We have said that the number one job of the salesperson is "Selection". By this, we meant that everything we do with the client or for the client is designed to help them get the best vehicle choice for their specific situation. That's why in training we focus so much time and effort in developing strong Consultation skills.
When we are skilled at asking the best questions, we can understand: the client's needs, lifestyle, what's changed, and what is it about their current vehicle that no longer fits for them. With this understanding, we can then add value in our service by making sure they select the best vehicle match to their needs.
Many times they “build and price” the perfect vehicle online before we ever are contacted. Does this mean they are 100% comfortable buying it? Maybe not! We also know that sometimes a better match to their needs exists, but they are not aware of it. Does the online configuration tool mean they become expert at matching their needs to the exact model and option configurations to best suit them? Is that pre-owned vehicle that they landed on actually the best value for them? Bottom line; to make the best selection and feel confident about their choice, they still benefit from our professional service. We just have to get them to accept our help.
Let's start by understanding right away the research they did before landing at your place. We need to respect the hard work that they have already done - not disregard it and try to force them into a traditional buying process. How do we find out? Just ask! "Have you seen a vehicle on our website that you wanted to look at today?”
If they have: “Oh that’s a great choice; that on-line research will save you a lot of time. Come with me, we’ll see if it is still available.”
We still want to have a Consultation, because that is the only way we can know if the vehicle they are looking at meets their needs or is the best choice you have. But today, our Consultation has a different focus. Instead of asking lots of questions to understand them and their needs so WE can select the vehicle, the order is reversed. They have selected a vehicle. That's the starting point. Our job is to confirm that their selection is the best one. Again, how do we get them to accept our help? Make it all about them.
Try this: "Mary can I make a suggestion that will help you feel really confident about your choice? OK here’s what I’ll do for you: I’ll ask you a few quick questions to make sure that the vehicle and options match your needs perfectly. Can I ask; if I know of a vehicle that is better equipped or a better value than the one you have chosen would you want me to let you know about that?”
Now it makes sense for them to answer some questions, and it just feels like great service.
With their agreement: “Ok great, you reviewed the Corolla models on-line; which features and equipment were a really good match to your needs? What made you decide on the Hatch versus the Sedan models?” “Oh that makes sense; is there anything else around family needs that we need to think about?” “What things about your current car are you hoping that the Corolla will do much better?”
This approach accelerates the Consultation but still gives us and them confidence in the vehicle selection, builds mental ownership, and gets us closer to the "yes". When we help them validate their selection, they feel understood, trust is built, and they are more likely to accept your advice – more likely to say yes!
What happens if we go straight to the vehicle of interest and learn nothing about the client?
• We haven’t built any trust or authority to make a recommendation.
• We don’t know what the motivation for change is.
• We don’t know what this vehicle has to do better.
• We don’t know what features matter most to them or where to focus the Presentation.
Skipping the Consultation is like flying blind and a sure way to reduce client confidence and sales results.