Believe it or not, sometimes car salesmen get a bad rap. Bad apples have propagated a stigma of being pushy, loud and too eager to sell. There may be some truth to that, but times have changed. Car salesmen are being confronted with savvier customers, armed with the power of the internet. Shady practices become harder to pull off when you couple this new factor with a downed economy.
So how is it possible that high-end cars like Dodge Rams and Chevy Camaros are still driving off the lots in droves? The key: a savvy car salesmen dealing with even savvier customers knows exactly what to do. Let’s explain:
- Pricey Can Still Be Practical. You often hear customers say they want a practical car. They imagine a car that is big enough to hoist the family around, carry their all their stuff and will lighten up their pocketbook at the gas pump. Advancements in engineering and technology are producing cars that are highly fuel efficient, safer and come with excellent warranties. Even a Porsche comes in a hybrid. New technology isn’t cheap. Don’t believe for a minute that a salesman has to put you in a Camaro to make a commission.
- Don’t Automatically Assume Your Customer’s Preferences or Buying Tastes. You’d be surprised how many young people can actually afford a high-end vehicle. These are new employees entering the workforce, starting new lives, making a statement about themselves. Think about members of the armed forces or government workers. You’ll also find gray-headed senior drivers who will hand you a check and happily drive off your car lot, styling in aviator sunglasses with the top down on their new Corvette.
Of course, you’ll have that customer who can only cough up $15,000 or less. So their choices will then to be limited to the basics. However, if you’ve got a customer willing to spend $30,000 on a car, that’s the time to show him the sunroof, rear-view parking cameras and infotainment systems. For some people, the kind of car they own is more important than the size of their home or whether or not they take a vacation that year.
- Aint Nothing Like the Test Drive. Cars are like clothes in a department store. It looks good on the mannequin, but how does it feel when you try it on? Believe it or not, there are customers who’ve never been behind the wheel of a car other than the one they inherited from Grandpa Joe. Once they grip the steering wheel, shift the vehicle into drive and tap the pedal, a car can suddenly feel fast and fun and rekindle something in that person they haven’t felt in a long time. Why not be the one to help them re-ignite that?
But must of all, you’ve got to listen to the customer and listen some more. Don’t be in such a hurry to sell that you forget to find out who they’re buying the car for, why they need it, and the kind of options they might be interested in. Remember this: options matter. So even if you don’t sell them that hot new Stingray, they may be willing to buy a less expensive car with a sports package or an upgraded sound system.
Selling a high-end vehicle in a tough economy can be challenging but not impossible. It’s takes an open mind from the customer and the salesman.