Are you selling value or are you just trying to sell rubber, metal and leather? As automotive salespeople, it's our job to show our customers why they should value our vehicles more than they value their big stack of money. Not always an easy task but if you take the time to get to know what your customers hot buttons are and then present what you're trying to sell them in such a way that the perceived value is greater than the money they want to spend, then the odds are in your favor that they will buy.

In today's market the pressure is on to produce, to be effective over being efficient. While effectiveness is imperative and efficiency important one will no doubt lead to the other. In other words, if you want to be effective in selling automobiles then you must be efficient in both the questions you ask and the presentations you present (walk-around).

Let's look at the definition of efficiency: the state or quality of being efficient;  competency in performance.

Look at those last three words again; competency in performance. Being competent means to be in the possession of the required skill, knowledge or experience. So what does all this mean? It simply means that in order to sell more cars, in order to be more efficient so that you can be more effective, you must possess the right skills and knowledge.

Again I ask you, are you selling value?

In order to sell value you must be skilled enough to find what your customers hot buttons are, what makes them tick, what makes them want to buy that tricked out F-150 or the Honda Civic. Doing that all boils down to two things, asking the right questions and listening in order to understand.

In order for your questions to be truly effective they must:

  • Spark a certain curiosity in the person you're asking them to.
  • Build relationship through the building of rapport.
  • Uncover both needs and desire.
  • Earn credibility.
  • Secure commitment to buy.

There are a lot of word tracks out there that you can learn, and I'm not bashing them, but there is a fundamental truth to people that you must understand; people are motivated by different things, those things aren't always apparent and it's your job as an automotive salesperson to uncover them for both yourself and the client.  What I mean by that is a word track won't work for everybody, you must be able to adapt by layering your questions for maximum effectiveness.

In order to be truly efficient at asking the right questions you must never lose your own curiosity about the answers given and while I'm tempted to throw out a few example questions, I won't because my goal in this post is to change your mindset so that you can come with your own.

Using The Answers To Build Value

Remember what I said earlier, in order to sell value you must show your prospective buyer why the vehicle your trying to sell them is more valuable than their big stack of money. As you well know, in today's economy people are more and more stingy with their money, so it's even more imperative that you sell the sizzle, not the steak.

How do you do that? By showing them how the vehicle your giving the walk-around on satisfies both their needs and their wants. For instance, if you're trying to sell an SUV to a couple with three kids then make sure that you point out both the space and safety aspects it. You might even want to buckle in the car seats, strap the kids in and ask them if they're comfortable. The idea is to hit on all their hot buttons, not just one or two, this is where salesmanship comes in, and it really only boils down to two things:

  1. Asking the right questions, and
  2. Product knowledge!

From there all you have to do is work on your presentation skills, which is another post all together, but that will come with both practice and the love of your product. Always sell value, not what you think is valuable but what your customer thinks is valuable. Again, knowledge of what the customer finds valuable comes through the asking of the right questions. Questions that uncover needs and desires as well as builds relationship and credibility.

Happy selling, now go ask the right questions and uncover a need!