Jan 282024

Automotive sales training is the one thing that we all think

we have enough of until we get more. That’s right no matter

how good you are today, you can always become better. And

once we do get a little bit better or learn a new technique

it is normally pretty easy to reflect back on the deals that

we have worked in the not so distant past and think, “Wow, If

I had only known this last week when I was with “Mr. & Mrs

__________, I probably would have sold them a car.

This is why this column will be dedicated solely to the purpose

of examining different aspects and situations that occur during

the process of a car deal. Each month we will look either at a

new method for contending with the obstacles that we all face

in the day to day process or we will brush up on old techniques

regarding the automotive sales process.

I am sure every automotive salesperson reading this article

has encountered the customer that came to their dealership

looking for a certain vehicle, requiring specific “must have”

options yet was strapped by a budget that was several hundred

dollars a month away from anything that could be considered

reasonable, at least considering the demands the customer is

making. And after our best attempt to find them the vehicle

that meets all of their requirements, in the hope that they

will adjust their thinking when it comes down to their less

than reasonable budget, we find that they are not flexible at

all. That’s right, they want a brand new, seven passenger,

leather appointed, suv for $300 a month. And if we can’t get

it for them then they are just going to shop until they find

someone who can. Or so they say. But what they will really shop

for is someone who can sell them on the idea of buying something

that fits their needs just as well as what they are requesting

but is more in line with their budget – possibly a previously

owned suv or maybe even a minivan.

That’s right; they are going to buy from the first salesperson

that is capable of realigning their thinking. By realigning

their thinking I mean they need to be “switched”. Many

salespeople I witness think this means that they should go

back to their customer and ask, “Hey, what about a used one?”

or “What about a minivan instead of an suv?” If you have been

in the business for more than a day you know that the customer

normally responds by saying “No” to these two questions. Asking

your customer to buy something other than what they initially

asked for is at best, a feeble attempt to switch them and

definitely does not exhibit any salesmanship.

At this point you need to lead your customer. You need to become

a salesperson. You need to share with them the benefits in order

to help them realign their thinking. Below are the steps to take

if you are trying to switch your customer.

+ Determine which vehicle to switch to first (preferably

something that is close to what they are looking for yet more

in line with their budget)

+ Ask your customer to come with you for a moment (don’t ask

them if they would like to look at something else)

+ Take them to the vehicle that you want to switch them to.

+ Then present all of the benefits of the vehicle you are

trying to switch them to.

By taking the extra time to actually take your customer out

and show them a vehicle that suits their needs (and is in

line with their budget) you will increase your chances of

selling them. Once you have taken these steps to switch them

from one car to another one of three things will happen.

+ They will consider the vehicle you have shown them (And

hopefully buy it)

+ They will reconsider their budget on the vehicle they

originally expressed an interest in and hopefully increase

their offer enough that you can sell them it.

+ They will not consider the option you are giving them and

leave without purchasing. (however you will have more to talk

about on the follow up phone call)

Sure to many of you this may seem pretty basic. To me it is

too. But remember that next time you want to just ask your

customer to consider another vehicle rather than taking control

and leading your customer to an alternative vehicle for them to


Article written by Biana Babinsky.

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