Analysis of a Seamless Sales Transaction
The other night my husband and I went to a used car dealership. What do you think when you think used car salesperson? Not so nice things, right?Well, we had an incredible experience and ended up getting a car on the spot. We went in knowing what we wanted and they happened to have it, but I give a lot of credit to our excellent salesperson.I’ll share everything that she did right so you can use a similar approach in your business.
#1. The Speed of Trust We were greeted by the salesperson as soon as we walked in the door. In many car dealerships a receptionist greets you and then you wait for the salesperson to come over. During this time, your defenses go up as you prepare to get sold to. She presented herself well and her look was consistent with the product she was selling.
This helped her establish instant credibility. She was friendly and laid back which lowered our defenses of being “sold to.”Another thing the effective salesperson did well was a quick assessment of our needs. It was late in the evening and we weren’t there to chat. At another dealership we went to, the ineffective salesperson asked us about 20 questions. I could tell that he was trying to build rapport and qualify us to see if we were worth his time, and he did neither effectively.
#2. The Product Sells Itself When you have a high-quality product (which of course you do), the goal is to let the product speak for itself. At another dealership the salesperson went though a ton of features as we stood in the lot. I felt dumb because I didn’t know what half (okay, two-thirds) of them were.The excellent salesperson put us in the car right away. We learned by doing. The experience was more powerful than a discussion would have been. This shows the difference between educational marketing (what she did) versus interruption marketing (what the other guy did by throwing facts at us).
#3. 100% Focus We arrived at the dealership 40 minutes before closing time. The salesperson acted quickly in coming over to us and getting us into a car, but she also acted as though she had all of the time in the world to speak with us. She focused on nothing other than us. She did not appear at all pressured to make the fast sale, which reinforced her confidence (and therefore our confidence) in the product selling itself.What does this mean for you? Don’t wait to return sales calls so that it looks like you’re busy, and when you make the calls, maintain the attitude described in #5 below.
#4. Personal Experience You’ve probably heard me recommend telling stories whenever possible. How do you tell stories in the sales situation? A great way is by discussing your personal experience with the product. If you can’t do this, then discussing client stories works too. She happened to have the exact car that we were looking at, so she told the story of getting into the car after a 12-hour shift, sinking into the soft leather seats and enjoying the smooth ride which is so quiet it’s like being in an airplane. The number one thing that makes a great story is adjectives. You want to paint a picture that people can see, smell, and feel. She did this very well.
#5. Switching Gears When we got down to numbers and the initial plan was not going to work, she seamlessly switched gears to discuss another option. She remembered our needs and found a solution that fit those needs along with the new parameters.Consistent with #1 (the importance of speed) and #3 (speed without pressure), she said “have a look at this one,” and got us right into the next car (the one we bought).
#6. A Confident Attitude is Everything The most effective aspect of the salesperson was her attitude. She showed a high level of faith in the product without being the slightest bit conceited or condescending. From the beginning she assumed that we were excellent prospects by virtue of our being there (unlike the other guy who interrogated us in his qualification process). Suspend judgment- you never know if a prospect can afford you or is willing to hire you based on their appearance, age, tone of voice, education level, job status, and so on. If they sense the slightest bit of condescension, you’ve lost them. Instead, focus on the quality of the product.
The confidence you give off will be contagious, and you won’t have to “sell” at all.You may not be a used car salesperson, but remember these principles as you sell your product or service. You’ll find that selling is not a chore, but a joy. You’ll connect with your client and they’ll walk away with something that will add a great amount of value to their lives.