Being a sales associate can have many challenges, especially in the automotive world where there are several sales associates in one place all with the same objective…to sell cars. It’s not enough just to show up in the morning, you have to be on top of your game in all areas so you can really shine. There are several things you can do on a daily basis to stand out and increase your personal sales numbers.
1. Walk the Showroom First Thing Each Morning – Knowing what is on your showroom floor assures potential customers that you are sincerely interested in the cars you’re selling them. Make a point of knowing what your dealership has on hand both in the showroom and on the lot.
If a customer comes in to buy a vehicle and asks you about a specific one they are interested in, the impression they have of you will be much higher if you know what is on your lot and on the showroom floor without having to go look or ask someone else.
Be on top of any sales or promotions your dealership is offering and have a few selections in mind for people with specific circumstances such as bad credit, limited down payments, etc. Having this knowledge before the dealership opens for the day prepares you to help any customer that comes through the door.
2. Be Familiar with Your Competitor’s Vehicles and Promotions – Competition in the car sales industry is very steep. Giving yourself an edge wherever you can, will accomplish several things.
Your customers will see right away that you are knowledgeable about what is going on in the industry. It will also help you compete with the other dealerships if you know what vehicles they are selling and the sales and promotions they are offering.
If a customer comes in to look at a specific vehicle and tells you that another dealership is offering the same vehicle for a lower price or as part of a special promotion, you will already know this ahead of time and can make necessary adjustments where it is possible to get the sale.
This step does take a lot of studying but it will be well worth the effort because you’ll be ready before the customer ever comes in the door to explain why it is better for them to purchase the vehicle from you and you won’t have to lie to your customers.
3. Know Your Dealership Website – Most, if not all dealerships have a website. It is very important that you know the layout of the website including where the different sections are, how to navigate it, and in general what is on the website regarding sales or special promotions.
If a customer calls the dealership and is talking about your website, you don’t want to be in the dark about what they are looking at or talking about.
Know what is on the front page, what the different tabs are and what capabilities your website has, such as inquiry forms, trade-in tools, pre-qualifying forms, etc. It is also good to be aware of your company’s social media presences and what is being posted on those as well.
The more you know about the places your customers are spending their time, the more prepared you will be when you speak with them.
4. Following Up with Potential Buyers – After you speak with a customer, whether in person, through email, or on the phone and get to know them a little bit, keep a working file of that customer with all of the information you learned about them in your CRM.
This file can include cars of interest, their personal needs and desires, their potential trade-in if they have given that information to you, where they work, their basic schedule (when the best time is to contact them) and even personal information that is important to remember such as their family, number of children they have, etc.
This is knowledge that you can gain just by listening to them when you converse, you don’t want to ask too many personal questions in the initial meeting, but customers generally like talking about their families, kids, and situations so you can learn a lot just by being an excellent listener. This information becomes very important when you do your follow up calls.
Don’t become a pest, but you do want to keep your name and dealership in front of them unless they ask you to stop calling or emailing them. An email list of customers and potential customers is a great, non-intrusive way to stay in the forefront of their mind but don’t blast them with daily “ads”. Provide them with valuable information and mention any sales or new promotions going on and keep it as personal as possible.
5. Build a Relationship with Your Sales Manager – Your sales managers are the ones that ultimately help you close the deal with a customer. They are the ones that can offer you special, house deals which can make up as much as 1/3rd of all the deals that take place at the dealership.
A house deal is a term used for customers that call into the dealership on the phone or that come from internet inquiries through forms, etc. These house deals belong to the dealership and are typically handed out to the sales associates by the sales manager.
Your goal should not be to schmooze them or be fake, take the time to sincerely get to know who they are and what they do each day. If there is a good relationship between you and your sales manager you will be at the top of their list when it comes time to split these house deals up.
The Sales Manager plays a big part in your individual success at the dealership. If there is no relationship there or worse, a bad one, you can easily become starved of deals which can lead to frustration and even possibly leaving the dealership. It is an important relationship to have, just remember, to be sincere.
6. Going Beyond the Sale – Your interaction with your customer shouldn’t end at the signing of the paperwork. Once you have sold a vehicle to a customer, be sure to send them a thank you note, especially handwritten, that thanks them for their business and shows them that they are more than just a contract number or commission.
It is also very beneficial to follow up with them after one week and then again in 30 days to see how things are going with their new vehicle, if they have any questions, or if there are any problems.
If they did not choose a service contract, this could be an opportunity to add that if your dealership offers that ability to add-on within 30 or 60 days but this shouldn’t be the driving force behind this contact.
These follow-ups instill trust in you from your customer which will lead to further sales when they need another vehicle, their kids need vehicles, or their friends want to buy cars.
These six pointers can go a long way into turning you into a stand out sales associate that really shines in your dealership. When you are in a competitive field, you want to find ways to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd and show potential customers why you are the best sales associate to purchase a vehicle from.
These are not the only things you can do to be the best of the best, but they are some of the most important things you can do to ensure your success as well as the satisfaction of your customers. Word of mouth advertising is very powerful and people love to talk about their experiences.