First--a little note. In the last two weeks, I have noticed a huge difference in the attitudes of customers. Three weeks ago, it was all gloom and doom and sales were almost non-existent but during the last two weeks, I have been absolutely rocking. Part of it is the attitude of the customers (spring is here and that always changes attitudes, the stock market is climbing, GM didn't ask for any bailout money in March, etc.) but part of it is that I have still been trying to work hard and drum up business. Plus, not to pat myself on the back, I have learned a few things about selling cars over the years.
Here are a few random tips and tidbits that help me sell cars. Perhaps they could also work for you.
1) Stay away from negative people, negative talk, negative news, negative web sites and anything else that is negative.
2) Send postcards to your customers once every month or two. I sent out some postcards advertising the 0% last month and today, a previous customer from three years ago, called me from the card. They came up today and left in a new Chevrolet Cobalt. Postcards are easier for the customer to read than letters in envelopes and they are cheaper to send out ($0.27 instead of $0.42 each)
3) If you have a customer who wants more for their trade and you switch the conversation to payment and have some room where you can drop the payment while keeping the trade the same (rate, term, money down, etc.) the prevent a future objection from happening by saying something like this. "Mr. Customer, I know you want to be at $300 and we are at $350. I'll see what I can do with the payment but it may involve other factors besides your trade-in. As long as I can get the payment down to $300, you don't care how I do it, do you?"
4) Learn how to handle "I want to think about it" or any variation like "I want to go home and study it" etc. Say something like this. "Mr. Customer, I have learned that when someone says that they want to think about it, they usually want to think about the car, the equipment or the price. Which one are you going to be thinking about?" They will usually answer with price and you can overcome it by focusing on their budget (instead of the price) and if they answer with the car or equipment, you are probably on the wrong vehicle!
5) Try to avoid dealer trades at all costs. I will quite frankly rather drop the price a little rather than do a dealer trade. There are a ton of "little birdies" that will tweet little tweets in their heads while you spend a day or two getting a car for them from another dealership. You know what the little birdies will be tweeting to them?
- You are getting ripped off. I saw an ad in the paper that was $4000 less!
- My friend at this dealership (who gives me a birddog) can get you a better deal.
- You need to go look at a Ford instead (or Chevy if YOU sell Fords ;-)
- (Wife) Are you sure we need to spend all of that money?
- (Husband) Maybe I should get a Harley instead!
You get the picture.
6) Use a good greeting. "Hi, Welcome to Biff Motors! My name is George and you are...?"
When I walk into a place and someone welcomes me, I actually feel special even though I know that they are "supposed" to say that. Conversely, I order from a local pizza place and the people who answer the phone don't thank me for calling and sound like they hate their job. I'm sure it costs them business. People like doing business with people who appreciate them. Thank your people for calling!
7) Speaking of the phone, when you answer it SAY YOUR NAME! I can't stand when I call a business and they answer with one word like "PARTS" and I have to ask the name of the person I am talking-to.
8) Get a Mac computer! It won't crash, won't get viruses, won't slow down from ad-ware, is cool and will make you feel cool--that will help you sell more cars.