Wake up and smell the coffee

It’s a funny thing in the motor trade, customers are increasingly wondering why they are not getting the treatment they deserve for what is probably one of the largest financial investments they will ever make. Each week we hear of customers who are wandering around showrooms and no one is acknowledging their existence, let alone attempting to demonstrate the products on offer.

There are those of us who believe that, as the dynamic of the car sales person changes, a lot of true “personalities” have disappeared from the business. Unfortunately they have disappeared in favour of newer, younger people who are computer literate and intelligent, but don’t necessarily possess that wonderful and vital gift in sales of the ability to connect with customers and communicate on the same level.

Visiting an independent car showroom often the sales people who greet you will be the owners of the business or family members. A car buyer may not get the greatest deal or best car but they will certainly get the respect their enquiry deserves because these businesses understand how precious customers are just how good the competition is.

Although the scrappage scheme may have been a fantastic shot in the arm for the business, it made sales people lazy and come to expect that customers will always behave as if there has been a gold rush. Therefore they lack the skills to actually try and sell something and they cannot cope with more demanding customers who might actually want something the dealer hasn’t got.

That is when the skill of selling comes in, to be able to offer alternatives and work hard in encouraging a customer to consider different models and prices and still keep them happy with a suitable car whilst making a profit for the company and commission for themselves.

Make no mistake it will get harder next year with no government incentives and the country in the grip of the fiercest cuts since the war, and everybody will need to step up to the plate and do their bit.

In the car business it is very easy for a customer to defer a big ticket purchase like a car to save money for the future, and if sales people do not wake up to that fact very quickly there could be trouble ahead.


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3 Responses to Wake up and smell the coffee

  1. Simon Allen October 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    You just have to look at the participants in BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ to see that, despite qualifications etc, the younger generation are often clueless about how to build business. Interesting to contrast this article with your recent one about 9 point sales process – it is exactly because of this lack of ‘nous’ that such processes exist and have to be drilled into sales people.

  2. bertie big bag October 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I agree totally with that its like they need a high chair and some cow and gate, many of them are incapable of thinking for themselves let alone have the skills or pesonality required to acually sell a car, they should all go back to jjb sports!!!

  3. Mark Robbins October 30, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    True, but ask any seasoned salesperson over 30 what happens when they try and apply for these positions, the job nearly always go’s to the young upstarts, the big trouble here is that Main Agent’s want to “mould the individual” and this is much easier with young blood, woe betide anyone who trys to think (or work) outside the company box! Our current top salesman left his position at a Vauxhall Dealership because along with the “mountains of paperwork” he was forced to work with “kids with no idea” (his words) but unable to educate them due to company protocol.

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