When people walk into a car dealership, they usually do so with a sense of trepidation. They expect aggressive salespeople, pressure tactics and a generally unpleasant experience. Some people would rather go through an IRS audit than shop for a car. They will do all kinds of things to protect themselves from the maneuvers of the car salesman.
It doesn’t have to be this way. This happens because “old school” salesmen have used pressure tactics for years and they have worked. They teach the young guys that this is how it works. They become managers and require such tactics of their salespeople. But does it really work?
Certainly pressure will get some people to sign on the line, but will they want to come back? When it come times to replace that car in a few years, they’ll shop around again. Why would you be loyal to a dealership that treated you like a piece of meat on a conveyer belt? So the customer will shop around again, get abused again, and the cycle continues.
This is not how I sell. I don’t sell with pressure for two reasons. First, I don’t do it because I don’t like it. I do not want to come in to work everyday and cause stress to nice people. Second, it doesn’t work. I don’t just want to force someone to buy a car today. I want to give them a pleasant experience. A customer who has a pleasant experience is easier to work with, they don’t worry if there’s a slight delay to meet with the Business Manager. They give us a good review online. They tell their friends and family. Most importantly, when the time comes for their next car, they won’t need to shop around. They’ll know that they can call me again and get the same good treatment.
I had one customer a few weeks ago say that buying a car is usually like going to the proctologist, but buying one from me was a pleasant and easy experience. Another customer had such a good experience that she gave me a $50 gift card as a thank you.
A lot of people in the industry think that customers only care about price and that they’ll go down the street for $5. This is true, if and only if, you have not treated the customer right. If you abuse them and pressure them, they’ll go down the street to pay $5 more, if only to be treated right. I have customers who come in, experience the way I work, and still shop around because that’s how they buy a car. However, when they go, I am confident that they will come back, because I know unfortunately that the other salespeople they will encounter have yet to learn this lesson. I’ve had customers offered a better price elsewhere still come back because it is worth it to people to be treated right.
I don’t know about how cars were sold in the old days. Maybe I couldn’t sell a car in 1987. Fortunately, it’s 2013, and in 2013 a customer wants to be treated right. In 2013, I sell plenty of cars the right way.