Five Sales Lessons Learned From Selling Cars
One of the most maligned and berated professions is that of car sales. Though they are not respected in most instances, I feel that if every sales professional did at least a brief stint as a car sales professional, it may do them some good.
Some valuable lessons I learned from car sales:
Decide to Feel like Selling Every Day
Applicable to most types of selling is, for the most part, no one really looks over your shoulder. If you want to do just the bare minimum, that's okay. If you want to be the same as everyone else, another face in the crowd, no one will stop you. There is plenty of downtime in car sales between walk-ins and appointments. This time could be used anyway a car salesperson sees fit. Perhaps, to read a book, surf the Internet, kibitz with their counterparts or to GET Serious about Selling. The salespeople who are always on top of the performance chart are the ones who take selling very seriously. They do not come to work to socialize or to get involved with office politics or any other menacing trifles. Instead they come to work ready to sell from the time the bell rings until the time the curtain is dropped.
Develop Strong Relationships with Co-Workers
As a microcosm of life, a car dealership is a perfect example of how important it is to have a solid support system. People to watch your back and to look out for your customers when you are not able to do so. These work mates can help to hold you accountable to make sure you are doing the drill and persisting in the habits that will make you successful. You must then respond in kind.
Don't See What You Can Sell, Sell What You Can See
Most sales people wish their products had more, better or different features. It is easy to get wrapped up in what one wishes, hopes or plans they had to sell. In car sales, if you don't close, you don't eat! So forget waiting for the new arrivals, take a look around at what you have, and sell that! With whatever product you may be selling, be sure to sell what you have, not what you wish to had.
Show 100% of the Product 100% of the Time
When in an environment of big-ticket sales, it is crucial to treat every potential customer with enough respect to show them 100% of your product, features and benefits. This is true for many reasons, not the least of which is, you never know what may be the trigger that inspires them to take the next step. When you do a full product demonstration, you are providing real value, a learning opportunity, people appreciate that and will respond well in most cases.
Do the Things the Others are Not Willing to Do
It is not always about who is the smartest, who is the fastest, or who is the most experienced. It is often about the one who was willing to do the things the others were not willing to do. Make the extra call, come to the lot on your day off, make friends with the mechanics and the service advisors who can refer people whose cars are on their last leg and in need of buying something new. As a matter of habit, make sure you send personalized sales communications to prospects, to separate yourself from the sameness of the cloud of others.
Most of all, the key to selling success in car sales, like many other selling situations, is to respect the customer enough to be prepared at all times to give your best.