There’s no question, after a bad experience at another dealership, some customers walk in with a grumpy attitude that makes it difficult for even a seasoned salesperson to give them a great experience. However, most have a simple set of requirements that all salespeople can use to relieve their misconceptions and lay the groundwork to achieve customer comfort.
None of the following require specialized training but can help eliminate or reduce the fears customers create in their minds and put them on edge even before they walk in the door of a dealership. Doing the steps listed below can dramatically reduce customer anxiety and open the door for rapport and trust to be built.
NAIL the greeting
Dealerships train on the sales process, but many simply do not spend any time developing the basic people skills they need to properly welcome a new customer in a way that helps them relax and feel comfortable. Approaching customers with warmness and sincerity is critical to them feeling like the relationship means as much as the sale. Like it or not, customers make the subliminal decision about how they feel about the salesperson in less than 10 seconds. If that doesn’t go well, everything else to follow will be more difficult.
Slow the Customer’s Pace
When they first walk in, most customers want to bust through the back door and “just go look” at everything in the lot. Why? Because it’s fun and exciting. It can also be frustrating and confusing for the customer, because they forgot what features they saw on which RV. It’s also quite exhaustive. Some salespeople still allow this, wanting to provide good customer service. Taking three more minutes to get information on how customers plan to go camping will prevent them from looking at product that doesn’t make sense for them.
Make it About THEM
The sales process the dealership typically spends money on and teaches is important, but helping the customer feel heard in the early stages of the visit is much more important. The biggest customer fear is that they will make a mistake and buy the wrong thing. Asking questions, actively listening, and asking follow up questions on what the customer just said will help them feel that what they say IS important and will help them start to release anxiety, feel comfort and allow rapport and trust to start to build.
Be Respectful of their Budget
Customers often fear that the salesperson will try to get them to fall in love with something that is more than their budget or what the sales manager wants to move off the lot. Showing them a RV that fits their budget can help customers determine if it does or doesn’t meet their camping needs and if not, they will move the salesperson up in price point.
Sadly, if a salesperson at the dealership down the street tries to BS a customer just to sound smart, it makes it harder for the next salesperson because the customer won’t trust them. If customers ask a question and you don’t know the answer, say you don’t know, but then bring in other resources (sales manager or manufacturer rep) to help answer the question for both of you. Doing this will help customers perceive their salesperson as a problem solver and increases trust. This will also help the customer relax and feel comfortable asking questions earlier in the process and before they surface as objections later in the closing process.
The single biggest thing to build or ruin salesperson credibility is follow through. What is follow through? Simply put, it’s “doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it.” Anything a salesperson says can and will be held against them. It takes multiple times to build follow through credibility and just ONE time to completely lose it. When a salesperson doesn’t follow through on something, they become just another BSer like many before them.
Focus More on the Shopping than the Selling
Customers will also build faith and trust in a salesperson who is committed to finding the perfect product for them in the shopping process. When a customer sits in a camper that perfectly fits their camping lifestyle and budget, it’s much easier for them to decide to buy on their own, instead of deciding under the heavy pressure of a salesperson trying to close the deal.
Consistently performing these seven important steps will help customers feel that a salesperson is there to help them rather than take advantage of them. Doing so will also turn this customer into a referral machine by telling other campers about the great experience they had as they sit around the campfire at a campground.