One of my favorite sayings when it comes to selling cars is: ‘listen closely and they will tell you how to sell them a car’. It’s one of my favorites because I believe and practice it daily. It works for lots of things besides car sales. However, right now I just want to help you close more car deals.
Over the years I have talked to many customers that visited dealerships and did not buy a car. One reason was to see if I could get them to come back to the dealership. A next day follow up call is one way to close more car deals and the other reason was to find out why they didn’t buy.
When I called as a manager and asked them about their visit one of the common things I heard from customers was: “the salesman didn’t listen to me”. Sometimes I understood why the car salesperson didn’t listen. Usually, it was about payments because of credit or getting a credit approval. Then there are times it was ridiculous things like wanting a car or options that wasn’t built that way or currently available. Anyway, some of them actually had a legitimate complaint.
They Didn’t Close More Car Deals
These customers said that the car salesperson didn’t seem to listen to them about colors, options, their trade-in or their budget. We all know that some of this come from trying to sell what we have in stock. Plus we can often get a bump and sell a car as far as the budget is concerned. We all do it and we will continue to do it every day. We need to sell them while they are at the dealership. We want to close more car deals and so we must try. Then when it comes trade-ins we all know what we do about trade-ins and that won’t change anytime soon.
But some of these people said that their salesperson didn’t even address their concerns. Many of them said they were completely ignored when they asked certain questions. So not only did the customer feel that the salesperson did not listen, but they also felt they were ignored. Would you buy a car from someone that wasn’t listening to you and acknowledging what you were saying? What if they ignored your questions? I would probably go to another dealership to buy a car and they did.
The job of selling cars for a living can get boring at times. Using the same lines or word tracks. Walking your customer through the steps of the sale etc… Sometimes we rush the process or get bored and don’t even realize that we ignored their question or concerns. We hear all the same things every day. We hear the same objections about price, payment, and rate on a daily basis. This causes us to stop listening, but the customers don’t.
You can close more car deals if you listen, I mean really listen. I don’t mean that you hear them talking, I am talking about actively listening. I can’t help myself, I have to use another saying ‘you have two ears and one mouth so listen twice as much as you talk’. A good rule to follow when selling anything, especially cars.
Your customers know when you are really listening to them. Plus there are several benefits to listening to your customers. When you actively listen to what they say you make them feel important. Plus you are showing them that you care which builds trust. When they see that you are truly listening and acknowledging what they are saying they begin to lower their defenses. They will start to lower their wall and that’s when can start to close more car deals.
Listening: A Car Sales Closing Technique
Listening is hard for some people. You may need to work on this car salesman skill, but it will be worth the effort. With practice and a commitment to improving your listening skills, you will see favorable results. Use these listening tips and methods for listening and you will discover that you will close more car deals.
- Do Not Interrupt the Customer: Let them talk and get it out. You should not interrupt unless you need to clarify something they said. When you interrupt a customer for any other reason you are doing nothing more than hurting your chances to close more car deals. I know some of them seem to talk forever, but if you keep listening intently you are going to build better rapport.
- Ask Your Customer Questions: When they stop talking you should take this opportunity to ask them questions about what they just said. Make sure you completely understand what they said. This also a great time to start digging. Since you listened closely to them they will listen to your questions.
- Acknowledge Your Customer: When your customer is speaking you need to let them know you are paying attention. You can do this by nodding in agreement or saying things like, ok, I see or I understand. This simply reinforces what they are saying and that you are interested in what they have to say.
- Review the Key Points: Review and repeat the key point s of what they were telling you. This proves to them that you are listening and that you are both on the same page. For example, you would say, ok Mr. Smith, you said you are looking for an SUV with room for seven passengers. Plus towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, a sunroof, navigation and a leather interior. After you repeated their requests they can add or clarify their wants and needs. Then you can move on to the next step.
- Steer Clear of Distractions: You don’t want anything to get between you and your customer. You don’t want your conversation to be interrupted by a loudmouth in the showroom or phones ringing. Do your best to talk with your customer away from any distractions.
- Don’t Argue with Customers: We say you can’t fix stupid, but sometimes you can. In our line of work, it’s very easy to argue with customers because so many of them think they know everything after spending time on the Internet. However, this will typically kill the sale. The only way we can enlighten them is to use a third party. Whether its online websites or printed material from the manufacturer. Either way, you need to be the neutral party and make someone else the bad guy. No matter what kind of stupid things come out of there mouth don’t argue with them. Plus there is no reason to give your opinion unless you are asked. Then and only then should you give your opinion. Remember all you want to do is close more car deals and arguing will produce just the opposite. Bite your tongue and close more car deals.
- Get Used to Being Silent: Many people get uncomfortable when there is silence in a conversation. But as a car sales professional, you need to be comfortable with silence. The silence is a great time for you to think about your next step. I have seen many salespeople talk themselves out a deal because they couldn’t take the silence. If you can keep your mouth shut your customer will often break the silence with information that they didn’t plan on giving. This information is very often what you need to close more car deals.
- Close With a Summary: Most car salespeople already close with a summary. The summary will include all of the things your customer told you they wanted. For example Mr. Smith you said you wanted an SUV with a leather interior. And you also wanted all the safety features like X, Y, and Z to keep your family safe. Plus you wanted 5,000 pounds towing capacity and a sunroof. I believe we have included everything you wanted unless there was something I missed. Then wait for the response and listen closely. You are either ready to close or you have objections to handle.
- Listen More Than You Talk: I have never had a customer complain that the car salesperson listened to them too much. And I never heard one say that the car salesperson didn’t talk enough. Talk less, listen more and close more car deals.
You will close more car deals by actively listening to your customer. Customers want to be respected, heard and acknowledged. They want to feel important and knowledgeable. When you give them all these positive feelings you have made a friend and people like to buy from friends.
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot,
ref: Brian Tracy