I walked into a men's clothing store, and was greeted with, “Hi how are you today.” I said, “Great.” Then the sales person asked, “Do you need any help?” And of course I said, “No, that's ok. I'll just look around.”

I did. Five minutes later I walked out. I went to look in another men's clothing store, where I was greeted with “Welcome to Hugo Boss, my name is Tommy Oh. Are you looking for a new suit or something casual?”

He followed that up with probing questions (contact/qualifying questions). An hour later, I was the new owner of a suit, two shirts and three pairs of socks, thanks to Mr. Oh's professional introduction to his store.

Have any of you every experienced a similar scenario? If so, think about how your sales people or you are introducing yourselves at the dealership. Are you doing it properly every time? Are you asking the right contact questions immediately after the introduction? Are you building rapport and trying to figure out what type of buyer you are dealing with?

Selling cars need not be a difficult career. But for untrained auto sales people simple things like the introduction and contact questions are why they only sell six cars a month. These “sales” people ultimately quit the industry and/or get fired from the dealership.

This month's sales meeting is on how to start right, professionally every time.

Here are common bad introductions:

  • Can I help you?

  • Hi! How are you today?

  • Good morning! Is there anything I can help you with?

  • Hi! How can I be of service to you today?

  • Good evening! Is there anything you're looking for?

  • Beautiful day isn't it?

Do any of these sound familiar? What can and does happen with any one of these introductions? Right! A negative or bland response from the customer.

An experienced sales person can usually say almost any type of introduction and rebound from it, but new sales people have to learn it right from day one. If you want the best sales people, educate them and practice. The rest will fall into place, quickly.

Darin's formula for professional salesmanship: Education + Practice + Consistency + Self-Control = A Professional Sales Person

To be consistent in selling vehicles, you must have a game plan. Every customer has a game plan when they enter your dealership, so should you. The follow is the start to your game plan. Use it on every customer and person that enters the dealership. This is not new. I have not reinvented the wheel. But it works.

Smile

“Welcome to ABC Dealership”

“My name is Darin George and your name is?”

If last name is not given:

“And your last name is?”

The reason you do this proper introduction every time is to avoid a negative response. It allows you to lead into your contact questions. Of all the selling steps, the first one has the most impact, because you will never have an opportunity to make that critical first impression again.

With this in mind, make sure your first contact is your best. Always dress in a professional manner. Smile — Customers won't deal with someone they don't like and a smile is always the best way to introduce yourself in a positive light. People like individuals who are like themselves, so mirror their posture, actions and manner of speaking.

After the initial introduction, make sure you write down the customer's name, but do it without them knowing it. There is nothing more embarrassing than calling someone by the wrong name. And people love to hear their name said.

Important note:

DO NOT hand out your business card during your introduction.

WHY? Because in your introduction your business card has no value, until you do. When you go on a scheduled business meeting with someone you are meeting for the first time, each person will, upon his or her introduction, exchange business cards.

But the majority of the customers you meet on the dealership lot do not have a scheduled meeting set with you. The timing in handing out your business card is critical. Earn the right, build value in yourself and your business card. Be patient.

Darin's wrap up

How you start with a customer will determine where you will end up, so start right. Remember slow back swing, keep your eye on the ball and follow through.


Darin B. George runs the Automotive Sales College that trains new and experienced sales people. He also conducts sales seminars for dealerships and manufacturers. The college is looking for trainers and dealership facilitators. He's at 1-888-681-7355 and ascanada@sprint.ca.