I was having a pint with an old colleague who ‘made his money and got out’ and we were chewing the fat about the good old days where you could actually have a laugh whilst doing your job. He was commenting on the fact that today’s “modern salesperson” might not even go for a drink after work and discuss the days play if you like, and where, by keeping your eyes and ears open as a young new boy, you could pick up some great tricks of the trade which just might help you sell your next car.
As he was speaking I realised that it is a much more serious affair today and their certainly doesn’t seem to be the laughter and banter which existed before. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why; all these years on, the car trade is still considered by many consumers in surveys as one where people cannot be trusted and where the service is inadequate. Perhaps the “making a connection” part has been lost forever as the so called “characters”, that certainly needed micro managing in terms of keeping them under control, have been a bigger loss to the business than was previously thought.
There is no doubt that as the business has changed and customers have become more informed and more sophisticated the emphasis is being put on service experience process at the expense of actual selling skills which would involve partnering a car with a customer who may not have thought of that car in the first place. It seems as if the sales skills of the car professional are being put to one side in favour of ticking boxes and filling in forms. However I see no reason why the two worlds cannot mix and the customer can still be a winner.
The problem we have in the car trade is meeting the expectations from customers which have been created without foundation. For example is it bad service telling someone their car is worth less than they think and therefore upsetting the potential buyer or is it just doing the job properly and valuing a car to current market conditions?
Well that you see is the vagaries of the emotional side of car sales and with two parties trying to establish a relationship ending in a deal when both are working from different perspectives it involves skill and great communication..
It’s not what you say it’s the way you say it.
If buyers are being told that they should make certain demands of the car dealer (and in fairness MTI does its fair share of this) then you’ve just got to hope that whoever decided to use that piece of advice on that particular day can make their buying decision without heading home with a bad impression of the dealership and the sales person they encountered.
As for my old friend, since he has been out of the motor trade he has taken on a string of estate agents so perhaps his opinion doesn’t count for much anyway!