Here’s what I observed;-
- Guy keeps consulting the auntie and pays heed to her replies.
- Wife is quiet throughout the conversation.
- The sales guy went on and on about the features of the Sorento
- At the end of the 15 minute encounter, the guy asks the sales person to check the trade-in value of his Mercedes.
- They exchange numbers and the sales guy promises to let him know the value as soon as he has the info.
- Family leaves.
- The family has a problem of space in their present ride. A mediocre sales person shows the space in the Sorento. A great sales person demonstrates how that space is best utilized for the family. Kids grow up, perhaps a second one is coming in the future, etc.
- A mediocre sales person maintains engagement with the buyer. A great sales person takes note of whose opinion matters and involves that person in the conversation. Auntie was ignored by the sales consultant throughout the encounter.
- A mediocre sales person details features of the product. A great sales person starts by explaining how the life of the buyer changes with the product. Milk bottles and hot water container goes where, ISOFIX positions, Smart Tailgate when parent’s hands are full, would a stroller fit. You think the buyer cares how fast the Sorento sprints from 0-1ookmh?
- A mediocre sales person Reacts by responding to questions. A great sales person Anticipates customer needs, even unrealised ones and narrows down relevant features to the prospective buyer. For example, although the safety aspect of this vehicle was not asked, keeping the family safe (and comfortable) should not be far from the minds of expectant parents. Also the AWD system of the Sorento provides better stability on our often wet roads. This was not detailed in the encounter.
All in all, the first and biggest mistake made by the sales guy is the failure to put himself in the shoes of the customer and adjust his interaction accordingly. Replace that family with a 25-year old single male and he’d probably be repeating the same script.
That, to me is rather sad because sales, if done right is an extremely rewarding career. I’m not talking about commissions and incentives only; it’s the friendship you make and the respect you earn from people who don’t encounter such professionalism often. I, for one am always ready to offer a position in my company if I see a person who;-
- tries his/her best to understand the customer’s needs.
- revise his/her approach in a manner that’s relevant and intelligent by highlighting key features that matters most to that customer.
- shows genuine interest and care in wanting to help the customer decide the best solution. Since he/she works for a company providing that solution, the sales person should advance his/her product as the best choice.
Deciding on anything can be tough for anyone. A great sales person/consultant is one that eases that process. What I like about this outlet is that all of their sales consultants stands, smiles and greets visitors. That’s not a common thing to see and it speaks well on the positive work culture instilled by the showroom manager. When they improve their interpersonal skills of looking from their customer’s perspective, they would truly be a shining example of great automotive salesmanship.