Dealership Sales Process
Today’s customers want their visits to an automobile dealership to be fast Informational and Friendly.
In today’s marketplace SPEED is power… we must be able to deliver the information that the consumer wants NOW! The days of customers spending all day in a car dealership to purchase their next vehicle are long gone.
Our success will be determined by how well we can exceed and manage the customer’s expectations. And they expect us to be able to provide them the information they came for and get that information from high quality, professional sales associates.
In today’s marketplace SPEED is power, we must be able to deliver the information that the consumer wants NOW!
We are living in the information age. People in our society have the ability to get information quickly and we all desire information to allow us to make decisions. Our sales process must engage this need in order to be successful.
Think about it and ask yourself this question, why do people contact car dealerships… the answer; to get information about a particular vehicle or style of vehicle. We must become a valued source of information for today’s consumers.
We must address this need proactively to keep the consumer engaged and allow us to bring them through our sales process and closer to the purchase of a vehicle.
We must become a valued source of information for today’s consumers.
In addition to the ability to deliver information with speed, our customers need to be treated Friendly, convenient, and creating a pleasant experience.
As a dealership, your Customer Satisfaction has to be above all else. CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) is the life and blood of a dealership, without satisfied customers, our success will be short-lived.
In addition to the ability to deliver information with speed, our customers need to be treated Friendly, convenient, and creating a pleasant experience.
Keep these fundamentals in mind as you go through learning the key fundamentals of our sales process. Everything that you will learn will have these 3 ideas in mind and will help you in the understanding of what are we going to accomplish.
6 Steps to the Fast, Simple & Friendly Sales Process
- Use a Personalized Greeting to welcome the buyer and put the buyer at ease, by using Agreeable and Friendly language to invite the buyer into the sales process.
Building a Buyer Profile
- Ask Friendly Questions about the Buyer’s Current Vehicle (or lack thereof) to uncover opportunities help to find their Next Vehicle.
Current Vehicle Appraisal
- Walk-Around, Demo-Drive, and EMI
- Walk-Around the vehicle with the customer and ask relevant questions Demo-Drive the car with the customer
- Drop the vehicle with the Used Car Manager (Introduction to the manager if they are available)
Next Vehicle Selection & Demonstration
- Use information collected in the “Building a Profile” step to assist the buyer with the selection of their next vehicle.
- “Selection Alternatives” is a technique to show buyers different options.
- Demonstration: This step includes showing the customer both exterior and interior features, as well as a demonstration, drive through a pre-designated route. Use the “5 points walk-around” technique.
Write Up / Presentation of Options
- During the “Write-Up” step of the process, you will be collecting information to prepare a Proposal and the best opportunity to Trial Close. A Trial Close is to ensure the buyer has selected the right vehicle for themselves and their budget.
- We will be using a standardized worksheet that will be used every time you present figures to your customers. This worksheet has been designed to give your customer the option of choosing what payments will work best for them. It also has been designed to include all of the 3 fundamentals of our Sales Process – Fast, Informational, and Friendly.
Delivery / Follow Up
- Once the customer has made the decision to purchase the vehicle, we must bring them through a delivery process. This process will include the customer going over finance options with a Finance Manager, and reviewing the vehicle and the books and manuals with you.
What emotions are Salespeople and Buyers Experiencing at point of contact?
Primary emotions are those emotions we feel first as we respond to a situation. They are unthinking, instinctive responses that we have.
Fear happens to all of us. It is nature’s way of stopping us from doing things that may hurt us. Our need for control is, to some extent, fear-driven. If I cannot control the world around me, it may threaten me. Just my forecast of this is enough to cause me to fear.
Pessimism leads to fear, as we habitually forecast that we will fail or those bad things will happen to us. Because we can never fully forecast the future, we may live in a permanent state of fear.
Salesperson: Wasting Time, Being Rejected, Confrontations
Customer: Wasting Time, Being Pressured to Make Decision, Spending Money – Loss
Anger is an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. It is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy, hormones and adrenaline.
Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person or event, or your anger could be caused by worrying about your personal problems.
Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings.
Salesperson: Losing a Deal, Being at Work, Impatient with Buyer
Customer: Previous Purchase Experience, Lack of Tolerance, Having to spend money
We feel sad when we realize that we are unlikely to achieve our goals, and especially when we have put a lot of effort into achieving them.
Salesperson: Losing Success at Work, Not being as good as someone else, Life’s Conditions
Customer: Ability to Afford, Finding what they want
We feel happy when we feel we are achieving our goals, and especially so when we achieve a hard-won goal. Positive anticipation and happiness happen when we predict that we will achieve our goals and feel confident about those predictions, perhaps because they have been right recently.
Salesperson: Just sold a car, Happy to be with Buyer, Grateful for Work
Customer: Achieving a Goal, Showing their Friends, Process of Buying New Car
10 Things Every Salesperson Should AVOID at Point of Contact with the Buyer
- No eye contact
- Smoking out front
- Wear Sunglasses
- Avoiding and Evading
- Rushing the process
- Conditions – Must do this first
- Qualifying or Commitment Questions
- Traditional Approaches – “What can I do to earn your business?”
- Use Car Lingo or Slang Terms
- Up – Buyer
- Box or F&I – Finance Office
- Demo – Demonstration Drive
- Down Stroke – Down Payment
- Spotted – Sale and Delivery
- Upside Down – Owing more on Trade that the Value
- Lay Down – A Customer that is easy to deal with
- T.O. – Turn over
What needs to be Accomplished During “The Greeting”
We are in the people business, therefore the key is to put the buyer at ease which allows you to bring them through the sales process.
What do we want to accomplish during “The Greeting”?
- Welcome the Buyer to the Dealership
- Introduce ourselves
- Inquire on what they want to accomplish during their visit Transition to the next step in the
- Begin Building a profile
- Put the Buyer at Ease
Now that we’ve figured out what we want to accomplish, let’s dive into creating the experience.
Treat the Buyer like you would want to be treated.
- Smile and welcome
- The attitude of service, not one of selling
- Showing appreciation for their presence
- Focus on what they say
- Treat them like a Millionaire
- Always have a great attitude, no matter what they say
Make the Buyer feel welcomed to the dealership.
- Greet the buyer promptly
- Make Eye Contact
- Offer a Firm Handshake
- Talk to them about why they are here Dress for Success
- Smile – Good Attitude
What to Say When Greeting a Customer
Personalize Your Greeting
- Make it Consistent – Always the same – Memorize – Verbatim
- Address all of what you want to accomplish.
- Avoids the “Can I help ya?” syndrome
- Portrays a professional image
- “Welcome to “Our Dealership”, Home of the Lifetime Warranty. My name is David. What can I give you information on today?”
Benefits of using the Personalized Greeting
- Proactively addresses why the customer is there
- Allows you to control the process without confrontation
- Shows that you are there to be of service
- Nontraditional, different than the rest of the market-place
- Starts to break down the wall that a buyer may have
- Reduces Fear of what to say at point of contact
Be Prepared for the Buyer’s Response
What might the buyer say at point of contact?
WARNING: YOU WILL HEAR THE SAME OBJECTIONS EVERY DAY
- Just Looking Today
- Just Killing Time
- What is your Best Price or Rate?
- Only have 10 minutes
- Do you have a ________
- Not buying today
- You’re better off helping someone else
- Don’t need any help, just give me your card and I’ll get you when ready I have prices from 4 other dealerships, the best price gets my business
- I know your invoice
- What’s my car worth?
- How much down payment/payment
- I can only pay 250/month, what can I afford
- Just in for service
- Won’t be buying for 6 months
- Just want a brochure
When used effectively during the sales process they will allow you to overcome objections, move buyers through the process, and ultimately help you sell more cars.
How to Handle Objections & What to Say
You will hear the same objections at the point of contact every day. If you are prepared to handle them, you can guarantee your success!
The objective in overcoming objections at point of contact:
- Use your Agreeable Language
- Re-Direct, with a question
- Transition to the next step in the sales process
“Welcome to “Our Dealership”, Home of the Lifetime Warranty. My name is Shawn. What can I give you information on today?”
- No problem, we will give you all the time you need to look. Will you be going bigger or smaller than your present vehicle?
- I understand that is certainly allowable here, some of our best customers do that! Have you been here before? When you are ready will you be going bigger or smaller than your present vehicle?
“Don’t need any help; just give me your card.”
- Be happy to, here is my card. While you are looking could I get your present vehicle appraised?
Be happy to, here is my card. While you are looking could I get you some figures on the vehicle that you are interested in?
“Give me your best price”
- How you handle price directly affects the buyer’s trust level!
- Best Price comes from my manager
- Best Price is the one we agree on
- Would you buy today if the price was right?
- Do you have a Trade-In?
- You have to Drive it first before I give you a price
- Be happy to, in addition to the best price, I would like to give you estimates on down payments, monthly payments, and figures on your present vehicle. What are you driving now?
- No problem, we are a full disclosure dealership, in addition to price would you like a value on your present vehicle?
- Excellent! we are a full disclosure dealership, what equipment would you like on your new car? Sunroof? Alloy Wheels? Leather Interior?
“I have prices from four other dealerships, best price earns my business!”
- Don’t: Let me know what they are and we will match it or beat it!
- Do: AM to present to you our figures and if they don’t work then tell me.
- Great! When you leave here you will have enough information to make a well-informed decision. How did you want your new vehicle equipped?
- Super! Thank you for shopping for us for a price, we sell a lot of vehicles here and we do that by making them affordable! IAT price, would you like estimates on down payments, monthly payments and figures on your present vehicle?
“I only have 10 minutes. Just give us your best price!”
- No problem, 10 minutes is more than enough time, in the next 10 minutes I would like to give you estimates on down payments, monthly payments and figures on your car. Fair enough? Now, how did you want your new car equipped?
“What are your interest rates?”
- Pull out your rate card – We work with many different lenders in the area; here is a list of some of them and their rates. What bank do you use? Have you contacted them for a rate yet? Great we will let our finance manager know that.
- In addition to the best rates, I can provide you with estimates on down payments, monthly payments, and figures on your car, would that be helpful?
“I am with XYZ Credit Union”
- Great! We do a lot of business with your members and use them as a financing source all the time. Let’s go ahead with selecting your new vehicle so we can give you some payment estimates, fair enough?
“I know what your invoice is, how much over invoice”
- No problem, we are a full disclosure dealership, we will be happy to work with you from our invoice. If the figures don’t work I wouldn’t expect you to do business here. Now, how would you like your new vehicle equipped?
“I will give you $200.00 over invoice.”
- I have seen this dealership sell for even less than that, depending on the programs, incentives and availability. Let’s find a vehicle that meets your needs and I assure you that money will not get in the way of us doing business. Fair enough?
- I am sure that you will want top dollar for your present vehicle as well, is that right? Great, let’s go ahead and get a value on your vehicle so we can get down to price right away, fair enough?
- Thank you for your offer, the only thing that is more important to me than the money is to make sure we find the right vehicle for you, fair enough?
- Before you make me an offer, let’s make sure I have the right vehicle in stock for you, fair enough?
“Just in for service.”
- No problem, what type of vehicle do you have in service? Would you consider a new or newer vehicle if your payments were the same? We could even take care of the service expense so you could invest your money in your new vehicle instead.
The Greeting is a very important step in the sales process
It will determine how your customer will view you as well as establishing the level of trust you are able to create.
Understand the Buyer’s Emotions
- You should now understand that there are certain primary emotions people will experience when they are entering into a new situation.
- These emotions are normal, unthinking, and instinctive. Both you and your customer will be experiencing some of these emotions, at some level, at the point of contact. It is important to understand what these emotions are and what you need to do to deal with them.
- These emotions are Fear, Anger, Sadness, and Happiness.
Use a Standard Personalized Greeting
- By using a standard personalized greeting you will be able start to overcome these emotions and break down the wall that your customer may have at the point of contact. It will also allow you to transition into the next step of the process.
The ideal greeting would like like this
“Welcome to “Our Dealership”, Home of the Lifetime Warranty. My name is David. What can I give you information on today?”
What needs to be Accomplished during “The Greeting” and how
This greeting will accomplish the following key elements necessary in the first few minutes of their visit.
- Welcomes the Buyer to the Dealership
- Introduces ourselves
- Inquires on what they want to accomplish during their visit
- Transitions to the next step in the process
- Begins Building a profile -Puts the buyer at ease
How to Respond to Greetings
There are only a few ways that the buyer will respond to our Greeting. Many times they will just answer the question that is posed during the greeting and let you know why they are there and what they want to accomplish. This will allow you to transition to the next step in the process; Building a Profile. Other times they will resist the process and give you a couple of hurdles to jump over. This is okay, remember that this is just an emotional response. It is up to you to overcome these objections with a positive attitude of service.
In overcoming the objections, use the Agreeable language that you learned with terms like… Great, Excellent, No Problem, Be Happy to, In addition to, Would you consider it. These words and phrases will put your buyer at ease and allow them to open up to you and the process. They also address any real concerns that your buyer may have to customer sensitive issues such as price and time.