The Importance of Technical Knowledge in Modern Auto Sales Training

Technical knowledge is becoming increasingly more important in modern auto sales training. In the past it was sufficient for salesmen and women to be able to explain to customers how their cars should be serviced and answer general everyday questions such as what the carburetor does.

In fact, even these questions were few and far between because cars driven by gas (petroleum) powered internal combustion engine had not changed much since Karl Benz’s invention in 1885. Yes, various aspects of car design had changed significantly but not the way they were powered. Today we have alternatives.

Staff selling automobiles today must be trained in the differences between the various fuel types: gas, diesel, electric, LPG and whatever else is developed. The days are gone when new developments in automobiles and other vehicles take years to come into production, let alone become available to regular customers.

Potential Questions on Modern Automobile Technology

Here are some of the technical aspects of automobiles about which your sales staff are liable to be asked, and for which they will be expected to have expert knowledge.

  • What’s the difference between diesel and gas?
  • Is diesel cheaper than gas and are diesel cars harder to maintain that regular cars?
  • What’s a hybrid?
  • How do hybrid running costs compare to diesel and gas?
  • How do I change from gas to electric in a hybrid?
  • Where is the nearest electric car charging point to me?
  • Will an electric car get me to my work every day for less cost than another fuel?
  • What’s a hydrogen cell?
  • Are hybrids/electric/hydrogen cell cars easy to maintain – can I fix faults myself?

If you sell vehicles that use any of the above alternative energy sources then visitors to your dealership or car lot will expect you to be able to answer these questions – or questions like them. You can likely think of several more – perhaps through experience!

Importance of a Car Sales Course

Do you have a training course that helps your staff find out where to get this information? Do you teach your staff – or even yourself – these basic fundamentals of modern car technology? Or do you expect them to teach themselves? It is extremely important that your auto sales personnel are aware of each of the above auto fuel options and are able to answer questions about them. But that’s not all they must know!

Another aspect of auto sales knowledge that has changed in recent times is the interaction between prospect and salesperson. Has every member of your sales staff been trained in how to approach and communicate with a new visitor to your lot or showroom? If the first approach and interaction goes wrong, then you can forget about that prospect becoming a customer.

The days are well gone when you could take on a new salesmen or women with little or no sales experience and expect them to learn on the job. Effective auto sales personnel are now well-trained people who understand sales psychology as well as every car on the lot! They can answer questions on hybrids and power cells, and offer advice based on sound technical knowledge.

Sales Staff Auto Sales Training

However, it’s the approach that counts, and how auto sales personnel can interact with prospects that make the difference between a sale to a happy customer and a disgruntled prospect walking off the lot to go somewhere else. A car sales course can make the difference between success and failure, and by sending staff to an auto training course, you can make a significant improvement to your sales figures.

If you are an individual with a desire to make auto sales your chosen career, a recognized car sales course can make all the difference to you as well. By showing a prospective employer your course diploma, you will put yourself ahead of all those applicants without one.

So what is needed by successful car sales staff today – male or female? It is a knowledge of cars and their alternative power sources, and also proper training in how to sell the; how to approach visitors and convert them into new customers; how to retain the customers you have and how to send everybody way so impressed that they will sing your praises to everybody willing to listen! A car sales course can offer most of this – if not all!

Auto Sales Training – #1 Profit Leak – The Meet and Greet

We found that as many as 50% of the people coming to dealerships do not go through the sales process because they are lost in the very first step – the Meet and Greet. This happens when the salesperson says “can I help you?” or “What can I do for you today?” and the customer responds with, “I’m just looking.” Too many times this dialogue ends with the salesperson saying something like, “Ok, if you find anything you are interested in or have any questions let me know – I’ll be right over here.” If this happens 50% of the time and could be eliminated 100% of the time – sales can potentially double if all of the other steps of the sales process can be accomplished by that salesperson. The first thing attendees will learn is how to help the shopper shop on your lot for the purpose of continuing to move that shopper “through the sales process” in order to..

Help the customer shop smartly

Allow the salesperson and customer a chance to build rapport so that follow up and referrals can occur,

and, help turn shoppers into “Buyers” by putting everyone through the five step sales process.

MEET AND GREET

Choose a greeting that will not END with the customer shopping by themselves.

Example: “Hello, Welcome to ABC Nissan! Thanks for coming to visit us today. My name is Sam and whether you are just looking and have a few questions or you find something you like and want to take it home, I CAN DEFINITELY HELP YOU TODAY”. “Are you looking for a truck, SUV or car today?”

To keep control you have to keep asking questions.

If you use the suggested greeting provided here and the customer says “I am just looking” – Smile – Restate – your greeting starting with;

“I completely understand and that is why I said…whether you are looking and have a few questions or you find something you like and want to take it home, I CAN DEFINITELY HELP YOU TODAY.” – “Are you looking for a truck, SUV or car today?”

REMEMBER YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN. (Memorize this script for a greeting).

Mental focus in this step SMILE, SMILE, SMILE AND SMILE SOME MORE. Realize that you can help someone in any stage of their shopping experience, AND ALWAYS LOOK THE CUSTOMER IN THE EYE! You always need to have a smile on your face when meeting customers. A smile on your face will tend to get the same response from your customer. A smile will increase the opportunities of the customer liking you. A salesperson needs to make eye to eye contact with the customer in order to get their attention. NEVER WEAR SUNGLASSES WHEN MEETING A CUSTOMER! If a customer cannot see your eyes then you cannot make “CONTACT.”

THE SHOPPER – Sometimes you will be faced with the customer that insists that they are only there to shop. How do you effectively respond to this statement and bring the customer back into the SALES PROCESS without the customer becoming offended.

ROLE PLAY:

” Hello, Welcome to San Diego Nissan! Thanks for coming to visit us today. My name is Sam and whether you are just looking and have a few questions or you find something you like and want to take it home, I CAN DEFINITELY HELP YOU TODAY. Are you looking for a truck, SUV or car today?”

“We are just shopping.”

“I completely understand and that is why I said…whether you are looking and have a few questions or you find something you like and want to take it home, I CAN DEFINITELY HELP YOU TODAY.” – “Are you looking for a truck, SUV or car today?”

If customer is negative or unresponsive to your first two attempts, the customer may still say something such as:

“Like we said, we are just looking.” 2nd time.

“All I will do today is assist you in gathering information. I’m sure you have taken the time to consider what is important to you such as equipment, model, price, color, trade-in value, financing options, payments, etc. What is the most important thing to you for your next purchase? Payments, price, color, room, horsepower?

Listen – then ask…What…Why…How… to get all of the information needed. What price range or monthly payment range were you considering?

– Were you looking for a sports car, sedan, van, truck or SUV?

– What colors were you considering?

– Do you have a vehicle that you are planning on trading?

– Do you know how much you owe for your trade? To whom?

– Do you have financing pre-arranged or would you like for me to provide you financing options and information?

– How long have you been shopping?

– What other models are you considering? Have you driven them?” (Key question for selling “your” test drive,).

Sales Training – The ABCD of Closing the Sale

If you have been in sales for any length of time I am sure you will have heard of a book or a process called ‘The ABC of Selling’. The ABC is quite simple. It stands for Always Be Closing.

Over the years it has become a well-known selling mantra. You may already know where it emanates from and if you don’t, by now I’m guessing you know what’s coming.

Yes that’s right it’s American.

So, given that most sales training materials and one of the most influential sales books ever comes from the States and, if we can agree that UK and European citizens don’t like to be sold to, it should be no surprise to learn that most people in the UK dislike salespeople as most of them have been trained in a manner that is inappropriate to our fundamental cultural requirements. In other words, no wonder we have such a bad reputation!

The British are different

British people (and in this I include most Europeans and anyone from Delhi to Cape Town via Kingston, Jamaica whose origins are culturally British), respond to salespeople along a line that starts at caution and proceeds through suspicion to outright hostility. We want things; of course we do, and most of us have had to sell at some point in our lives; Britain is among the greatest trading nations on earth. But as individuals we value our privacy, and unashamed ABC selling is invasive.

Always Be Closing assaults our finer sensibilities. We are the modest virgins of the sales world, who must be wooed with a consultative approach. Being talked at by someone who is overtly aiming for a sale turns us well and truly off. We want to feel that we are in control and that we are getting what we want. Not what the seller wants to sell to us.

I am British and I have chosen to make my living for past 30 years in sales. I know, as you know, that ABC does not work. What you do not know, although happily I do, is that there is another approach that does work. I’ve called it ABCD.

I learned by trial and error and some may say I learned the hard way. I disagree because I have loved every single moment of it. However, if you had asked me thirty years ago; Tony, here is a short cut through some of the trials and errors. Would you like it? I would probably take your hand of at the shoulder.

So, I decided to write this book to help professional salespeople like you and I to appreciate the subtle differences we have to make in our sales approach in order to succeed in the UK and European environment.

And the first lesson you have to learn is this:

The role of a British salesperson is not to ‘sell’ in the American sense. If you want to sell to British customers (and most European customers that have somehow acquired the famous British reserve), you have to do something different.

You have to create demand!

ABCD

My ABCD stands for………….. ‘Always Be Creating DEMAND.

Call it Desire, if you like. I often do. In our job we are contacting, networking, following up, and our aim is never to concentrate on the close: our challenge is to create demand for what we offer.

Everything we say and do should ensure we increase the amount of desire the customer has to do business with us, so much so I believe we can safely say, “It is not our job to SELL, it is our job to make customers want to buy from us!” Call it facilitating the buying process if you like.

Once that’s done, closing is the easiest part of the job. In fact, if you create enough demand, you don’t ever need to close. The client or customer does not need to be “closed on”. Like an expertly created meal, when it is done, it is done. No further work required.