On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer at the Joe Verde Group, to discuss methods for making the sales process more efficient for businesses and more convenient for customers.
The biggest component of effective and quality customer service is speed. “We, as salespeople, have to be fast,” explains Gardner. However, while the sales process should be quick and painless, efficiency should not come at the cost of skipping steps. Instead, professionals should look to shorten customer visits by greeting them immediately, directing them towards a vehicle that suits their needs as soon as possible and coming prepared to ask and answer questions.
While it is impossible to manage all aspects of the customer experience, Gardner notes that salespeople are responsible when things spiral out of control under their watch. Controlling the situation is essential for quick and efficient customer service. Tense negotiations, for example, not only prolong a customer’s dealership visit but also add to their stress and discomfort. However, sales professionals can easily reduce friction by controlling the conversation and ensuring the conversation goes smoothly. “Negotiations…doesn’t have to be a test of endurance; who lasts longer,” explains Gardner. “If I as a salesperson just could smooth out the way I present numbers, if I could be more skillful at working through price and trade…if I knew what I was trying to accomplish in the negotiations, it would go a heck of a lot faster.”
The areas where speed and efficiency can be improved extend beyond the customer’s initial dealership visit. “We need to fast when it comes to un-sold follow-up,” explains Gardner. “Our first follow-up needs to be that quick turnaround text within ten minutes after they leave, and if they get that right…often the customer will come back the very same day and buy.” The data shows that checking in with a customer immediately after they leave reduces the time they spend considering their options. “How many times does a salesperson say, ‘Let me check on that, and I’ll call you back,’ and they don’t call back for a day or two?” asks Gardner. “You gotta get back with them fast; everything is fast.”