If you have been in the car business for any length of time, you have most likely heard of a concept taught by some as the ABCs of selling. This teaching infers that during every step in the sales process you should Always Be Closing the sale, in your mind and in every action you take during the sales presentation. I personally do not agree with this in principle, the fact of the matter is, I believe this mindset has played a big part in what has brought us to such a low state with customers and what they think of car salespeople in general.
The Inspirational Selling techniques that I teach come from recognizing how our standard sales process has disenfranchised our customers and made them feel the need to protect themselves from our methods and techniques. Part of that is the sense of aggressiveness they feel in our approach and how convinced they are that we are only interested in selling a car today no matter what it takes.
If we are always closing, doesn’t that indicate that we are focusing more on our goals than on the goals the customer has and what they are trying to accomplish? Does it not make sense that if we truly discover and fulfill the purpose for which they came to us in the first place, we would most likely close the deal and make the sale in the end?
Certainly, we need to give everything we have to earning the customer’s business, but if every move is a closing move, we will most likely fill our presentation with trial closes and pressure statements. This in fact is what customers say they dislike most about our process. Certainly a salespersons skill set should include the art of being persuasive, but that does not mean we are to use pressure to dominate either the process or the customer.
The truth of the matter is, we are not just selling a vehicle; we are selling ourselves and our dealership as well. If we do that in a way that is inspiring and informative, we are being as persuasive as we need to be. By focusing more on listening to the customer and doing everything we can to understand their goals and what they are trying to achieve in the purchase process, we can free ourselves of the pressure of having to always be closing and let our inspiring sales process do that for us.
We all know the internet has changed the game for the buying public as well as for us in the car business. Shoppers now have access to information that was once difficult to come by for the average person. They also have access to an almost unlimited number of dealerships or other resources for making a purchase through their connection to online sellers.
Yet today’s new informed customers still prefer to buy a car from a dealership if they didn’t have to worry about being controlled or manipulated during the sales process. They want to maintain control of their buying decision and they have a right to expect professional assistance from those of us who want to earn their business.
There are 4 Sales Rules in the Inspirational Selling Process that, when followed, will enable a salesperson to be fully prepared to ask the Closing Question when the time comes to do so, and they are:
Never ask a question that could result in a lie
Never ask a question that could result in an answer you Do Not want to hear
Never ask a question or make a statement that could make the Customer more defensive
Always try to catch the Customer pleasantly off guard
As simple as these rules might seem at first, they are key to providing the kind of buying experience that will bring your customer to the closing table fully prepared to make a decision to purchase the car they have chosen. If they are in the right vehicle and each step of the sales process has been followed correctly up to this point, asking for the close should be the natural conclusion to an inspiring sales presentation.
Of course, your customer will often have some questions and possibly some objections that may first need to be dealt with in order to finalize the deal. That is only natural and to be expected in any major purchase where tens of thousands of dollars are on the line. But, if you do a good job answering their questions and objections, the only thing left is to ask them to buy using ‘The 7 Most Effective Words for Closing a Deal’ which are:
Mr. & Mrs Customer: Would you like to buy the car?