QuestionsIs your Sales Process up to standard?

It’s a question that concerns many Dealer Principals and Sales Managers, not just in the UK but all over the world. I am often engaged in conversations with regard to how the sales process works, and whether there is a better way of doing things. Should we update our Sales Process? Are the steps in the right order? Why don’t salespeople follow the process? Etc. etc.

Do your Customers enjoy following the process?

Perhaps a better question is, “do our customers even know they are going through a process?” and a much better way of thinking about this is “do our customers enjoy, or even get excited about, their Sales Experience?”

Too often I work with Dealers and Dealer Groups who are so focused on their own process and achieving their own outcomes they very often forget about what the customers want.

Remember in a typical UK Car Showroom as many as 40% of people will buy from you given the right experience, and a further 42% can be enticed back into the dealership with an effective follow-up.

Why don’t my Salespeople follow the process?

This is one of the big questions that perplex senior people all the time? How do we motivate people to implement our process? The Carrot, or the Stick? Punish them or Pay them?

The reality is, very few salespeople consciously go into the ‘Sales Process’ and even fewer Customers are aware that they have entered a ‘Sales Process’.

Salespeople are much more comfortable with the idea that “every customer is different” and would prefer to be left to their ‘instinct’ on how best to handle each customer. And, I must say they have a point. But, anyone who is world class at anything will tell you you need a plan and you need structure.

Although I concede that every customer is different, every sale is the same – therefore my contention is there needs to be a common structure with the implementation and style being left to the personality of the individual salesperson.

A good place to start maybe with an Agenda…

woman-writing-in-the-agendaIs there a common Agenda?

I often remind people that as far as customers are concerned “they’re not here to tell you that they don’t one”

And clearly if that is the case then we have a prospective customer giving us the opportunity to sell them a car, and wanting as much information as possible, plus a Salesperson who wants to sell a car – surely we should be able to take the adversorial nature out of selling and find a ‘common way forward’

In my experience we can if we get to place where the Salesperson and the Customer both understand and agree on the next course of action. Therefore, it would seem a matter of common sense to begin every customer conversation with an agreement on the way forward. An Agenda!

Maybe something such as…

“Let’s start by going outside to have a look at your car and get the details we need to get you the best possible price. Then we can come back inside and have a look at the Car you would like to own, and whilst our Used Car Specialist is getting the best price he can for your Part Exchange, we could take the new car out for a test drive to make sure you like it. If you do, when we return I will get the figures on your car and look at what we need to do on the new car. If that all suits you and you want to go ahead you’ll say YES, and if not you’ll say NO and I will ask you why – is that a straight forward way of getting you all the information you need?”

Now the customer and the salesperson have a tacit agreement on what is going to happen next and can move forward together… (and implement your Sales Process).

Remember, if I can help with anything please do let me know, and do leave a comment and share your views and opinions…

Good Luck and Good Selling!

Rob