Okay Okay, I haven’t lost my mind…on the contrary
Most would look at the title and totally pre-judge based on either their personal experience with a used car salesman or what they’ve heard about the reputation of the used car salesman….please give me an opportunity to explain myself. I’ve always said the difference between a con man and a salesman….is that one is a con-man and the other is a sales-man…..seriously. I’m not quite sure when or where being a con-man became synonymous with being a sales-man happen. Perhaps it started back in the day when you had the door to door salesman who was overbearingly aggressive and didn’t have much regard for you as an intelligent customer while shoving a product you didn’t need down your throat. Unfortunately, we’ve become either enamored or weary of the smooth silver tongued sales person pushing a product’s features & benefits to us based on that bad history. As someone who fit that category of the “silver tongued sales person” I totally understand both perceptions. Even today during a normal sales process I’m not sure the average customer understands how much power they have during the interaction between themselves and the salesperson. I sincerely believe customers (who are ALL of us) make the mistake by mentally removing any accountability during the sales process, and often times succumb to the “negotiation prowess” of the salesperson. When I come in contact with a sales person I LISTEN intently almost to every syllable coming from that person’s mouth. I’ll literally repeat everything the salesperson tells me about the product back to them….just to make them aware I’m focusing on every word that comes out of your mouth. You see, as professional salespeople we know people listen only about 30% of the time the other 70% is sizing you up and focusing on the product. While you’re looking at that salesperson’s beautiful smile and dreaming about driving in that “drop top convertible” they’re trying to sell you, you’re NOT listening to the extra charges that are going to hit you on that very first payment. We as customers can’t allow to let ourselves off the hook and blame the used car salesman for their developed over the years selling skills, we have to be just as good “sales customers” and ensure that we don’t fall for the okey doke.
Let me say this in defense of my used car sales brethren, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with selling like a “used car salesman”. Some of the BEST salespeople on the planet come from the automobile sales space. I recently held a sales training workshop for the auto sales department at one of the major auto dealers (will not name them for privacy purposes), and I was tremendously impressed with the competency, dedication and yes integrity by the group of salespeople I worked with. The majority of the training was based on ways they can connect with the customer on the customer’s terms…something I’m sure many of you are not used to hearing coming from automobile salespeople. Even the automobile industry understands that “Customer Engagement” isn’t just the soup of the day but a critical success factor. Selling and Negotiation skills are not the only types of competencies the automobile industry is pursuing, they are also delving into emotional intelligence and trying to find ways to connect with the customers that walk onto their lots. This is good news for the apprehensive car shopper who thinks they have to prepare for war when they enter an automobile dealer.
VIVA the used car salesman…!
Selling like a “Used Car Salesman”….what’s wrong with that?!
Checkout my fundamental selling skills training! Great training for the automobile salesperson!
(AH2 & Beyond Consulting)