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Fight the sleazy salesperson stereotype and keep your car sales techniques on the straight and narrow
You love your job, and although working in sales can be challenging, that’s part of the thrill.
Sadly, auto salespeople everywhere still have to battle against the classic car salesman stereotype that pervades our culture. You may be good at what you do, but you also have to continually check your car sales techniques to ensure you aren’t contributing to the public relations problem that the auto dealership industry can’t seem to kick.
Are customers put-off by your car sales techniques?
It’s time to do a personal inventory and engage in some real self-reflection. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re doing everything right and that every customer loves you, but taking the time to ensure your car sales techniques aren’t annoying can help you up your game on the sales floor.
Here are five mistakes you should remove from your car sales techniques playbook:
1. You’re not having two-way conversations.
Salespeople are notorious for being “talkers,” which is completely fine — as long as you’re listening, too. You shouldn’t just be talking for the sake of talking; you should be talking to learn more about your customer and asking questions so you can help them find the right vehicle. There’s nothing worse than a salesperson who can’t get out of their own way and listen to what a customer has to say.
2. You’re too pushy or sales-y.
In a HubSpot research study, respondents were asked to submit the word they most associated with salespeople. The top response? “Pushy.” A vehicle is usually the second biggest purchase a person makes, right behind buying their home. They don’t want to feel pressured into laying down a big chunk of change for a car they’re not completely in love with. When you push too hard, it shows the customer your true colors: you’re more concerned with making the sale and getting your commission than focusing on the actual needs of the customer.
3. Your phone calls are ineffective and annoying.
Salespeople make different types of calls throughout the day, but often, there’s no rhyme or reason to why/when they’re calling, or what they’re saying. You should be using your automotive CRM to know when it’s time to call a lead, what you’re calling about, and to utilize any call templates you have saved in the CRM. Your CRM can also tell you if a lead even wants to be called—there may be notes in the system that specify the customer only wants to be emailed or receive text messages.
4. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Customers today are more informed than ever—many do hours of research online before requesting a test drive. When they come to your dealership, they expect you not just to understand what they’re talking about, but provide them with even more insider knowledge that they weren’t aware of. You’re the expert, after all. Studying your inventory regularly and knowing what’s available is extremely important to your success—especially if you’re new to auto sales.
5. You’re pushing vehicles customers can’t afford.
Go big or go home, right? If all of your car sales techniques involve trying to get the highest value sale no matter what, it’s time to rethink your approach and priorities. If you are trying to get customers to buy cars they truly can’t afford, they’ll know you are not looking out for their best interest. It’s also bad practice for the dealership because the dealership suffers if the customer defaults on their auto loan.
It can be easy to slip into bad sales habits when you’re trying to make a sale, but just remember that your customers value your knowledge, expertise, and want to trust that you are always looking out for them.