Selling Never Stops! Increasing your Personal Market Share through Outside Prospecting.

November 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Will Parquette - Also by this author

OK, the dealership is closed, or your shift is over and you’re on your way home. The selling job is done for the day, right? No! Many of your off-duty activities and personal relationships can provide business opportunities, if you’re prepared. Today’s competitive marketplace makes it very difficult to rely strictly on new floor traffic. Developing good prospecting skills can help make a difference.

How can this be possible? It’s because people love to talk about cars – the car they just bought, the car they want to buy, what’s wrong with their present car and the good or bad experiences they’ve had with dealerships. Cars can always start a conversation. By preparing and positioning yourself for these opportunities, you can produce your own customers by becoming an expert at Outside Prospecting.

It all starts with attitude and confidence – a friendly, non-confrontational approach that conveys your pride in being a Professional Automobile Sales Consultant. Your job is important because every single vehicle on the road was bought from someone! Consider these advantages of outside prospecting versus the usual showroom sit-and-wait:

  • You control the conversation
  • You have the advantage of a neutral setting
  • You can develop rapport long before the product is addressed
  • The Customer will remember you and be half-sold before ever visiting you at the dealership
  • Outside prospecting creates the opportunity to separate yourself from the rest of the salesperson “pack”
  • You will have more time to prepare selection and presentation of the vehicle
  • Higher closing ratio
  • Build clientele and reputation off the lot while offering service above expectations

Here’s how to build your prospecting skills. First of all, always be ready and proud to introduce yourself as a Professional Automobile Sales Consultant. Follow this up by asking the person you just met, this ONE SIMPLE QUESTION: “What do you drive?” This is a sure-fire way to get the car conversation started without seeming pushy or using a sales “pitch.”

Here are a few tips to remember when prospecting off the clock:

  • Work your spheres of influence (friends, relatives, clubs and activities).
  • Keep business cards on you at ALL TIMES!
  • Be ready, willing and able to hand out cards and introduce yourself.
  • Be proud; be professional. You are a valued CONSULTANT.
  • Say, “I assist my clients in making one of their most significant lifetime purchases.”
  • Keep cars in the conversation; people love to talk about them
  • Offer assistance with their needs - Say, “Let me do the legwork for you.”
  • Bring the car to them – whenever possible.
  • Keep it casual, offering an alternative, less stressful car shopping experience.
  • Follow up! Do what you said you would do. (This part never changes!)
Put yourself into a prospecting mindset. Use your time outside of the dealership wisely. Add outside prospecting to your daily work routine, and watch your business and clientele grow!
Vol 3, Issue 10

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