Article

Check Mate: Selling an Analytical Customer

September 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Brian Barfield - Also by this author


Last time, I shared with you three keys to successfully selling a demanding customer. This time, we move forward to selling the analytical customer. In order to successfully sell these customers, you must bring your “A” game to the sale.

The analytical customer can take many shapes and forms. They could be the intellectual who knows a lot about cars. On the other hand, they could be the uneducated customer who desires information. These customers are totally opposite in that respect, yet one thing remains consistent when you sell an analytical customer—a thirst for knowledge. These customers require a tremendous amount of focus and mental energy in order to meet their needs. Many sales associates shy away from selling an analytical customer because they do not have the skill or patience to meet their needs.

The first skill needed to find success with an analytical customer is product knowledge. To satisfy an analytical customer, you must know your product well. Make sure you take the time to learn about every product you sell. For those of you just starting out, I encourage you to turn over an analytical customer to someone who is more familiar with the product you are selling. The old saying that half of something is better than nothing at all certainly rings true here. You will not find success with an analytical customer without the proper product knowledge. After you turn them over, make sure you stick around and listen to the more skilled associate. Soak up the information they are sharing and learn something new. The next time the opportunity arises, you may be ready to sell on your own.

Have you ever played the game of chess before? Chess is a fun game, but it can be very exhausting. The mental process needed to be successful is tremendous. You often find yourself anticipating your opponent’s moves in order to defeat them. The next skill needed to sell an analytical customer is vision. Selling an analytical customer is very much like playing chess. You must have vision and anticipate every move they could possibly make. By having vision and being prepared, you will find yourself declaring checkmate more often than your analytical customer.

One thing that is important to remember is that your analytical customer is also playing mental chess with you. Be careful not to focus solely on anticipating their moves. You must also be careful of your own moves. Make sure you do not give your customer the advantage by playing too conservatively. Do not be afraid to use all your skilled pieces and attack. These “skilled pieces” are all the selling skills you have obtained so far, like compliments, serving your customers, creating obligation, etc. Use your full arsenal of weapons until your analytical customer surrenders and purchases.

The final skill I will share with you is rather difficult for me. It is patience. In order to successfully sell an analytical customer, you must have plenty of patience. Not every sale will have to be a marathon, but you must always prepare yourself. It is important to keep in mind that the analytical customer will require specific questions to be answered in order to feel satisfied enough to buy. Take a moment and think of an area in which you might feel vulnerable. Whenever I take my car to be repaired, I assume they are going to rip me off. I feel this way because I know very little about cars or the maintenance required. I want them to show me exactly what they are fixing in order to feel comfortable in proceeding with the repair. It is much the same way in closing an analytical customer. They must feel comfortable that their questions are answered completely.

In closing, you need to remember that knowing your product, having vision and being patient are three important keys to finding success with an analytical customer. Next month, we will finish the four customer types with the simple-minded customer. Every customer you sell has the potential to be a simple-minded customer. By knowing how to sell each customer type properly, you will see your customers in a new light as everything becomes crystal clear in the master plan.

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