There aren’t many people who have worked or are currently working as a car salesperson who would say the job is easy. Just like any skill, there are people who are good at selling cars and there are people who are great. The difference between good and great ultimately comes down to a couple of small factors that make big differences. In this article, we’re going to go over the characteristics of a “good” car salesperson and the characteristics of a “great” salesperson.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to selling cars or if you’ve been selling cars for decades, if you’re unable to be positive and enthusiastic about what you do, you won’t succeed. Positivity doesn’t mean just putting on a smile for your boss or your customers, it means coming to work every day with optimism and keeping that energy throughout the day. Language is also an integral part of being positive, using positive and enthusiastic language will be contagious to both your customers and co-workers.
Since we know customers spend on average 13 hours of research on vehicles before entering a showroom, it’s critical that you know every detail about your product. If you just repeat all the information your customers already know, it won’t be very impressive. You should aim to find at least two or three lesser-known features you can tell your customers about to provide them with the information they likely don’t know.
Buying a car is one of the biggest investments most people will make in their lives. With this comes a lot of stress and uncertainty, as a salesperson it’s your job to be able to make a connection with that customer to make the process less stressful. This means being able to actually listen to what the customer is saying and asking the right questions to be able to meet that customer’s needs exactly.
Being able to connect with the customer is more than just verbal communication, but is also non-verbal communication. This means being aware of your body language at all times. It’s important to make eye contact, stand up straight and have a relaxed smile. If you’re talking to your customer with your arms crossed and no eye contact, you’re going to make your customers feel uneasy.
Setting goals may be the most important thing for any salesperson. Giving yourself clear but realistic expectations will help you find your true potential in sales. Your goals should be based on your experience as a salesperson, the time of the year and the current market.
The sales process has steps that need to be followed in order to complete a sale. While it’s great to add your own personal touch to the process, it’s not good to skip any steps of the process. Sales managers have implemented a process from the moment the customer walks in the front door to the delivery of the vehicle and it’s important to you follow each step. Skipping steps might work every now and again, but it will lead to bad habits that will lose you more deals in the long run.
If you’re doing the 5 things listed above, you’re most likely doing more than many of your counterparts. While this is great, it still doesn’t put you in the top 10% of car salespeople. The following four things will distinguish you from not being just a good salesperson, but a great salesperson.
Listening to your customers and asking them the right questions is one thing, but actually developing a meaningful relationship is another. If you’re able to really get to know your customers, you’ll see more success and repeat business. Whether you share common interests that you can discuss or remember small details about your customers lives, the rapport you build goes a long way. This isn’t something you can fake either and building rapport takes practice. Don’t try and force yourself into liking something just to appease your customer, let these relationships develop naturally by being a human and not just a salesperson.
A lot of people talk about being the best at what they do but they don’t actually put in the extra work that being the best requires. Sure, experience is a great way to hone your skills but you need more than that. You need to invest both time and money in yourself and this means signing up for training programs. Sales training programs are the best way to truly become great at being a car salesperson. Whether you do an online course, webinar or attend an in-person seminar, investing in training will take you to the next level. When you attend seminars and webinars you’ll also meet like-minded people who you’ll also be able to not only network with but learn from.
This one applies to pretty much every single occupation. If you’re constantly learning about new things by reading books you’re inevitably going to be a more well-rounded person in terms of your knowledge. We know how cliché the old saying is that “knowledge is power” but it holds a lot of truth. If you can spend your time on break turning pages instead of scrolling through social media, it will show in your conversations. It’s even better if you’re reading books that apply to being a salesperson. Books that touch on leadership, business and sales will help you gain more knowledge that you can apply to your job immediately.
As you learn more about becoming a great salesperson, you need to test new things to see what works and what doesn’t. Start thinking outside of the box by trying different sales techniques. This might mean adjusting your sales spiel or doing a different off-site test drive. The only way to find out what works for you is by trying, once you’ve experimented with new techniques you’ll know for sure what works best for you.
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Car dealerships today still have a bad rap for playing games with their customers. Whether it’s dodging questions, using high-pressure techniques to book appointments, or doing bait & switch tricks with sales offers, these all hurt your dealership's reputation. Playing games and being deceitful in your business may let you walk away with a few lucky deals but it will ultimately hurt you in the long run. Today, customers are smart and aware of the stigma associated with car salespeople so you need to be ethical and provide a transparent sales process.
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