Issue Date: Sales Success Mar 15, 2009, Posted On: 3/15/2009
Tips for closing more sales Many new automotive salespeople have little or no experience in closing sales. Finding new prospects and explaining features and benefits the stock-in-trade of selling cars can be difficult for someone who isn't naturally sales-oriented. But inexperience can be crushing when it comes time to close the sale. After all, even sales pros often have trouble closing the deal.
Some closing pointers Although it may be difficult, closing doesn't have to be painful or bewildering. Here are a few basic pointers to help demystify this potentially awkward process:
Close from the beginning. Don't confuse this idea with the hard sell. The cutthroat approach alienates many potential customers. Instead, explain your agenda. Tell the prospect exactly what you're selling and how it can benefit them. Being up front about your intentions promotes an honest, mutually respectful, and rewarding discussion paving the way for a smooth close.
Learn to recognize buying signals. A customer might indicate they're ready by asking questions about the vehicle or the delivery process: "How long would delivery take?" "What does that button do?" or "Is an upgrade available?" Other signs include complaints about previous vendors and interested comments such as "Really?" or "Good idea."
Don't respond to questions with merely a yes or no. Answer your prospect's queries with questions of your own. Carefully chosen, these return questions can help lead to a sale. For example, instead of answering the question, "Does this come in black?" with merely an affirmative, you could say, "Would you like it in black?"
A free trial often leads to a sale. You probably learned this as the "puppy-dog" close, because it's reminiscent of the attachment children develop to a puppy after keeping it overnight. This strategy works well for all sorts of businesses and is often used in car sales, where potential buyers are offered test drives, spot deliveries, or "take it home for the weekend and see how you like it."
Be specific. Rather than asking whether your prospect wants to buy, suggest a specific buying scenario and then ask if your customer agrees to it. For example, "I can get that model in black and have it here by tomorrow afternoon. Do you want us to do that?" If your prospect is uncomfortable with any of the specifics for example, he needs to arrange financing he will say so. You've offered him a chance to let you make decisions about details that otherwise would delay a sale. But be sure you know enough about your customers' needs to make reasonable suggestions. Otherwise you'll sound ignorant and pushy.