Many consumers today feel that buying a car really is more like the car salesman vs. the car buyer. When they walk into the showroom the picture in their mind is: Now in this corner we have the seasoned professional car salesman and in this corner we have the car buyer, who hasn’t bought a car for five years. Not a pretty picture, but that is how they feel.
Of course that’s not how it really is, but many of our customers still feel that way. We are at a disadvantage and in order to do our job successfully we need to diffuse their expectations and quickly. We need to build rapport and earn some trust as quick as we can.
Even when we contact them via the Internet, price them and set an appointment with them they still feel like it’s the car salesman vs. the car buyer when they arrive. They are always waiting for us to spring something on them.
Obviously our reputation whether it’s true or not is the major part of the car salesman vs. the car buyer attitude. The other major factor is the fear of the unknown yes, the unknown. Let me explain, when every car dealership that they talk to about a new car has a different price, and process they don’t know what to expect.
The sales taxes are different from state to state and sometimes even county to county. Warranties, insurance and accessories are different from dealer to dealer. Some dealers have fees and some don’t. All dealers charge a doc fee, but that amount often changes from state to state. We have done this to ourselves and we accept that because we need to make a profit. But in order to earn the business of our customers we need to change the car salesman vs. car buyer attitude.
Taxes, prices and processes are things that the car salesperson can’t change, but there are some things we can do. The 5 points below will break down the barriers and remove that combative attitude so we can sell a car.
5 Ways to Stop the Car Salesman vs. the Car Buyer Attitude
- Be Understanding: Let them know that you understand, let them know you are a consumer too. You feel the same way when you make a major purchase. Build rapport, share some personal experiences, but don’t bore them. Ask questions and ask them if they have any questions.
- Put Yourself in Their Place: You know that you want a good deal when you buy something and so do they. What would you want to know if you were in their place? How would you want to be treated? How would you want a family member or friend to be treated at your dealership? That’s how you want to treat your customers.
- Tell Them What to Expect – No Surprises: When you work with a customer tell them what to expect next. Make sure they understand why you have them do certain things. Remember that the fear of the unknown is what feeds the car salesman vs. car buyer attitude. Tell them that they will go for a test drive and then you can show them the numbers, etc.… Tell them how you will have the Used Car Manager look at their trade-in and get a number, etc.…Whatever the next step or two might be tell them the step and why. Keep them informed and you avoid any opposition from the customer.
- Use Documentation: Whenever possible use pre-printed information because it verifies what you are saying. Use brochures, manufacturer and dealership forms when you can. When printed and online information backs up your words all questions or at least suspicion seem to go away. You are now believable because it’s not just you. It’s you and the automaker or you and a website. Use third party websites and documentation whenever possible to remove that car salesman vs. the car buyer attitude.
- Don’t Badmouth the Competition: If your customer is like most customers they have spent hours and hours online researching the car or cars of choice. Not to mention that they have also researched the dealership and maybe even the car salesperson. They have probably talked to or at least emailed several dealers and have several prices and options. They may have even formed a bond with another sales person, but you have the color or options and that’s why they are in your showroom. So don’t trash talk any dealership, vehicle or salesperson. This will turn off customers quicker that almost anything you can say. Trash talking your completion will always bite you in the ass.
My favorite way to make a customer drop their defenses is to treat them like you would treat a family member (one that you like). When you give them the where, what, why and how you will quickly diffuse the car salesman vs. the car buyer attitude and sell a car. Plus you will have a great source of referrals and future commission and sales for years to come.
Later, Fresh Up on the Lot