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Why ‘always be helping’ is a more effective sales approach than ‘always be closing’

On the latest episode of Kain and Co., host David Kain, president of Kain Automotive, discusses how the old adage, “always be closing” has now evolved into ‘always be helping.” This is a direct result of the modern retailing approach that many car dealers have invested in over the past year.

As the customer starts their car buying journey online, they have everything from pricing, to trade value, to financing terms available at their fingertips. With this in mind, Kain recommends that car dealers focus on helping the customer, especially at the BDC level. He says that car dealers should challenge themselves to adjust their thinking from “always be closing” to “always be helping.”

This starts with inbound telephone calls, internets leads, and direct messages from car buyers. Oftentimes, salespeople set aside the human element and concentrate on getting the deal, but Kain reminds up that customers don’t like to be “got.” When car dealers think in terms of helping the customer, they have to regard themselves as professionals who are there to assist and affirm the shopping activity that customers have done online.

The first habit that Kain believes BDCs need to break is immediately asking the customer for an appointment. He says salespeople should try to put themselves in the shoes of the customer and be empathetic to their needs. Once a salesperson has humanized the customer, they can work to offer a better solution. One they would want themselves.

Kain also recommends asking the customer what has brought them to the market, and what they plan on using the vehicle for. After many years of working at the dealership level, Kain has found that by focusing on what’s best for the guest, is ultimately what’s best for the dealership as a whole.

Finding out what’s best for the customer comes from the kinds of conversations previously mentioned. When you start a dialogue with the customer, it’s important to ask questions that better help you understand their individual situation. This is the opportunity where salespeople can let the customer know what their car dealership can provide for them. Go beyond simply asking “what do you need?” Be the professional that you know you are and earn the customer’s business by focusing on the best ways you can assist them.

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