“Deals are made or lost over a couple of words, not a couple of dollars” is something a good friend of mine once said when discussing how to make or break a car sale.

These words ring true when considering how lack of training and lack of common sense on the showroom floor can cost dealerships thousands of dollars and some happy customers.

The problem is that many dealerships still manage sales processes and the sales desk the old way. Ask a desk manager or closer how to dissect a TrueCar price certificate or an Edmunds Price Promise certificate on the fly when a customer presents it from a competing dealer, and they will be lost really fast.

Just because customers have price quotes on vehicles from other dealerships doesn’t mean the vehicle is in stock or available in that build. It also doesn’t mean that the price is the best price, because the disclosed fees in those certificates for aftersales items can mean several hundreds of dollars. A TO happens and a deal cannot be made, resulting in a handshake and an “I’m sorry, we’re too far apart.”

Imagine if we took a salesperson and a sales manager and trained them in just some facets of automotive internet sales to understand how customers shop. The conversation would result in a common-sense approach that helps close deals.

We can also train in how to approach budget considerations. Most customers have a budget, some want the “bells and whistles” at just about any cost, and others have champagne taste on a beer budget.

Let’s go back to my friend Mr. Common Sense and talk about some of what needs to be discussed:

“Ms. Customer, let me ask you. How many years did you drive a vehicle without a navigation system? Have you seen or experienced how much more effective and efficient the navigation system on your smart phone is? This feature is roughly __ more per month and comes with things that you weren’t really looking for when we discussed your wants and needs. Do you really need that feature, or can we eliminate it and keep you where you need to be so that you can effectively get yourself from Point A to Point B in this beautiful new vehicle?”

Do you see where common sense fits into the equation? When we buy something as valuable as a vehicle, we want things to make sense to us. But sometimes customers drop their common sense while also forgetting what they actually want. That’s why even in 2018, when vehicles are more expensive than ever, people are conditioned to say that they want to pay that magical $0 per month.

The title “Sales Consultant” has two meanings. The first meaning, obviously, is to sell products. The other is to be a true consultant that makes customers feel more comfortable, like a guest who can trust their expertise.

As a consultant, it’s important to know how to work the tools that are provided on the internet. Stop going back and forth between the desk and the customer. The strength of an effective sales professional has always been measured by their ability to work a deal and limit the number of times they run back and forth to the desk.

A little bit of training goes a long way. There are also tools available on the market to help keep your staff informed of exactly what customers want. Seems like common sense to me.

Stan Sher

Stan Sher

President & Founder at Dealer eTraining
Stan Sher

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