Dealers must regularly audit and improve the skills of their sales teams to ensure that their businesses continue to grow regardless of the market’s overall performance. But, after the retail automotive sector’s relaxed pace during the COVID pandemic, many sales professionals have fallen out of practice and are now prone to wasting valuable time through ineffective tactics.
On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer at the Joe Verde Group. Gardner has dedicated his career to helping sales professionals achieve success for themselves and their businesses with practical lessons derived from years of retail automotive experience. Now, he shares crucial insights into the car buying process and the forgotten skills that sales teams must recall to continue closing deals.
1. A demo is the most exciting part of the car buying journey, allowing customers to experiment with a vehicle’s features and take “mental ownership” before they complete their purchase. However, many shoppers are allowed to leave the dealership without ever taking a test drive.
2. Write-ups are an essential but often overlooked step in the sales process. They represent the closing arguments in the dealership’s case for why the customer should purchase a vehicle and set up a smooth transition into the negotiating phase.
3. When shoppers enter a dealership, sales teams must come prepared with a strategy to quickly place the customer in the driver’s seat of their preferred vehicle and draft an attractive write-up.
4. Sales teams often make the mistake of asking permission-type questions, such as, “Would you like to demo this vehicle today?” or, “Is a 100,000-plus mileage okay with you?” These fail to excite the customer about their options.
5. Gardner recommends asking positive assumption questions, such as, “Before we demo this vehicle, what sort of mileage are you looking for?” These accomplish two things. First, they allow sales professionals to prepare their write-ups ahead of time by identifying the needs of the consumer. Second, they allow sales teams to take the lead in the process, making it easier for customers to make decisions.
"More demos, more write-ups equals more sales." — Sean Gardner