Customers are often met with a sense of fear when dealing with salespeople. However, working in automotive retail comes with it’s own set of fears. On this week’s episode of Straight Talk, David Lewis talks about the fear of rejection and how to overcome it as an automotive professional.
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Speaker 1: You’re watching Straight Talk with David Lewis.
David Lewis: Hello everyone. I’m David Lewis and welcome to Straight Talk. I’m here every week to help you deal with some of the common problems and challenges that come your way every day as a retail automotive salesperson. We often talk about the fear that customers often have when dealing with a professional car salesperson and how that fear tends to make them defensive when they come to your dealership and search for their next vehicle.
David Lewis: What we don’t talk about so often are the fears that many salespeople have from time to time. Fear that hinders their ability to be highly successful and traps them in a status quo career in what should be a dynamic and lucrative business where they can make a tremendous living. One of those fears is the fear of rejection. Success expert Brian Tracy says this about fear of rejection. He says, “Refuse to let the fear of rejection hold you back. Remember, rejection is never personal. If rejection destroys your self esteem, you’re letting others hold you as an emotional hostage.” Those are powerful words and ones that anyone in sales should consider.
David Lewis: Remember, when people come to you in search of a new vehicle, they’re probably trying to solve a problem and are looking for someone to help them. Buying research consistently shows that the number two priority of car shoppers is finding the right salesperson. Sometimes a combination of the fear they have of talking to a salesperson and the stress they feel about the problem they’re trying to solve or the fear of spending the money required to solve it causes them to reject the very person that’s trying to help them. This does not mean they’re rejecting you personally. It simply means that you have to work harder to reduce their defensive posture before you can earn their confidence that you are someone who wants to help them achieve their purchasing goals.
David Lewis: If you take the rejection personally, it can cripple your enthusiasm and affect the customer’s perception of you in a negative way. This can ultimately hold you back from relaxing your customer’s anxiety about achieving the sale. The fear of being rejected is probably the most common and most devastating fear that you will face as a car salesperson because in most cases, your earnings are the direct results of the sales you make. This can especially be true if you’re just starting your career in sales.
David Lewis: It helps to remember an acronym that someone came up with to describe fear. FEAR stands for false evidence appearing real. Whether it’s fear of rejection, fear of failure, or fear of the future, learning to overcome these kinds of things starts with believing in yourself. If you are working in your dealership, it means that someone there had to believe that you’re able to do the job. That alone can be a powerful confidence booster and help you deal with any sense of rejection you may be feeling. If the dealership didn’t have confidence that you could do the job, they certainly wouldn’t have invested in the cost of hiring and training you and put you in the position of speaking to their valuable customers.
David Lewis: Consider what Henry Ford was known for saying. He said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” He believed that the things we allow to influence our thoughts about ourselves and our abilities and potentially will ultimately determine what we achieve in life. Tragically, many people live their entire lives fearing things that are only real because they fear them. They let their fears determine how they feel about themselves and how to feel about their chances of winning or losing in life. They give too much weight to what others think about them when in fact others probably aren’t thinking about them much or often at all.
David Lewis: If you do your best with the customers that you are convinced is going to buy from you and they choose not to, don’t take it personally. The fact of the matter is you win some and you lose some. As much as we all like to win you can’t win them all, but neither can you lose them all. It is what you learn from the sales you don’t make that will drive you to improve your abilities, to learn more and to advance your skills to bring you greater success. What do you do with your time when you’re not at the dealership? Do you invest in educating yourself to improve your skills and abilities or do you spend your nights in front of a television set or playing video games and wasting endless hours on social media ?when you’re not with the customers at the dealership are you just sitting around gabbing with team members? Or are you going through the ups list of the last few weeks or checking up on past customers, see how they’re doing and if they might be in the market for a new vehicle or know someone who is?
David Lewis: When was the last time you went out to the service department to see if there are customers there who may be ready to consider purchasing another vehicle? If you’re waiting for them to come to you, it may happen, but very rarely. The best place to find customers is probably right there in your own service department. How much time each week do you devote to going there and talking to people who are waiting for their vehicle to be serviced? If you’re not doing the daily things that make for success in this business, it may be because of fear of rejection you’re holding onto and backing your actions back that are causing you not to be successful in this business.
David Lewis: You can’t be rejected by customers if you’re not reaching out to them trying to win their business. Start there and if you don’t succeed as much as you like to study your approach and see what it is that may be turning your customers off. Are you friendly and enthusiastic or pushy and demanding? Are you talking more than listening or asking them questions that make your customers defensive or standoffish? Examine yourself and your approach to selling cars and ask yourself this question, would I buy a car from me? If the answer is no you might consider getting some coaching from someone more senior than yourself or getting some further training to help with your sales process and see what you can do to improve your skills and sell more cars.
David Lewis: Don’t fear rejection. Over come it by becoming the best you can be. It’s a learning process and the more you practice the right things, the better you’ll become at doing your job. Well, that’s it for today’s show. Thanks for listening and I hope you tune it again next week for another episode of Straight Talk.
Speaker 1: Thanks for watching Straight Talk with David Lewis. This has been a JBF Business Media production.