Sep 7, 2018
My wife needed a new car, so we we’ve been out and about car hunting recently. The whole experience was a real eye-opener for me as I tend to look out for sales skills and techniques in such situations, but I also try to switch off from work and not be a real bore!
However, if I may step on to a soap box for just a moment or two, the general sales practise that was shown was lamentable! I found the following:
A lot of the sales people were dressed to impress the receptionist more than the customer and Skinny suits and pointy shoes were common-place. Most sales people know that it is wiser to dress appropriately according to their average customer type. Dressing too sharply only confirms stereo-types and alienates many of their customers. If in doubt, neutrality is best, as this avoids unhelpful perceptions being formed.
Hardly anyone asked me a question other than "can I help you at all?" We all know that the answer to that is "no thanks we are just looking", so why bother? No one asked me what type of car I was looking for? Is fuel economy important? What was my budget? Is performance important? What do I look for in a car? No questions - none, nada, zilch. Blimey!
I had my ten year old daughter with me and none of the salesmen asked her for her name, indeed no one even spoke to her. If you like my daughter, who is a precious angel who can do absolutely no wrong, I will almost certainly begin to warm to you!
Lastly, I encountered the old chestnut of being told how wonderful each and every car was. "Lovely tidy example this sir, stunning car". The only problem is that they would say that wouldn't they? I simply didn't believe a word of it.
In the end we found a great little garage. The owner came over to us, (I can't remember what he was wearing!) and in a very relaxed and matter of fact manner, he let us get on deciding for ourselves which was a stunning little car and which was obviously not. He was attentive but not overbearing, and let me be a hunter-gatherer and knock the price down a little. He even smiled at my daughter whilst she picked her nose in a most delightful way!
Footnote: I am bound to suggest that most of the sales people I met had probably been adequately trained! If you are interested in Sales and Customer Service Training then please click on the link and take a look at some of the courses we can offer.
Thanks for reading.