Salespeople need to know the spec inside and out

With the specification on cars changing on a regular basis, all car makers, in an attempt to keep up with the competition, are challenging their designers to produce the most innovative features. It is not surprising that, with the power of the internet, many customers are more switched on when it comes to product knowledge, than, perhaps, the professionals employed to demonstrate these features to them. A good sales person will not only be up to speed with all the latest specification on their model range, but they will be keen to establish which features are important to each customer. Not only that but many manufacturers, rather than arrogantly building cars which they think people want, are now actually trying to make cars to suit divers’ lifestyle choices.

Interestingly – and how times change – when I first started selling cars I would always be keen to stress to a customer that a car had power assisted steering and height adjustable seats, nowadays if a car didn’t have these as standard the car would sit gathering dust probably for the rest of time. In those days the absolute status symbol was having a sun roof and everyone was happy to pay a premium to have one. Clearly as times have rolled on progress in car build and design has gone space age; air-con is a virtually standard feature on any car and the extras are massaging seats, DVD players, sat-nav systems and I-pods, even air conditioned headrests and electric memory seats are being desired.

The point obviously for car makers is to try and appeal to as wide an audience as possible with an ever expanding product range and an extras list designed to capture the choosiest of customers Whilst speaking to a young lady the other day I was quite surprised as to how sure and knowledgeable she was with regard to her next purchase. She wanted a new car – this was to be her third – and her father was happy to replace her car on the scrappage scheme, being that she’d had 3 years of uneventful driving with little or no insurance dramas along the way, she had decided that the most important things to her in a car were 3doors (cool) 8 Speakers (loud) I-Pod (multi-play) and alloy wheels (looks) didn’t care about air conditioning or performance and hardly even about colour. Though I suspect that may have changed if you had mentioned something dark blue and dull! The crux of it is that, unlike years ago when I started selling the choice was minimal take it or leave it, now I suspect that this girl could probably have chosen 5-6 cars which would fit this criteria if not her dad’s budget.

Sales people, of course, must be clever enough to establish what these wants and needs are, so that they can match a car with a customer but also by establishing buying criteria the process can be much quicker and smoother.

What better way of doing it than by demonstrating these features and then encouraging customers to try for themselves and thus giving all parties a better chance of arriving at the right choice?

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