You are usually at your best when you start a relationship with a person you might want to spend your life with.

You dress to the nines, your manners are impeccable, you go to nice restaurants, movies, the theatre and concerts.

If everything is going great with this person, you eventually introduce him or her to friends and family. You show this person all the great reasons why you are “the only person” for them. And when the time is right, you get married.

This is what is known as selling the whole package.

Selling the whole package to a customer follows similar steps. Proper introduction. Contact questions. Presentation. Demonstration. Clarifications. You show them all of the benefits of yourself.

You introduce them to your family, you ask them if they will marry you, and eventually sign the contract. (Well, similar to that, anyway.)

It's simply building a relationship, and then showing all the benefits of you and your dealership.

There are three main reasons why an average customer will purchase a vehicle from a particular dealership.

First is the sales person, second is the vehicle, and the third is the dealership.

So, if these three are important to the potential customer, why do we often glide over the dealership component in our sales presentations?

It's common practice, when customers pick up their new vehicles, to show them the service department and tell them how great the dealership is. It puzzles me why some sales people do it then, not earlier.

Do the service and parts departments and history of the dealership matter to the potential buyer? You bet they do. So, don't overlook these critical sales elements.

When should they first be highlighted?

Some trainers say at the beginning of the selling steps. But most customers aren't concerned with that from a sales person at this point.

The customer and you must build some rapport and get an educated idea of what they are looking for. The customer knows your dealership is worthwhile. If he or she had heard bad things about the dealership, they wouldn't be there.

Three-step process on selling the whole package

Step one

After the demonstration drive, clarification is critical. Make sure this is the right vehicle.

Ask the customer:

“Did you enjoy the ride and all of the features?” If everything is OK, proceed. If there is something wrong, clarify and handle the concern.

Then ask the customer:

“Follow me please, I would like to share some more information with you.” Do not ask them if they would like to come inside and put in an offer, work out some numbers or write it up. You will break everything you have accomplished to this point if you say the wrong thing here. Just invite them to follow you.

Step two

As the customer accompanies you, take them to your service/parts section and explain everything about the great work and customer service awards your dealership has won. Explain how they would book a service appointment, how your service shuttle system works, hours of operation, etc.

The best sales people do this without thinking twice. Remember sell everything!

Step three

Offer the customer a beverage.

Ask them:

“What do you take in your coffee?”

While you are preparing their beverage, tell them about the history of your dealership, special awards, charity donations, sponsorships of local sporting teams, a little background on the founder, etc.

If your store lacks a special wall or area where all of the dealership's accomplishments are displayed, create one. Ask the owner or general manager if you can organize this project.

You can also put together a testimonial book, showing reference letters from customers and any local newspaper articles on your dealership. Get the manufacturer to supply a letter stating your dealership's good deeds and accomplishments. Include that letter. Such a book is an excellent sales tool for waiting areas and sales offices.

Selling all of the benefits of your dealership installs mental ownership and your commitment to all of your customers. It shows the customer where they will be servicing their new vehicle, where everything is and how things are done.

It makes the customer reconfirm why they are going to buy from you and your dealership. It also makes them more comfortable when they return for service and to buy another vehicle.

Make the customer part of your dealership family. The more we give it a personal touch, the more we will receive.

Meeting wrap up

The customer is buying the whole package: You, the vehicle and the dealership.

Just like in your serious personal relationships, don't hold back. Show them all the reasons you're the one for them.

Darin B. George is founder of the Automotive Sales College which offers auto sales training to and at dealerships He's at 888-681-7355 or