“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
Sales isn’t easy. To be great at it – even good – a wide range of skills is required.
One of the most important of which, perhaps, is the ability to build relationships with customers. I’ve talked to dozens of leaders in Automotive, and over and over again I’ve heard, “You have to be a people person to succeed in this business.”
You also need thick skin. The ability to handle what could be perceived as rejection when sales aren’t won.
That’s why complaints from an upset or even angry customer can really sting. It feels like rejection. It feels like a relationship is failing.
We’ve learned that those complaints can be seen as opportunities, though. Opportunities to make a relationship stronger, more fulfilling.
But the best way to build relationships doesn’t come from addressing unfulfilled expectations or hurt feelings. Anybody can do that. It comes from meeting more expectations more often to build positive feelings. This builds trust and loyalty.
And the best help for doing that comes from, oddly enough, artificial intelligence and other tech tools.
Hellooooo? Is Anybody Here?
Back to your angriest customer for a moment.
Odds are, it’s not the one you approached when they were just browsing and wanted to be left alone.
It’s most likely the customer who wanted your help but didn’t get it. Here’s why.
Recent studies show that the vast majority of shoppers want to be left alone. (You probably didn’t need to be told that.) Here are just a few viewpoints on how consumers feel when approached by an eager salesperson:
“Ugh. Did he see me? Is he coming my way?”
“Maybe if I look at my phone …”
“Time to play the part of smiley customer, I guess (sigh).”
OK, that’s all me. But maybe you’ve been there too!
Now think of the last time you went into a store actually wanting help. You were probably buying a large-ticket item, and one that had technology involved.
A 2018 consumer study by leading strategic retail advisory firm HRC Retail Advisory showed:
95% of consumers want to be left alone while shopping, unless and until they need an employee’s help.
When shoppers do need help, almost 52% said they value the services of sales people, especially when buying technology items. (Even though they also said they rely on social media and the opinions of family and friends.)
Wanting help and not getting it is way more frustrating than vice versa. Even though it’s a bit dramatic, you can’t help but think, “The one time I need help and am ready to spend money, and now nobody helps!”
Cars are something shoppers will want help with when they’re ready. They include a lot of technology, but they’re also a big-ticket item. Like other big-ticket items (boats, houses, major vacations, etc.), cars typically aren’t a simple purchase. A sales person’s help is not just required, but can be priceless in the process.
Your Smart Technology Helps You Shine – and Make More Customers Happy!
Ignoring your customers who want your help could certainly upset them.
And while (most) customers will forgive you, wouldn’t it be great if you could know who’s just looking and who’s ready to buy?
Aside from mind reading, there are some amazing technology solutions available to help you do just that.
Take AutoAlert’s Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform, based on a customer-behavior model.
Through its ability to know what your customers want, when they want it – even before they’ve decided they want it – combined with its ability to deliver timely messages across multiple touchpoints, CXM is earning a reputation as a groundbreaker in the industry. It drives customers to your blacktop by connecting with them in ways that are personal, meaningful, and exciting.
So when a customer walks in the door or pulls into the service drive, all the right team members have at their fingertips all the info they need to continue the perfect conversation.
Plus, the software conforms to the dealership, not the other way around. So your store is still uniquely you.