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Customers don't buy products and services, and sales people don't sell products and services. Customers buy solutions to problems they can feel emotionally. Sales people are the conduit that helps customers discover those emotional solutions.
People buy from people. Customers generally do business with people they like and trust. Your customers don't walk out of your dealership telling you that they bought from you because you are a jerk. Customers can get vehicles anywhere. Most of you are not selling a rare commodity. Therefore the decision criteria of a customer are based upon money, me and machine (product / service). However, you are the secret ingredient. You have the power to influence the perception of the customer about you, the machine and the money.
A customer will move through three stages of the selling process – Character / Trust, Emotion and Logic. People have to like and trust you, then they allow you to guide them to emotions that eventually combine with logic. Emotion distorts reality. That's why everyday customers buy and then tell you that they did not plan to buy today.
The number one reason people buy is and always will be confidence. Confidence they feel in the money, me and machine that you give them. Therefore the most empowering decision you can ever make as a sales person is accept full responsibility for every sale made or lost.
Once you accept full responsibility for winning and losing and eliminate the easily accepted notion that it's about price, you become an incredibly powerful, winning sales person. If you allow one excuse for losing into your subconscious it opens the door for a million excuses. Weak sales people raise skinny kids. Eliminate all excuses such as price and watch your sales take off.
If price is the issue, what can you do to influence the price or the decision? Practice apples to oranges selling. If everybody else is showing the customer apples, you show them better apples and show them oranges, as well. Always think HFG – Hope for Gain. What is the customer trying to accomplish and how can I apply to their sense of HFG.
How will the first stage of your engagement with the customer set you apart and influence the customer? Most customers decide to buy from you in 15 seconds to two minutes. The decision is made about you long before they ever make a decision about price. If you are in retail sales, try this greeting: "Hi folks, are you out beginning to look and shop around?" What are they going to say, "No we are just looking and shopping?" Be proactive. Take the objection away up front and make the customer feel at ease while you do it. Nobody else is greeting the customer this way.
Most sales people operate out of the same gene pool. If you do this you eventually become a homogenized, generic sales person. What follows are bad results, lots of price shoppers, low sales, low incomes and eventually a bad case of excuses. Never forget that everything you do makes a difference.
Before any customer leaves, are you and your manager "walking the wheel"? "Walking the wheel" is a phrase I use to remind us to explore all avenues. Bigger choice, smaller choice, different product or service, new to used, used to new, demonstrator model, longer term, cash back, delay payment, pay off the remaining payments on their current product, trade another product, etc. How hard do you fight for every sale? Persistent = consistent.
Winning at sales is simply a choice. You can choose to win or choose to lose. Once you choose, you become the sales person you have decided to be at the given moment.