Car Sales 101: A Case Study
The time had come for my wife to get a new vehicle. Let’s take a look at the good bad and ugly of her experiences. What occurred during her visits is a microcosm of what happens in automobile dealerships every day.
My wife decided to look at several different vehicle options. She visited three dealerships to look at vehicles. At two of the three, the sales people seemed to ignore her as she looked at vehicles on the lot. Maybe it was because my wife had just been at the gym and had gym clothes and a sweatshirt on – Mistake No. 1.
At two of the dealerships, the sales person never asked my wife’s name – Mistake No. 2. None of the sales people offered a test drive or much of a demonstration – Mistake Nos. 3 and 4. Only one of the sales people asked for my wife’s number before she left so they could follow up with her – Mistake No. 5. All three of the sales people did not treat her as she could or would buy the car by herself – Mistake No. 6. All of them made sure to mention to bring her husband back and they would make me a good deal – Mistake No. 7. Two of three did not follow up after the visit because they did not get the phone number – Mistake No. 8. Two of the sales people took repeated cell phone calls during the time they were with my wife – Mistake No. 9.
The next day my wife and I just happened to stop and look at one other vehicle she had not previously seen. The sales person did not make any of the mistakes mentioned above. He greeted us promptly, he made quick rapport and he asked questions. The sales person treated my wife with respect and gave her the most attention since it was going to be her vehicle. The sales person made friends with my son and related well to him. The sales person gave an energetic and long presentation/demonstration. The sales person presented and negotiated the purchase professionally. He made the sale. The delivery was handled with attention to detail and my wife was made to feel special in her purchase. My son was given a special teddy bear at delivery. The sales person followed up with a phone call, a thank-you card and a dealership introduction letter.
Was the sales person that made the sale doing extraordinary and super-human things? Was this sales person using special and secret sales techniques with magic-bullet closes? The sales person was executing the basics of selling – THE BASICS.
The good news is that nine times out of 10, the basics are all that is needed. The bad news is that so many knuckle-head sales people aren’t giving even a whiff of effort or professionalism to their jobs and their customers. For the sales people who do the right things, selling becomes easy because you have so little real competition. So many sales people whine, bellyache and moan and groan about how competitive the market is and how price is the only reason people buy. The whiny salesperson cries that you can’t make gross profit or resulting income.
Show me any industry or field without tons of competitors. Show me any industry where some of the players aren’t using price as their main weapon. Every industry has these environments. The reality is that none of those things matter. You are faced with MOT’s (Moments of Truth) everyday. In those moments you either choose to win or you choose to lose. Go back to the basics and do what you know to do and are trained to do. If you treat people at a higher level than you ever have and you remember that the word “sell” means “to serve,” you will sell as much as you can handle. Competition and price matters will wane. You will win and win big.