In last month’s article, I opened with the thought that one of the reasons salespeople fail to make a connection with online customers is the continued use of outdated responses to shopper questions and concerns. These responses fail to influence customers because these days customers are exposed to volumes more information than ever before and they can easily see through inaccuracies or insincerity.
In my opinion, the best and easiest way to establish rapport with an educated customer is the use of reason and logic in the context of a consultative relationship. Today, customers have access to pricing information, once held sacred, and even more information in the form of product reviews and prior customer experiences.
There is no more wool to pull over anyone’s eyes, not that we intentionally did it before, but this certainly was the customer’s perception. It’s proven by the fact that customers frequently rated purchasing a car as one of their most undesirable and anxiety-inducing chores. Now more than ever, all things being equal, the way to influence your customer is by providing more value.
A big part of providing value to the customer is in the buying experience. Vehicles now are shopped as a mere commodity, meaning dealerships have to find another way to separate themselves from the competition. The difference can be found in the services provided by your dealership above and beyond the competition. However, even this is becoming difficult as dealers frequently offer many of the same services, such as free loaner cars, no cost service interval oil changes, local shuttle service and more.
One aspect of the car-shopping process that cannot be duplicated is the experience you offer consumers during the purchase of their new vehicle. We recognize this in the constant reevaluation of our sales process to better satisfy customer needs. We’re always looking for the Holy Grail to make the process faster and more satisfying based on what we know to be important to the customer through various poll and survey results.
There is always the potential to do it better and that comes from communicating in-line with the buying motivations of your customer. Not only does being “in tune” inherently offer a closer connection, it allows us to tailor responses to critical questions in a way the customer can relate to. Ultimately, this makes shoppers’ feel heard and understood which builds rapport.
Customers are motivated by saving time, leveling the playing field, solving a problem, staying in their comfort zone and the possibility that taking a different road to the solution might offer them a better than expected result. The cardinal rule for structuring your response in a way that aligns with the customer’s buying motivations is to “reinforce their motive for electing to do business this way” as outlined above.
I invite you to e-mail me your greatest challenges, so we can specifically address those most important to you. Please forward to firstname.lastname@example.org.