can constantly strive to kick your sales up a notch.
This weekend I spent some time shopping around for a new laptop for work. I knew (within a ballpark) what I would need and had done some research. Does this sound familiar to any vehicle shoppers you have met recently?
After conducting some research, I began to go to the retail outlets that I knew carried the product I thought I was looking for, but found myself moving from store to store because I couldn’t find a professional salesperson that was really willing to take my money. Based on what I experienced, let’s take a look at a couple of sales fundamentals that ultimately lost the deal for these salespeople.
Lack of Listening Skills
In the first store, the “salesperson” (otherwise known as the order taker) didn’t ask any questions to properly find out what product would suit my needs. He was only simply willing to talk about the product that I thought that I wanted/needed. Every time I would try and talk, he was more interested in cutting me off to tell me about the promotional offer that would accompany my purchase.
I think you’d agree that the first fundamental rule of selling is to ask relevant questions and then keep your mouth shut. In other words, you have two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately.
The second store actually did a great job at fact finding to determine the best product for me, but had no ability to create solutions that would work to meet my needs. I realized that oftentimes, the reason that real solutions aren’t provided (especially in the world of retail), is because sales people don’t know what they can or cannot do. I personally believe that there is a solution to every problem - even if at first it doesn’t appear to work for the customer, there can always be consensus made and deals closed.
My business partner and myself went out of our way to ask questions that we figured would solve our own problems, however, the salesmen just didn’t appear to know enough about the “can and can’t do’s” that store #2 ultimately lost the sale.
Store #3 earned my business and closed the deal because they both asked relevant questions and listened to my answers and also provided solutions to the problems that I had pre-sale. They wanted my money and were willing to come up with a way to take it from me. These may seem like pretty simple sales fundamentals, but believe you me - they are not being utilized as well as you might think, especially for being fundamentals.
How well do you listen to your customers? How well do you know the dealership “can and cannot’s” so that you are able to provide the best solutions for your customers?
If NOT closing deals is on your agenda, stop practising the fundamentals. If you’re interested in kicking things up a notch, try re-introducing the fundamentals into your current sales process with greater force than ever and you will be well on your way to closing more deals.