Whether you’re looking for some different ways to train new hires or need something to give your experienced sales team a boost, these automotive training tips can help!
As you already know, the automotive sales business is unlike any other retail-based job out there. It’s not for everyone, but it can be an extremely exciting career for those motivated to work hard and learn as much as possible.
Most of your sales team already has some of the essential skills and attitude necessary to be successful, but there’s always more to learn. New hires and others members of the team may not have some of these same skills, but with a little training, could be the next great salesman at your dealership.
While some of these tips may be similar to the things you’ve already taught your sales team; however, these tips are important to reinforce often so that they become second nature. Either way, they can all help you build the best sales team in your market!
1. Constantly Expand Your Knowledge of the Product
Although most automotive training techniques revolve around how to interact with the customer, a car salesman should never forget the importance of knowing what he or she is talking about. The most knowledgeable salesmen not only build the reputation of a dealership, but they also sell the most cars.
When someone is considering a big financial decision such as purchasing a vehicle, they want to work with a true expert, not just a fast-talking salesperson. That level of expertise instantly builds trust and makes a customer more comfortable.
To be a true expert in the automotive industry, you need to focus on continuous learning every day. Products, techniques, features, and opinions change all the time. Expertise in this industry requires commitment.
2. Start Fresh with Every Customer
Every potential customer is different. This is true no matter what industry you sell in. Everyone has different wants, needs, desires, budgets and backgrounds. While this may seem obvious, most car salesmen fall into the trap on a daily basis.
When you sell cars all the time, it’s natural to start to develop assumptions and pre-conceived feelings about customers. It would be much easier to sell cars if every customer had the same needs. Unfortunately, this is obviously unrealistic, and thinking that way will lose you sales.
You should train yourself to start from scratch with every customer. This keeps the communication flowing, shows the client that you care enough to learn about them, and helps to build a trusting relationship.
3. Time Listening > Time Talking
This one can be the most difficult challenge to overcome for a salesman in any industry. Salespeople simply love to talk!
If you’ve been in car sales for long enough, you can remember that one salesman that had excellent numbers, but just didn’t seem like the other salespeople you worked with. The chances are good that this one salesman wasn’t as talkative and social as the typical salesmen, but he probably knew how to listen to his customers better than anyone else.
The best salespeople take tips from guys like that one. They learn how to listen more than they talk. By doing this, you can gain much greater insights into what the customer wants and needs.
You will also see that salespeople aren’t the only wants who love to talk, everyone loves to talk. Countless psychological studies are supporting this theory. Talking extensively with another person causes all kinds of reactions in the brain. These reactions typically lead to an improved mood and level of comfort. For a car salesman, that means more sales!
4. The Truth Behind the Lies
Although it may sometimes seem like the easier route, you should never lie to a customer. People are much better at picking out a lie than you may think and when they’re talking to car salesmen, you can bet that they’re watching closely for any of the signs.
If a customer asks you a question that you don’t know, always be honest and tell them that you don’t have the answer. Tell them that you will get the answer, and follow through with that commitment as soon as you’re able.
When a prospective customer thinks that you’ve lied to them, you will immediately lose all of their trust and, barring a true miracle, you’ve lost the sale too. Car salesmen lose sales all the time for this reason, and often it started with something as silly as a question concerning a gas mileage rating.
5. Separate Your Personal and Professional Life
Everyone knows that you shouldn’t bring your problems to work. It’s much easier to talk about than to practice, but it’s just too important to ignore in the auto sales industry. You must keep your head in the game when selling cars.
If you’re thinking about something else, your customers will know it. You won’t have the answers you usually would, you’ll forget to ask the essential questions, and you’ll fail to lead the customer in a positive direction.
Even if it takes you years, you must learn to leave personal problems at home. The better you get at it, the more cars you will sell.
That Glengarry Glen Ross movie clip has made the phrase “ABC – Always Be Closing” one of the most popular in the sales world. If you’ve never seen it, you should watch it. Just excuse the language, and don’t expect a lot of truly helpful training.
While the idea of aggressively closing sales has its place in the auto sales industry, the greatest sales phrase should actually be “AFU – Always Follow Up.” Without this one tactic, no one can become an amazing salesperson.
Do you want your customers to think that you’re just another salesman who doesn’t care about them? Then don’t follow up. It’s that simple. Whether you follow up by email, phone or even the postal service, each time proves that value to them. That simple proof sells more cars.
Follow-ups also keep you at the front of your customer’s minds. Whether they’re considering another vehicle purchase, or they have a friend looking, your follow up reminds them how good you really are. You should be doing follow-ups whenever you possibly can!
Wrapping it Up
When it comes to automotive training for your sales team, you can find all kinds of tips and techniques. We just covered a few of our favorites here. Just remember that the most helpful tips always come from the trainer’s personal experience and knowledge. Never teach your sales team to do something you don’t believe in yourself!
Lucie Gauvreau is the CEO of Turbo Marketing Solutions. You can contact her by email here or reach her by phone every weekday at Turbo Marketing’s head office.