Consumers Want Product Experts, Not Salespeople

October 14, 2014

Here’s a news flash for you: car shoppers don’t want to talk with salespeople. Not only do they come to your dealership armed with more knowledge than most of your sales staff, they simply don’t trust auto dealers. Yet too many dealerships continue to stick with the old ways of trying to close the sale and neglect becoming product experts.

Lack of Trust
According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 91 percent of consumers said they don’t trust car salespeople. So they do what any wise person would do—they try to negotiate as low a price as possible or they walk away. And as I’ve previously explained, salespeople have been trained to negotiate to close the sale by discounting or else take a hit on their closing rates, in effect offering a “double discount.”

It’s that focus on “always be closing” that is keeping dealerships from building trust and adding value. When a shopper enters your dealership, they already know what they want. They’re simply there to find out why they should buy that particular car from you. But before they can get any of that information, a salesperson is usually hounding him or her for their phone number. No wonder the customer’s first reaction is typically, “Slow down. You’re moving too fast.”

Product Specialists Needed
That approach doesn’t foster trust or communicate value to the consumer. That’s because too many sales staffs aren’t equipped to collect customer information without sounding like the creep in the bar.

If you stick with the old ways of trying to close the sale, you’re not building trust or adding value. That’s why dealerships need to convert their salespeople to product specialists. How do you do that?

In my next post I’ll share a case study with you that demonstrates how one dealership was able to add value into every car sold and build trust in the process—without double discounting or chipping away at closing rates.