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The Art of SALES:(Part 2) Buying a Car Today

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 by Tom Zulanas

In our car buying experience, my wife and I drove up to Stevinson Toyota West and quickly met our saleman: Tony.  He's a nice, professional sales person and welcomed us as we got out of our car.

Do you know WHY your customers buy from you?

Cars at Stevinson Toyota WestI'm still going through WHY we chose Stevinson Toyota West.  Even though we have lived in Denver for over 13 years, Stevinson Toyota West is located in Lakewood, CO.  That's a good 20+ miles away and we have a number of other dealerships that are closer.

We have bought a number of vehicles (autos & trucks) over the years from different dealerships (i.e. Fords, Dodges, Hondas, Lincolns, etc.).  But, our last two purchases have been at Stevinson Toyota West.  

In talking with Tony, he had pointed out that he was our sales person before.  I didn't really remember two years ago when we bought our Corolla.  Some customers like my sister in-law, knows her auto sales person and sees them every other year.

But even before we had stopped at Stevinson Toyota, I remember the various TV and radio advertisements that had Kent Stevinson doing a car commercial with Joe Sakic & the Colorado Avalanche.  Kent had a couple of other goofy commercials showing he does have a heart; perplexing a doctor as Kent says he sells cars.

I think Katie likes the idea of meeting the owner of the business; Kent Stevinson is the President of their family business (...note: women buyers are particularly informed consumers - wanting to see & know the truth about products, services & businesses - they do their research - reading reviews - both good & bad).  It was reassuring, to see Mr Stevinson outside of work, being the same, genuine, honest and good nature type of guy as his is on television.  One of my good, local business consultant & friend: Chuck Blakeman says, people LIKE to do business with people they LIKE!

That is so true!  When I buy tires, I go to my friend Joe Montijo's store - Big O Tires (store # 6090 - 9009 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 80215).  I buy Goodyear Tires because my cousin Rick works as a plant engineer for Goodyear.  You probably have your list too - who you LIKE doing business with as well.

Beyond why we wanted to go to Stevinson Toyota West, I will say: The MAIN #1 reason: ...we (as a customer) feel we are getting a good value, treated fairly & honestly.  When we (as consumers) don't feel this value - we tend to keep our eyes and ears open to other suggestions & continue to shop.

The BIG customer survey question: "Would we BUY again from this business?" or, "Would you tell a friend about this business?" ...with my kids, I ask the survey question: "Would you buy Mom or Dad one of these?"

BEFORE BUYING, your SALES Team has ONLY 3 seconds; Starting NOW!

StopwatchIt's said that people make a FIRST IMPRESSION within 3 seconds. Thinking about how your Sales Team or Sale person meets their customer matters a lot.

For Auto dealerships, the Sales Team is typically outside, waiting to welcome a customer to the business as they get out of their car.  Some other businesses rely on a phone call, or today, email.  As a business owner, you want to keep this in mind.

 ...after Tony's greeting, (of course, comes the typical sales qualifying question:) "What brings you in today?"

Sales processes for mature businesses are well established.  The businesses tend to have some well-trained, experience & successful sales people.  These sales people get into building a relationship with customers very quickly.  For us (Katie & I), we already know what we want, have an idea about price, are open and ready for to the sales pitch; and can breeze through the process.

But, what some business owners might miss; or, they will soon discover ...if they haven't spent enough time thinking through their sales process - NEW customers will have different needs & may fall through the cracks of your process.  Such as potential customers may not be ready to buy - they are just looking for information.  Is your sales process ready to deliver that?  How do you track those potential customers in your system - or do you just rely on your sales team to do that for you?

Do you have the SHARKS swimming at your Front Door?

Sharks swimmingLet me back-up for a second; you business depends on SALES.  Thinking through your sales process, not only from your business standpoint - but, from your customer's view is Key to the success of your business model.

If your customer views your group of sales people outside (despite the way you have set up your system) entering a Shark-tank & Deep Water would be no surprise if they just get back into their car and speed out of your car-lot!  Many friends suggested the safest time to go shopping for a car is on Sunday - when all of the Auto Dealers are CLOSED!  What they are saying to me indirectly, don't trust an auto sales person; they're SHARKS!  ...but, I'm use to swimming with Sharks and watch Sharktank on television.

Compare that to a different model: when you enter into a Walmart or Sam's Club, you most likely will meet only 1 Greeter.  All they do is to say "Hello!" and helping you get a shopping cart.  Same thing happens at fancy restaurants, you're greeted by the host/hostest ...and they personally will take your name & have you escorted to your table.  Lately, as I go to Home Depot on the weekend, it seems they are moving toward this Walmart model - having a greeter at the front door.

So, the other BIG Question: What is the Impression customers get from Your Web-site?

Your website may have information about your products, services, times, etc. for those inexperience buyers. But, if you haven't spent the time going through your site like they will ...they may be also leaving; never to return (and you missed your opportunity).

We, at MediaTrik will help you in this process - looking at your operation and giving you some other critical feedback - what works, what doesn't & how we can improve your business.

Isn't that what you really want from a business partner - how to keep improving your business?

Leave a comment - email us at MediaTrik   or CALL at (720) 663-7669