Being a car salesman is a lot like being a lawyer. It comes with some preconceived notions. You’re all a bunch of liars, right? You’re all out for one thing, money. You don’t care about the customer or customer service. The writers here at Justplayin’ know, just like you do, that car salesmen are just a bunch of mostly men that just want to make a living, doing something where there’s a lack of a key ingredient, training. In any industry, training is key, but employers are looking to save a buck and they’re losing ground because of it. It’s kind of like driving 20 miles to save ten cents on a gallon of gas. Don’t skimp on the training to save a few bucks now. It’ll come back to haunt you later.
We know from above that people don’t trust car salesmen. Heck, care salesmen don’t trust car salesmen, so we have to promote an atmosphere of trust, honesty and integrity. You probably have books full of these tips and tricks, but we’ll lay a few out right here for you.
1. If you wouldn’t go for it, do use it. For example. The oldest trick in the book is the running back and forth to talk to the sales manager routine. As if the sales manager is really doing the customer some fantastic favor. Every single car dealership tells the customer, “let me see what my manager can do.” Then they run back and forth with the keys, making them look like they’re on some kind of power trip, while the customer rolls their eyes knowing full well they have to send them back three times to get the real price. It’s a waste of everyone’s time. Give the real price, unless your owner just won’t go for it. Don’t lose your job over this.
2. Remember their names immediately. This seems obvious, but I personally have experienced the complete opposite many times. Shake everyone’s hand, including the kids. Don’t you dare skip the wife or girlfriend. The boyfriend may not care, but you can bet your bottom dollar that she’s helping make the car buying decision, and if you come off sexist, you’re done. Don’t ask them to take the kids somewhere else. If they’re distracted, offer them something for the kids. Be patient. Be a superhero. They brought the kids for a reason.
3. You may be the best talker in the world. You may be able to talk anyone into buying anything, but that takes time, and car buyers are in and out in 20 minutes. People want to be heard. Listen more than you speak. Don’t just use this as a tactic to trick them into liking you. Use this to understand what they want. Customers spew options and salesmen always forget. There’s nothing more appealing to a customer than a salesman that remembers, their love of a heated steering wheel or their fear of a specific blind spot. It’s the little things that make all the difference.
4. Keep your workspace clean. Don’t roll your eyes. I saw that. It’s important. Customers don’t want to see clutter, and they certainly don’t want to see half your uneaten lunch. It’s a turnoff, and it’s a turnoff for most everyone. If your desk is a mess, the customer begins to wonder how the vehicles are treated. If they’re wondering how the vehicles are treated, they’re wondering about the condition of the finance department. Think about it. These people are walking into your world, and they’re spending anywhere from $4000 to $100,000 on four wheels, an engine and some seats. Being tidy isn’t asking a lot.
Plus, if you see any training classes in your area, put them in front of your manager. They can only help. Another huge benefit is being in the room with other salesmen swapping stories and learning from each other. You never know what you’ll pick up from a someone in the business.
Part II coming soon. Oh yeah, there’s more.