Selling Fundamentals: A Guide for New Salespeople

fundamentals of selling

A career in the car business can be fun and rewarding. Life in the dealership is often high energy and fast-paced. It may be overwhelming at first, especially if you are trying to break in with a more seasoned sales staff. You may find that some sales people are eager to help you learn, while others will seemingly do anything to make your life hard.

The keys to survival in the short-term and success in the long-term are a positive attitude, and a desire to learn, the best place to start your learning is with the fundamentals of selling.

Auto sales follows the same basic process that you would follow when selling anything. First you find customers, make contact with them and qualify them to determine if they able to buy. Next you present your product, handle objections and finally, you close the deal. The overriding theme throughout the process, however is the building of relationships with real people.

The Basic Fundamentals of Selling:

  1. Prospect. The first step is to find people who want to buy what you are selling. Even if you have a steady flow of hot leads, you should not neglect your personal network. Who do you know? Who do those people you know? Start compiling a list. They are all prospects, who will most likely need help with a vehicle purchase at some point.  Social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook make this process much easier.

  2. Make Contact. This can be the scariest part for some people. Don’t worry. Some of the best sales people are introverts who struggle to reach out to others. Focus on building relationships instead of selling. Engage in conversation about life, kids, work, hobbies, etc. Get to know people and take good notes. You probably aren’t going to sell them anything with that first contact. Experts say that it takes at least 5 interactions with a prospect before a sales person can build up enough trust for the prospect to consider buying from them. Focus on building relationships. The sales will follow.

  3. Qualify. Once you find someone who is ready to buy, it is time to qualify them. Ask the right questions and really listen. How much can they afford? What do they need the vehicle for? What features are most important? Don’t make any assumptions about what they want or need. Always ask. The more questions you ask up front, the less time you will waste on selling the wrong products.

  4. Present the product. Once you know you have a buyer, it is time to show them vehicles that match their qualification. After all of the listening, it is now your turn to talk. Sell the vehicle. Sell the features. Relate the vehicle to your buyer’s unique situation. Don’t be afraid to show off some of your knowledge and build confidence in your buyer. This is your time to shine.

  5. Overcome objections. Most buyers will have some sort of objection. It does not mean they do not want to buy. It only means that their expectations are not getting met. Ask more questions and listen. Seek to understand the objection. Often it is based on misunderstanding or miscommunication. If the objection is legitimate, seek solutions that allow them to get what they want. Sometimes the objection is more difficult to overcome, but if you are still focused on building the relationship, then you will recognize this and focus on what’s best for the buyer.

  6. Close the sale. There is a natural transition that takes place after objections have been overcome indicating it’s time to ask for the sale. As a new sales person, the transition can seem awkward, but don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. They buyer expects it. As you gain more experience, you will recognize this transition more easily and move into it with more and more confidence.

  7. Continue to build the relationship. Your job does not end with the sale. Especially if you want to ever sell another vehicle to your buyer. Follow up. Make sure they are still happy a week, a month, a year, and later on down the road. Don’t forget to ask for referrals. If you are continuing to build a good relationship, your buyer will not hesitate to refer friends and family to you, because you will have earned their trust.

Selling is not rocket science. It is simply the ability to match people’s needs with products that fit those needs. Remember to put others first, and you will be on your way to a long, lucrative and satisfying career. Happy selling!