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Most companies are using a sales process that dates back several decades. It was probably wrong then and it most definitely is wrong now. Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not the process I object to; it’s some of the things you’ve been taught to do in it.
Let’s look at some of the bad advice you have been given over the years:
Find Their Pain
For years salesmen have been taught that it is discomfort that causes people to want to make a change and, if you probe to find that discomfort and turn it into pain, the customer will buy from you to stop the pain.
And we wonder why many people hate the sales process. Why would they willing submit themselves to a process and a salesperson that is going to try to cause them pain?
Doesn’t it make more sense to find the pleasure? Buying is an emotional process and it just seems to make sense that unleashing positive emotions would be more effective than digging for negative ones.
Find the things people liked about their last car or house or whatever you sell. Get them to share positive memories from owning that product. And then, paint beautiful pictures on how their new purchase will enhance those experiences.
Ask Logical Questions
Qualification has been taught as a logical process. That may be true if you are trying to sell but it won’t work if you are trying to help your customer buy.
Presentations have been all about facts and figures; how many square feet each room in the house has or the horsepower of an engine. Does either of those really matter? Wouldn’t you rather know how your furniture will fit in a room or whether the engine has enough power to get your family out of danger in an emergency?
As my mentor, Jeffrey Gitomer, says “The sale is made emotionally-and justified logically.” You need to be asking emotional questions and making presentations that appeal to the customer’s emotions. When you have made the purchase sufficiently emotionally appealing, they will justify the purchase logically in their own minds.
You Need to Close The Sale
You’ve probably been taught that you need to close and close hard to get every sale. You either own or have seen books or videos filled with hundreds of closes. With the way this concept has developed over the years, it virtually reeks of manipulation. It is the single biggest reason salespeople have the unsavory and unpopular reputation they have.
When your purpose is not to ‘sell’ a prospective customer but, rather, to help them buy, there is no close. It is replaced by an ‘opening’ – the opening of a relationship.
People buy from other people they know, like and trust. Jeffrey Gitomer puts it this way, “All things being equal, people want to buy from a friend. All things not being equal, people still want to buy from a friend.”
Who would you consider a friend? Who would you rather do business with? The salesman who wants to make you feel pain, deals strictly in facts and figures and manipulates you to close the sale or the person who wants to hear about what makes you happy, wants to illustrate how his product can enhance that happiness and wants to build a relationship to help you buy now and in the future.
By the way, guess which one is liable to earn greater customer loyalty and referrals?
It’s time for you to reconsider your sales process today.