6 Lessons I Learned From A Car Salesman
The salespersons conundrum
Do you consider yourself a salesperson? Many contractors do not, in fact most people agree that they do not want to be “sold to”. Even when we go shopping for something we want, as soon as the salesperson approaches us, what do we tend to do? We say “no thanks, I’m just looking.” It’s a knee jerk reaction most of us have developed over the years due to our hearing negative things said about salespeople, or perhaps having had a bad experience yourself.
Even so, the fact is that if you own a business you have something to sell and you are a salesperson! It’s also true that your clients want what you are selling! So how can you help them get what they want as quickly and as painless as possible for both parties?
The role of a salesperson
The role of the salesperson is to assist the buyer get what they want. It’s as simple as that!
I’m confident that each one of us has had positive experiences with salespeople, I want you to think about that experience, and think of all the reasons that experience was so good, use the positive experiences to adjust the way you are selling.
It’s critical to change our own mindset on salespeople we come into contact with as well as how we view ourselves as salespeople. If we continue to have a negative view of sales we cannot effectively move past this issue and advance our ability to sell.
My positive experience with a salesperson and 6 lessons I learned
A good experience with a car salesman! I know it sounds far fetched, but I can tell you that not only was it good, it was great!
Reflecting on this experience has helped me to understand the difference between a bad salesman and a good one, and I want to share this with you. Here are the 6 things I was able to identify that made this difficult experience painless.
1) Clear Differentiation
Like all good buyers I did my homework before even calling the dealership. I shopped around and found another dealer that was selling the same exact truck for several thousand less! So of course I called the dealer and let them know. They were not the least bit upset about this, the man I was speaking with took the time to check out the ad I saw. Right away he pointed out what a good deal this was and he wouldn't blame me if I jumped on it. But then he followed up with information on a few differences between the two trucks. His was being offered as a used certified truck, which meant it came with a great warranty! I also knew that his dealership was about 100 miles closer to me, he didn't have to tell me that! He also told me that although they could not match the price they could knock it down some.
Despite all of our technology to stay in touch humans seem to have a harder time than ever communicating with one another. Communicating is a very important part of the sale. It’s been said that God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason, and that reason is to Listen more than we talk! I appreciated that my salesman was listening and hearing my concerns, he was addressing them and taking notes.
Empathy is the ability to identify with your client, to feel what they are feeling and make them feel respected. Empathy allows the salesperson to read the customers, show concern, and clearly demonstrate his or her interest in providing a proper solution. Not only did I feel heard but I felt respected by this salesman.
4) Knowledgeable and willing to negotiate
I came prepared myself and had a list of questions I needed answered, I also had a list of negotiations I wanted them to meet. For every question I had they had an answer for me and for every demand of mine they were open to negotiating. They were very prepared and knew their product well!
5) The process sped up the transaction
Anyone who has purchased a vehicle knows how painful it is when the salesperson continues to have you wait in their office while they check with their boss on something, this dance can often take up a whole day!. This time however, the whole process from walking into the showroom to driving away in my new truck was under 2 hours, they were prepared to make the sale in a timely manner.
About a year before I purchased the truck from this dealership I actually popped in for a test drive. The salesperson who took the drive with me that day was very passionate! It left a huge impression on me and I had decided that because of his passion I would be purchasing my next vehicle from that dealership.
Bonus point, under promise and over deliver!
The whole experience was great, I’ve already established this. But what really made it exceptional and the reason I promptly gave the dealership a 5 star review was what they did after the sale!
You see during negotiations, one of my requests was that they upgrade the floor mats. At the time, the salesperson said he would see what he could do but he doubted that he could get the ones I wanted. Then, low and behold, after the paperwork was signed and the keys were in my hand, the salesperson came out with the very best floor mats I had ever seen!
Now I don’t know for sure, but I have a sneaky suspicion that my salesperson knew all along that he could give me those exact floor mats, he might have known what a good and lasting impression that was going to make on me and he was right.
As tile installers, we all tend to spend a lot of time learning about new methods and making sure that each job is better than the last. I want you to take that same passion and channel it into your sales process. Continue to educate yourself on sales skills and make a point to improve each and every time you go to sell some tile work!