SOMETIMES I find it all too easy to become disillusioned with some of the poor sales practices and techniques that exist in the world today. Extreme examples are so overtly obvious to the customer that it’s easy to tell when a salesperson’s only interest is in hearing the word ‘yes’ to enact a purchase with little regard for the customer’s personal circumstances.
No doubt in many cases there is an in-house sales procedure, combined with numerous ‘tricks’ picked up over the years to enable sales personnel to close as many deals as possible – but undoubtedly, this gives the sales arena many negative connotations to potential customers, particularly those who have had bad experiences.
Experiencing good sales practice appears not to happen that often. However, it DOES happen (I truly believe there are some excellent sales people out there! ) and certainly makes the buying experience far more enjoyable, which in turn means that as a customer you inform people about it and are more inclined to return for future purchases.
The majority of your customers will now source you through the internet, the first port of call being via either an e-mail or telephone call from a prospective buyer asking you about a particular vehicle you have advertised that they are interested in. This is where the good behaviour on your part needs to commence!
Unfortunately for you, the opportunity to make a good impact on the customer is limited, which, combined with the fierce competition for each customer, means you have got to ensure that your sales process and the techniques that you execute are the most effective and bespoke (where possible) to the individual people you deal with.
As mentioned in a previous article, I have been scanning the market for a vehicle for my wife, and having located one from the many portals advertising cars I contacted the dealership via phone for further information.
Upon speaking to the salesperson, she took my contact details (crucial) and then arranged to get a value on my part-exchange while agreeing a time to call me back to discuss the next steps.
Within 20 minutes of putting the phone down, I had an e-mail from the dealership plus a video attachment, an introduction of ‘Hello Jonathan, I am just going to show you around the car you have made inquiries about’, followed by a three-minute personal tour of the vehicle, showing me the key features. I was very impressed.
This is just one example of tailoring what you can do once you have contact with a customer that is not only a little different, but may also make a difference between the application proceeding to the next stage or the customer returning to the portal and selecting another car they were interested in from one of your competitors.
Sanity-checking what you do, making the most of the contact opportunities you get and trying different ways to engage with the customer may just be what is required to optimise your leads and turn them into sales.
Who is Jonathan Such? Such is head of sales for First Response Finance. You can contact him on 07917 781608 or email [email protected]