What has become of today’s automotive sales training?
Car shoppers want a seamless, rewarding relationship with those they purchase products from. They hope for guidance, information, and a positive outcome from their retail sales professionals. They don’t ask for the meaningless sales-speak and word tracks that run rampant in retail, specifically automotive. Yet, there is a phrase you have written a hundred times, said a thousand times, and heard a million times that we need to forget.
“I want to earn your business.”
“I want to earn your business” has many iterations.
“We want to earn your business.”
“Thanks for the opportunity to earn your business.”
“What’s it going to take to earn your business.”
This sales talk is meaningless. It falls on deaf ears. Car shoppers are immune to it; nay, their skin can crawl when they hear it. Think about the subtext of the statement and how unnecessary it is even to say, “I want you to spend your money with me.” And yet, someway somehow, every salesperson (and their sales managers) has this phrase at the ready to share as if it has an actual cash value. Yet it means nothing. Or worse, it seems sales-y, lazy, and disingenuous. Is this the result of lazy automotive sales training as well?
I just returned from speaking at an NADA 20 Group automotive sales training course where we mystery shopped the attending dealers. Each dealer received a detailed website audit and CRM lead audit. We tracked all the emails we received from them for a week. Suffice it to say, DealerKnows found this phrase in far too many emails. It makes every dealer sound the same. This is not how car sales are made. Somewhere along the line, the basics have been forgotten.
“But we do want to earn their business, Joe! Shouldn’t we tell them that?”
No. You shouldn’t tell car buyers that. You should show them. You demonstrate how much you value their relationship and potential business by your actions. You prove it through what you do for them. (Have we forgotten everything we learned in our automotive sales training?) Here are things you can show how much their business would mean to you.
Make car shopping memorable. Shoot and send a video of the vehicle. Film a test drive video. Bring the car to their home or work. Do as much as you can online for them. Grab the keys and put your hand on the vehicle while FaceTiming them. Take pictures of the truck they’re interested in and text them to the shopper. Have the vehicle washed, gassed, and pulled up, ready to go for them in advance of their appointment. Show them how easy it is to charge that electric vehicle.
Put a hangtag in the car thanking them for coming in. Bring them a drink when they’re in the showroom, instead of just asking if they’re thirsty. Or, better yet, ask them what they like in advance and go pick it up at Starbucks or another place in advance, so it’s waiting for them. Send them a handwritten thank you card after their visit. The art of the handwritten thank you card has been lost. However, its impact has not and is still one of the easiest ways to cement your way into the customer’s memory.
You can take actions that show them you want to earn their business. It’s not pillow talk. It’s not idle chit-chat. It is effort, energy, care, and attention. And your customers will realize this while they’re buying a car. Make them see how hard you are working for them. They’ll appreciate the effort far more than any empty words.