Being a new car salesperson is an intimidating process for anyone. The stigmas present today in the automotive industry make it increasingly difficult for new car salespeople to feel comfortable. As a sales manager, it’s critical that we train our new salespeople to not just be adequate at their jobs but extremely successful. Ultimately as a sales manager, if you can create killer salespeople, it will end up being lucrative for both the salesperson and yourself. If you don’t guide your recruits on how to do the job well, it’s not going to be a good reflection of you.
Many people that join the automotive sales industry come from other sales industries and that leads them to believe they can apply all the same tactics in order to be successful, this is often not the case. Luckily, with a bit of proper training and repetition, anyone with discipline and a willingness to learn can be a successful car salesperson. In this article, we’re going to break down 10 different tips you can use to help train your new car salespeople.
One of the most common mistakes all salespeople make is that they talk when they should be listening. The last thing you want is for your customers to feel like they aren’t being heard. Buying a car is a massive investment and many people are anxious throughout the process. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to be receptive to what people are saying and be a good listener to keep them confident and relaxed.
Selling a car is business, but it’s important to break up the monotony and actually get to know your customers. Are they a fan of the same hockey team you are? Do they want a van because they want to go on a ski trip with their family at your favourite mountain? These are the kind of things that lead to conversations that can build rapport between you and the customer. Too often, car salespeople focus too much on getting through the process and seeing customers only as numbers instead of getting to know them. If you want to increase your closing percentage, building a rapport with customers will be a huge part of that.
Just like Fort Minor said, “a hundred percent reason to remember the name”. When you first meet your customers, DO NOT zone out when they say their name, listen for it and remember it. Subconsciously, people enjoy being called by their first name, so if you can use their name when appropriate, you should. Remembering and addressing your customer by name should help them feel more comfortable and contribute to rapport building.
Every customer will have objections to why a car isn’t right for them and what they need in the car they want to buy. Your job as a salesperson is to know all the common objections and be able to provide solutions to them. If you’re so focused on selling and not addressing the customer’s concerns/objections, you’re going to not only fail to sell, but you’ll also going to come off as a salesperson and not someone looking out for the best interests of their customers.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, you need to know everything about your product. If you work for a Ford dealership, you better know every detail about Ford as a manufacturer as well as details on each of their vehicles. If your customer has any doubts that you don’t know about the details and specs of the vehicle you’re trying to sell them, they’re going to instantly lose confidence in you. You’re supposed to be an expert on your product, and if you can’t convey that, selling will be extremely difficult.
With Covid-19, now more than ever it’s important we adapt and use more technology to get our jobs done. This could mean familiarizing ourselves with video chats so we can meet with our customers over video and even give them live video walkarounds of vehicles. Ensure your trainees know and understand how to use your CRM.
We know about all the stigmas around car salespeople. If we want to combat these stigmas and make people feel better about trusting dealerships and salespeople, we need to act accordingly. Make sure you train your newcomers to be honest and only make promises they can follow through on. While being dishonest may get you a quick sale every now and then, in the long run it not only damages your dealership’s reputation but also the industry’s reputation.
While there are plenty of training programs out there that cover different pricing models, most of these don’t touch on how the local market affects pricing. Pricing is often based on inventory and what the market is currently selling a particular vehicle for. Make sure they know that as the market fluctuates, the way they sell has to adapt as well. If the newcomers or any salespeople for that matter ignore market trends, they’re going to see their customers go to the competition for business.
So many people in all industries love to bash their competitors to make themselves feel better about their own business. Teach your newcomers to only talk respectfully about competitors and to never be so unprofessional as to make belittling comments about them to your customers. If you can convey to your customers that you have enough confidence that you don’t feel the need to take shots at competitors, the customer will feel much more comfortable working with you.
It’s impossible to know everything there is to know about anything. Make sure you remind yourself and your team that there is always something to learn. Whether you’re reading a book on how to become a better communicator or you attend a sales training seminar, it’s important to always seek knowledge and keep your mind sharp.
Whether your customers are working with you online, over the phone or in person, they want their time to be respected and they want to be treated well. Seeing how your team operates from a customers perspective is the best way to figure out what your strengths are and where you need to improve. You can do this by mystery shopping at your dealership.
There are many simple things you can do to instill loyalty in your customers and keep your customer retention rate as high as can be. The following practices will help you bring back customers for their first, second and third service appointment, all the way until it’s time for them to buy their next vehicle.
We know the inventory shortage a real problem that has left many Canadian dealers in vulnerable positions. Successful dealerships have learnt how to properly manage their lots by finding the perfect balance between bringing in new inventory to keep things exciting and selling enough cars to keep themselves in a good financial position.