Article

Market Data v. Product Data

August 2009, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Kirk Manzo - Also by this author

Which will you choose?


The best salesperson at the dealership does not even work in the sales department. They work in the F&I office. The ability to effectively present intangible products and services is a very specialized skill set.

In order to identify some of those critical skills, we must first begin to understand the dynamic of how the customer thinks. In every sales opportunity, a sale will be made. The only questions will be: Who is going to accept the role of the seller, and who will become the buyer?

The customer will have a well-prepared story about why they should not buy. This begs the question, are you going to buy their story (objections), or will they buy your story of why they must have this coverage? Does your presentation educate your customers so they understand that leaving the dealership without these protections would be unthinkable?

Let’s examine four key questions every prospect has in their mind upon meeting you.

1. Can I trust you? Your customer wants to know, do you really have my best interests in mind, or are you just here to make a sale? This is why a proper interview and using rapport-building questions to establish common ground with your buyer is so important.

Action item: Take out a note pad and list 10 new ways to build better rapport with your customers.

2. What’s in it for me, and can you prove it? American Idol may be the most watched program on television, but the most listened-to radio station has not changed in years: WII-FM. This is the station they listen to while at the dealership and in your office. Here is where your story (presentation) must focus not on the products, but rather on how the customer will be better off for having purchased the protections you are offering. An evidence manual will go a long way towards proving your case.

Action Item: Contact five previous customers and request testimonial letters to add to your evidence manual. If you do not have an evidence manual, then make one this week.

3. Will the product really give me what I want and need? Customers are much more willing to invest time to be educated than to  sit down to be sold something. Your presentation, or story, must include details about the financial risks associated with not having protection. These should come from third-party sources. Articles in magazines and reports from industry and government sources can be easily found on the Internet. This market data will be much more compelling than any product data you have used previously. Chet Holmes’ book “The Ultimate Sales Machine” is an excellent guide to assist you in building your story.

Action item: Update your existing evidence manual with current market data (articles) on the programs you offer. Spend one hour each week searching the Internet for compelling market data.

4. Do I really need this product now? Top performing salespeople from all industries were interviewed and studied to identify what made them the best. You would think it might be because they had better closing techniques and general sales ability. The results indicated it actually had very little to do with how they sold their products and services, as it accounted for only 20 percent. The vast majority (80 percent) was attributed to why they were even offering the product. If your “why” is big enough, you will prevail.

Action Item: Examine the products you currently offer. Which one are you most successful selling? List all the reasons you believe in this product. Is it a result of a personal experience with the benefits of coverage or perhaps witnessing a significant impact on a past customer?

People are motivated by two different kinds of pressure, external and internal. The media and salespeople provide external pressure or influence to buy. Internal pressure is born from an innate desire to buy your product. Which do you think is more powerful?

You see, we all really want the same thing, to avoid pain or discomfort and gain pleasure or security. Some might call it peace of mind, but in the end, we need to feel safe about making a decision.

If people do not buy, it’s because they associate more pain to buying than not buying. If someone buys, it’s because they associate more pleasure to buying than not buying. You must simply educate them on the positive consequences of buying and the negative consequences if they do not.

 Vol. 6 Issue 7

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