Decisions all Customers Make

As a salesperson it is a good idea to take a step back and put ourselves in our customer’s shoes, to view the perceptions that our customers have and to take a look at what our businesses and processes look like from their eyes. For example, as a salesman and trainer for an auto dealership group I want step over the curb so to speak and view what buying a car may be like to the average person. This view may look something like this:

I approach the dealership, I am a little nervous because the last time I did this it was a real challenge trying to find a salesperson that I liked and felt comfortable with. I tell the salesperson who has greeted me that “I’m just looking”  to keep them at arm’s length so that I can take my time and look around. But after brushing off the first salesperson now I can’t find one to answer my questions let alone to give me a product presentation and demonstration ride so I leave and go to another dealership. I finally find a car that I like and a salesperson that is friendly I buy it from them. I figured they would stay in touch since I told them that I would need another car in a year or so. Great thought but no such luck! I need that new car now and the salesperson hasn’t contacted me and I can’t remember their name or find their card, so it’s back to square one, but I don’t mind because it sure is fun owning a new car. I ‘m excited about getting that new car and have been wanting it for a while and have been coming up with all the reasons to justify the purchase….I mean there is the guilt of spending the money, I could really hold on to the old car a little longer and money is a little tight right now, but so what it always is, so I take a deep breath and step on the lot again and hope I get a nice salesperson to answer all my questions. Yes, I have lots of questions. I need to know models, equipment, color availability, price, payments, interest rates and trade values but there are really only five questions that I have to answer for myself.

1. “Is this the RIGHT product for me?” I know these are good cars but what about the competitors? All the manufactures are making good cars and I have heard good things about them as well.
2. “Do I NEED all these features?” Yeah all these features are cool, the sunroof, satellite radio and navigation system, but how much are they raising the cost and do I really need them?
3. “I wonder if this is the right PLACE to get my new car.” Service is going to be important to me. I thought the other dealer was going to be the right place but look what happened when I needed help after the sale.
4. “Can I AFFORD it; am I getting my money’s worth?” I like the car the color and equipment but it is a big investment. I’m probably going to have to spend the next five years paying for it, is it worth it?
5. “WHEN should I buy my new car?” Is today the right day or should I wait till the end of the month or wait until next year when the new models come out?

So you can see customers are anxious, nervous, excited and cautious all at the same time, and it is completely understandable since it is such a major decision. How well a job you do answering these questions will determine if you get the sale or not. As a salesperson you have to tailor you product presentation and demonstrations to answer these questions before they are vocalized, just know that all of your customers will have these concerns. So let’s take a quick look on how we can begin to answer these questions for our guests.

1. “Is this the RIGHT product for me?” If we do a good needs analysis with our guests this will give us the opportunity to tailor our presentations to show the customer how it fulfills the dominate buying motives that they might have.
2. “Do I NEED all these features?” Once we have determined what the guests dominate buying motives are we can then determine if the options are “needs or wants” and then in our presentation begin to fit the options into their life.
3. “I wonder if this is the right PLACE to get my new car.” This is the opportunity to not only tell the guest about our locations, reputations and service departments but we should show them those departments and introduce them to the staff that will be taking care of them after the sale.
4. “Can I AFFORD it; am I getting my money’s worth?” Of all the concerns price isn’t the major factor, important yes but not the most important, because it isn’t about price but more about value. If as a salesperson you present the features and benefits of those features and the guest wants the car more than their pile of money most will justify the purchase.
5. “WHEN should I buy my new car?” Of all the concerns this is the biggest unknown and the hardest one to control. But if we as a salesperson answer the first four concerns perform a great value building presentation, demonstration and service walk the “I need to think about it” can turn into a purchasing decision today.

Though I have used the example here of purchasing an automobile these same concerns will come up in any major purchasing decision whether it is a house, boat, or electronic device.  Just do a good job of uncovering the customers discontent, solve that problem and you will increase your sales.

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