There are a lot of sales people currently struggling with the returning customer, by that I don’t mean they all vanished sometime ago but when scrappage was introduced because all the hard work had been done tempting customers in, and the fact that the deal was a no brainer, they really needed to just say to those type of customers ‘sign here please’.
The type of customer scrappage attracted and the age of the cars they were disposing of, meant that many of them had not been into the car market for a very long time and this coupled with the excitement of having a brand new car for not a lot of money, only made the job of ‘selling’ to them that much easier.
Well how a few short months have changed all that, salespeople who are relatively new to the business could be forgiven for believing that this car sales lark was a piece of cake, however they are quickly discovering that life in the real world is somewhat more challenging and car sales takes a bit more than filling in an order form and contacting customers on the progress of their new car order.
It is becoming clear that many salespeople need constant coaching and that car buyers are demanding far more in this challenging new market and are therefore not willing to put pen to paper until they have found exactly the right car.
Frustratingly for many dealership sales managers they are finding their sales teams still happy to just take down details and let customers ‘walk’ in the hope they find the exact fit later on, perhaps never seeing the customer again once a real sales person has seen them and converted them into something that they do have in stock, and making it an attractive enough proposition to warrant buying.
With fewer customers in the showrooms it is vital for these salespeople to be exactly that “sales” people and not order takers, people who are there to assist the potential buyer in an ever changing market where products, prices and promotions are constantly changing.
They need to be totally up to speed with all of the used car stock they have for sale and be familiar with any deals or unique cars they have in stock. By having that knowledge it may just give them the competitive edge they need to make that sale.
Overcoming objections is a key weapon in the armoury of a successful salesperson and I was amused recently to hear of a term being used by some of the foot soldiers when times indeed get tougher and buyers take more time to make a decision and often use an array of different objections to exit the showroom and not buy a car.
When I asked the salesperson I saw in this particular showroom at a busy main dealer in the midlands what “BBWW” meant as it was written next to a customer’s name, he exclaimed it means ‘brave bloke without wife’.
I laughed as he explained that he had seen many men come in and make all the right noises about having the money today and wanting to make a quick decision if the right car was found, but when it came to the crunch and time to part with their money they suddenly explain that they have to run it past their wife or girlfriend before making a decision, leading to their being classified as a BBWW.
We would obviously put that down to a lack of qualification, an error in not establishing whether there was any one else involved in the decision making process. In today’s world many couples and thankfully more women are just as informed as their partners and therefore absolutely should be involved at the final decision.
It is down to the salesperson to establish this before becoming frustrated about another one that got away and not having the guile to re-appoint when all interested parties are present