It’s always a bug-bare of mine that seemingly experienced salespeople still get stuck right at the beginning of the sales process – just after saying hello…

A typical ‘meet and greet’ is –

                “Hi, are you ok there? Is there anything I can help you with?”

Followed immediately by the prospect saying –

                “No its fine we’re just looking thanks!”

Plus, I’ve been on many training courses where trainers have devised many ‘clever’ answers to this response,

                “What are you ‘looking’ for – new or used?”


                “OK are you ‘looking’ for anything in particular?”


                “Of course you are everyone says that, what exactly are you ‘looking’ for?”

The response is normally something like “No honestly its fine, we’re just not sure yet”.

A despondent salesperson then writes the prospect off as a ‘tyre-kicker’ and retreats to the showroom saying something like “well I’ll just be inside if you need anything, let me know…”

Five minutes later, after the prospect has walked off site and the sales manager says, “did you talk to them?” the standard answer is something like “yeah but they were just shoppers”.

businessman-hand outTransition

I cannot over emphasise the importance of planning and executing a smooth transition from the ‘hello’ to getting prospects sat at your desk.

Often the problem is in the question… “How can I help?” “Are you ok there?” “Is there anything I can help you with?”

These are such obvious sales questions that the well-informed prospect will just shut you out.

Some people suggest a different question – such as “Hi, have you travelled far to see us today?” which admittedly does avoid the just looking answer, but is still a difficult transition.

Dealing with Reality

Now the reality is that the prospect is ‘not there to tell you they don’t want one’ so has some modicum of desire. They want to either browse your stock, or see if you have a specific car still in stock they have seen on your website or one of your marketing sites.

If they want a new car, they may want to just browse the range and the price points, or look at a specific model they have set their sights on.

But, whatever their motive, my suggestion is we deal with the reality – they have come to ‘look’ unless they say otherwise.

(And remember looking is part of the buying process and they haven’t come to tell you they don’t want one.)

Cars on forecourt

Providing Comfort

I was once taught ‘never ask a difficult question of a stranger’ – in other words ask a ‘comfortable’ question. One they can answer easily and one they feel comfortable answering.

So how about “Welcome to XYZ – are you looking for anything in particular or are you just browsing?”

Let me guess the answer “We’re just browsing thanks.”  (You have given me the space to say what I want to say and that feels nice and relaxed.)

Now, back to reality. They don’t know how you have laid your stock out, or how you have set your showroom up so the transition starts something like this…

Used Cars –

“No problem feel free to browse. Let me HELP YOU, we have over (XXX) cars in stock and they start at £YYY and go all the way up to £ZZZ and if you don’t see anything here you like we also have access to… (Group Stock/Mfr Approved etc.) so I’m sure if it’s a (whatever brand) you’re looking for we can help.  When where you thinking of changing? In the next two or three months or later in the year? “

Whatever the answer is follow with…

“In that case you will need all the information you can get as soon as possible won’t you?” – To which the answer is ALWAYS yes. Then look them in the eye and say “follow me” turn and walk inside to your desk and the prospect WILL FOLLOW!

businessman walking awayNew Cars –

“No problem FEEL FREE to browse we have (2,3,4,5,6 or more) cars in the showroom, they are all unlocked so feel free to jump in any and ask any questions you may have.”

“Over here we have a 1.2 GS which has XXXX then next up in the range is YYYY which starts at £ZZ and then there is the…. etc. etc.”  (Explain EVERY car in the showroom.)

“Obviously we only have a sample of the range on display and we also have some demonstrators outside that I’d be delighted to show you and let you try if you wish.”

May I ask you a question? (Yes) What are you driving at the moment? (A XXX) Fabulous would you be thinking of putting it in part exchange? (Yes) Brilliant how about I give you a price to take away with you whilst you are browsing (OK) Brilliant – Then look them in the eye and say “follow me” turn and walk inside to your desk and the prospect WILL FOLLOW!


Have a well thought out opening and transition that make all your prospects feel at ease. Feel free to try the ones above and let me know how you get on. They work – they really do – go on you know you want to …

Good luck and good selling.

Ps. Remember to leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts and how these transitions work for you.