September 13, 2012
The events of recent years have caused many customers to radically alter their buying behaviors making the salesperson’s job even more difficult. Traditional approaches to the sales process may no longer be effective.
In addition, salespeople still are faced with some of the age-old challenges that have existed for years. In order to be successful, salespeople must find ways to overcome these challenges and close the deal.
Today’s customer is looking for more from a dealership salesperson. It is no longer enough to bring product specs and a price sheet to the table. To overcome this challenge, become immersed in your customers’ businesses. Learn about trends and issues that are impacting them and their customers. Position yourself as an expert in your customers’ businesses so that you can offer them products and services that allow them to meet their customers’ needs.
If you fail to do this, you will not be able to show customers how you and the products and services you represent bring value to him. Additionally, you leave yourself open to having that customer turn to your competitors who then have the opportunity to take business away from you.
One size fits all sales presentations and sales approaches are no longer getting the job done. Sales efforts must be created that align with the needs of each individual customer.
Another benefit of being a sales consultant as opposed to merely a salesperson is it allows you to discover additional products and services your dealership offers that might be useful to the customer. It is easier to sell additional products and services to your existing customer base than to make an initial sale with a new customer.
Many salespeople, especially those who are new to the process, will spend time selling to the wrong person. While there is nothing wrong with spending time speaking with those who influence the decision, salespeople should be encouraged to find out early in the sales process who a customer’s final decision maker is.
This can be a delicate matter as the salesperson needs to make sure not to embarrass or alienate someone who may play a role in the process, but who is not the one who ultimately makes the buying decision. In these situations, a salesperson should ask his contact about who else might be involved in the process and try to get those people into the discussion as soon as possible.
Hand in hand with making sure the decision maker has been identified, a salesperson needs to make sure a potential buyer is in a position to actually complete a purchase.
Are funds earmarked and available, if a decision to purchase is made? If not, the salesperson should move on to the next customer or prospect while checking back with the customer from time to time to see if funds have become available.
There also are some internal obstacles that impede sales success. Often salespeople are tasked with non-sales responsibilities. While filing sales reports are a necessary part of the job, sales managers should try to make sure the bulk of a salesperson’s time is spent in sales-related activities especially time in front of the customer.
Today’s competitive sales environment demands that dealership salespeople have all the tools they need if they are to be successful. This includes on-going training both about the products and services the dealership sells, as well as training that help them hone their sales skills.
Salespeople who focus on helping the customer decide to buy rather than worrying about selling customers are more likely to be successful despite all the obstacles that may be in their way.