The best ways for car dealers to navigate tough market conditions – Sean Gardner | JVG

Salespeople and managers are consistently looking to get their hands on all of the tools they can as interest rates creep back up and other challenges impact consumers. Joining us today on Inside Automotive to discuss what car dealers can do to manage these challenges is Sean Gardner, instructor and sales trainer for the Joe Verde Group.

Gardner starts by saying that we can only control what we can control. And what car dealers can control is constantly improving the way they sell cars. Whether there is one car on the lot or 100, salespeople have to consistently advance their knowledge and skills.

One of the most important things a salesperson can do is plan their day and leave time for self-improvement. Joe Verde has a list of core subjects that salespeople can use to expand their knowledge. One of them is to be flawless in the selling process. Every customer is looking for a world-class experience, and every car dealer wants the customer journey to be exceptional. It’s not all about the price either. Customers are looking to build relationships and understand what they are getting for their money.

Gardner adds that there are three ways to sell cars from his perspective. The no-sale approach focuses on answering questions and letting customers browse the showroom. Then, there’s the hard-sale approach which can overwhelm the customer and leave them feeling pressured. However, in the middle lies the professional-sale method, which investigates the customers’ wants and needs and then customizes presentations based on those wants and needs. Salespeople have to learn how to take a vehicle feature that the customer is interested in and turn it into a benefit.

So, how can salespeople take the knowledge they’ve acquired and apply it to a useable skill? Gardner says there are three steps to do this; recognize, duplicate, and master. Take ‘yes questions’ for example. A ‘yes question’ is simply taking any normal statement you would make, and adding a question to the end that evokes a ‘yes’ response from the customer. Once you have recognized what you want to work on, you must duplicate it by practicing perfectly. By doing this, salespeople can master the skills they need.

Did you enjoy this interview with Sean Gardner? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic by submitting a letter to the editor here, or connect with us at

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.