Issue Date: Sales Success Mar 1, 2009, Posted On: 3/1/2009
Trade new skills for old Sooner or later, we all backslide into old ways of thinking about selling that lead us down the wrong path with prospective car buyers. Outdated sales skills fail to address the core issue of how we think about selling and what we are trying to accomplish.
New thinking = new results Maybe it's time to take a different approach. Maybe we need to analyze our thinking and identify why we're not making more sales.
Old sales mindset: Always start out with a strong sales pitch. New: Stop the sales pitch. Start a conversation.
Old: Always be closing. New: Your goal is always to discover whether you and your prospect are a good fit.
Old: When you lose a sale, it's usually at the end of the sales process. New: When you lose a sale, it's usually at the beginning of the sales process.
Old: Rejection is a normal part of selling, so get used to it. New: Hidden sales pressure causes rejection. Eliminate sales pressure, and you'll never experience rejection.
Old: Keep chasing prospects until they buy or die. New: Never chase prospects. Instead, get to the truth of whether there's a fit or not.
Old: When prospects offer objections, challenge and/or counter them. New: When prospects offer objections, validate them and reopen the conversation.
Old: If prospects challenge the value of your vehicle offering, defend yourself and explain its value. New: Never defend yourself or what you have to offer. This only creates more sales pressure.
Let's take a closer look at these concepts so you can begin to open up your current sales thinking and become more effective in your selling efforts.
1. Stop the sales pitch. Start a conversation. When you meet someone, never start out with a mini-presentation about yourself, your dealership, and what you have to offer.
Instead, start with a conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your vehicles can solve.
2. Your goal is always to discover whether you and your prospect are a good fit. If you let go of trying to close the sale, you'll discover that you don't have to take responsibility for moving the sales process forward.
By simply focusing your conversation on problems that you can help prospects solve, and by not jumping the gun by trying to move the sales process forward, you'll discover that prospects will give you the direction you need.
3. When you lose a sale, it's usually at the beginning of the sales process. If you think you're losing sales due to mistakes you make at the end of the process, review how you began the relationship. Did you start with a pitch?
Traditional sales language leads prospects to label you with the negative stereotype of "car salesperson." This makes it almost impossible for them to relate to you with trust or to have an honest, open conversation about problems they're trying to solve and how you might be able to help them.
4. Hidden sales pressure causes rejection. Eliminate sales pressure, and you'll never experience rejection. Prospects don't trigger rejection. You do when something you say, and it could be very subtle, triggers a defensive reaction from your prospect.
5. Never chase prospects. Instead, get to the truth of whether there's a fit or not. Chasing prospects has always been considered normal and necessary, but it's rooted in the macho selling image that "If you don't keep chasing, you're giving up, which means you're a failure." This is dead wrong.
6. When prospects offer objections, validate them and reopen the conversation. Most traditional sales programs spend a lot of time focusing on "overcoming" objections, but these tactics only create more sales pressure. They also keep you from exploring or learning the truth behind what your prospects are saying.
7. Never defend yourself or what you have to offer. This only creates more sales pressure. When prospects say, "Why should I choose you over another dealership?" your instinctive reaction is to defend your store because you believe that you are the best choice, and you want to convince them of that. Stop defending yourself. Instead, ask them again about key problems they're trying to solve.