3 Things I Learned at the Car Dealership
I had to do a little car shopping over the weekend. I was expecting wallet-Thunderdome (two people enter with money, one leaves without), but actually, it was pretty painless. Surprising I know, chalk it up to dumb luck and good salesmanship I guess. Thinking about my experience at the dealership over the weekend, there were a couple sales ideas I thought were worth pulling out and sharing with you all today.
1. Be Able to Read Your Buyer
When we got to the lot, we weren't sure what we wanted. The salesman we were paired with, however, asked the right questions to help quickly determine what we were looking for. Some of the questions were gimmes (What size are you looking for? Do you care about gas mileage?), but others I thought were clever and helped us narrow down our choices and make a decision. (Do you want a car that drives quietly? How do you like to feel when you drive?) The lesson here? When faced with indecisive buyers, knowing the right questions to ask to help them eliminate possible choices down to a single item can be of enormous help in speeding your sale along. Think beyond the basic questions and focus on finding the details of what the client specifically wants.
2. Know How to Remove Objections
The second half of buying a car, i.e., the "lets debate and argue over ever little $40 charge" phase, is unquestionably the worst, but also where strong debate skills are helpful. If you're able to explain why a certain charge is necessary or why a certain lease rate is fair, you should be able to steer the sale exactly where you want it to go. Since explanation in this sense largely comes down to removing a customer's objections about what you're suggesting, you need to be prepared to do exactly that. How you go about it is up to you. I like pure, icily mathematical appeals to financial sense myself, but you can also go the negotiation route or even the emotional one ("this is a no-hassle car," "Boy it sure is beautiful," etc.), depending on what you think will work for you and your client.