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Various Questions

Ok...pardon the various questions that I know will probably sound stupid to many of you - but mind you this is an entirely new experience for me.

I am a car salesman, and have been doing this for about 3 months. I'm averaging about 4 cars per month.

Today, which I'm on lunch right now, I had a guy come in and want a truck, so I showed him a truck. Little did I know, there was a lot of money riding on this truck sale. Somewhere around 2400 dollars to me. Anyways, he said he'd left his checkbook at the house and he'd be back in fifteen minutes. I agreed - and my manager stepped out and gave me a...well, it was a little more passionate than a lecture, dabbled with colorful language and such. Anyways, the guy took the truck, and brought it back as it had something wrong with it. We put it in the shop, and I did up a buyer's order so he'd have first shot at it. He said he needed to take lunch with his mom, then he'd be back with his checkbook. So I gave him the keys to his vehicle, and told him I'd see him shortly. Soon as he drove off, here comes the manager again, and this time the 'lecture' was about four times worse...this is just an example of a typical day for me...

I keep getting told I'm "taking orders" and not "controlling the customer". This is apparently a bad thing - I'm supposed to control the customer according to them. The customer asks a question and I either answer it or tell them I don't know the answer. I've gone back into the shop to help swap stuff out from a customer's trade in to their new vehicle (toolboxes, brush guards, lights, etc.).

I do enjoy my job, as I'm a people person - I just don't like the feeling of being manipulative and a liar (your typical car salesman stereotype), and I told them in the resume I sent that I wouldn't work in such a fashion.

Does ANYONE have any tips on how to sell without coming across as pushy and manipulative? I would MUCH rather take an approach where I am helping the customer solve a problem - work with them instead of view as me vs. them. - by Bardicer
Does ANYONE have any tips on how to sell without coming across as pushy and manipulative? I would MUCH rather take an approach where I am helping the customer solve a problem - work with them instead of view as me vs. them.
How about talking to the customers the way you would a family member? If the customer who left his checkbook at home was a family member and you knew you were going to get a lecture of sorts if you let him leave the lot unescorted what would you have done or said different? - by SpeedRacer
Visit my post titled "Controlling The Conversation: Is It Ethical?" which is posted in the Miscellaneous section under the Persuasion and Influence Forum. You'll find a lively discussion about this very subject (BTW at my first opportunity, I'd find someone else to work for). - by Wonderboy
Visit my post titled "Controlling The Conversation: Is It Ethical?" which is posted in the Miscellaneous section under the Persuasion and Influence Forum.
Here's the link > http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-5092.html

(BTW at my first opportunity, I'd find someone else to work for).
I would second that! - by Houston
Bardicer

Sales of any type are only ever sustainable when based on honesty and integrity. The problem with the car business is that a lot of managers have been around a long time, which in itself is not a real problem. The problem is that when they started they received very little training and during their career they will have been doing things the same old way, not believing for a moment that there may be a better way.

Automotive sales managers are in a job that teaches them to be manipulative and untrusting when dealing with customers. In a lot of cases where trust and respect are not high on the agenda for either party, the sales guy will end up doing a lot of work to help the customer by test driving etc, only to be shopped out for $100 to another guy who has done nothing more that appeal to the customers greed and lower his price. I could go on

My advice to you is improve your skill, knowledge and techniques in your own time, hang in there and maintain your own integrity. The motor business needs new, positive, high integrity sales/management professionals to change the business one dealership at a time.

I used to be a car dealer for many years but now I make my living training dealership sales and management teams in what I have developed over the years.

Im not trying to be shamelessly self promoting but if you follow the steps below, Ill give you my sales course for free along with some free email coaching.
Go to my website and download my free eWorkbook.
Go to the downloads section and download my free automotive sales planner.

All the best,

Tony - by Tony Dunne
Thank you for the responses. My Sales Manager was telling me that the sale could've cost me AND him our jobs. My General Manager said "It was just a really bad mistake, I'm not going to fire you over it if you actually learned something from it." Granted, I would have left long ago and attempted to find a more 'family oriented' and 'no hassle' ethics place to work - I can't stand feeling pressured, and I don't see how anyone else could either. But I got paid on a deal that fell through, so the company hit me with an $1800 charge-back that I've spent the past month and a half trying to dig my way out of (every week you're effectively $300 in the draw unless you've made more than $300 in commissions...new guy...so I'm scratching my way back). I just downloaded Tony's eBook, and I intend on looking through the site to see what it has to offer - and when I get the money, I believe I'll be signing up for it. Sales is a lot more fun than I thought it would be - as I love a challenge. - by Bardicer
I just downloaded Tony's eBook, and I intend on looking through the site to see what it has to offer - and when I get the money, I believe I'll be signing up for it. Sales is a lot more fun than I thought it would be - as I love a challenge.
Bardicer, just let me know when you have completed the eWorkbook and i'll send you my course for free.

Best of luck,

Tony thmbp2; - by Tony Dunne
Bardicer,
Did the guy ever come back and buy the truck? I think statistically some might say that if the prospect walks out the door, he is lost forever.

In my sales training, I was taught to say something like this, "I understand you need to [get your keys, eat lunch, take your friend to the hospital] first, and I trust that you will be back as soon as [whatever] is completed, but my boss will be on my back if we don't complete the sale (deal, whatever you call it) right now. Is there something I could tell him to convince him that you will be back so he won't yell quite so loud and long? ----- Is there any reason you wouldn't come back? ----------- Ok, let's set up an appointment to complete the paperwork."

Good Luck. - by sallysellsseashells
Maybe I missed something, but why would this have cost you your job?

Susan - by susana
I'm still waiting on the guy to return. All I can hope for is that he thinks he's locked into the vehicle (although, I believe the vehicle was sold today as I can't find it on the lot). And it would have cost us our jobs because it was an $8000 Gross Profit deal. Would be $2400 in my pocket (30% commission). - by Bardicer
The thing to remember here is that a lot of managers are "old school" and they were probably taught the "earn or burn" theory and when soneone shows an interest like that, don't let them go. It is always better to deal with your customers and clients with respect, honesty and integrety. In saying that maybe next time that sought of situation occurs and you have a customer saying he wants buy but needs to grab his cheque book - offer to take him home in "his new vehicle" that way you must go back to the dealership in order to do the deal. This is the only way of making sure that he will come back.msnwnk; - by Snowboy
Alright, a small update ... the guy never came back. We've been told to not let a person leave the lot until they've talked to a manager because the general manager spends on average $450 per person who buys a vehicle.

I tried to turn a customer to the general manager - who was busy smoking a cigarette. The guy got in his truck, left, and I was bombarded with questions why I let him leave. He spent all of about 10 minutes on our lot. He came back about 4 hours later, I was paged, and the manager said "Nick the guy you got in trouble for letting leave is back to buy the explorer". Needless to say, I know what happened. He went to another dealership, got an offer, and came to us to beat it. He got a better vehicle than the other lot was offering him at about 7 dollars a month less. I got an X (full deal) on the board, and the dealership lost altogether about $1,000 (lost 800 on the deal and then the 125 that I get as a flat commission regardless of the profit).

I've also managed to get myself about $1000 in the hole as opposed to the $2500 I was originally at. I've taken up the "buyers are liars" motto, and if anyone shows any interest at all, they're not leaving the lot until they buy. It seems to work a lot better than the "be a nice person, and be helpful, and they'll buy" mindset I did have. It's also a lot more exhausting since I have to spend on average 2 hours with them on the lot before I can get them in to buy something :/ But that's all that matters, they buy SOMETHING and my utilities don't get shut off hehe. - by Bardicer
Alright, a small update ... the guy never came back. We've been told to not let a person leave the lot until they've talked to a manager because the general manager spends on average $450 per person who buys a vehicle.

I tried to turn a customer to the general manager - who was busy smoking a cigarette. The guy got in his truck, left, and I was bombarded with questions why I let him leave. He spent all of about 10 minutes on our lot. He came back about 4 hours later, I was paged, and the manager said "Nick the guy you got in trouble for letting leave is back to buy the explorer". Needless to say, I know what happened. He went to another dealership, got an offer, and came to us to beat it. He got a better vehicle than the other lot was offering him at about 7 dollars a month less. I got an X (full deal) on the board, and the dealership lost altogether about $1,000 (lost 800 on the deal and then the 125 that I get as a flat commission regardless of the profit).

I've also managed to get myself about $1000 in the hole as opposed to the $2500 I was originally at. I've taken up the "buyers are liars" motto, and if anyone shows any interest at all, they're not leaving the lot until they buy. It seems to work a lot better than the "be a nice person, and be helpful, and they'll buy" mindset I did have. It's also a lot more exhausting since I have to spend on average 2 hours with them on the lot before I can get them in to buy something :/ But that's all that matters, they buy SOMETHING and my utilities don't get shut off hehe.
Well Done, Just remember that if the buyers mouth is moving they are more then likely lying. - by Snowboy
Ok...pardon the various questions that I know will probably sound stupid to many of you - but mind you this is an entirely new experience for me.

I am a car salesman, and have been doing this for about 3 months. I'm averaging about 4 cars per month.

Today, which I'm on lunch right now, I had a guy come in and want a truck, so I showed him a truck. Little did I know, there was a lot of money riding on this truck sale. Somewhere around 2400 dollars to me. Anyways, he said he'd left his checkbook at the house and he'd be back in fifteen minutes. I agreed - and my manager stepped out and gave me a...well, it was a little more passionate than a lecture, dabbled with colorful language and such. Anyways, the guy took the truck, and brought it back as it had something wrong with it. We put it in the shop, and I did up a buyer's order so he'd have first shot at it. He said he needed to take lunch with his mom, then he'd be back with his checkbook. So I gave him the keys to his vehicle, and told him I'd see him shortly. Soon as he drove off, here comes the manager again, and this time the 'lecture' was about four times worse...this is just an example of a typical day for me...

I keep getting told I'm "taking orders" and not "controlling the customer". This is apparently a bad thing - I'm supposed to control the customer according to them. The customer asks a question and I either answer it or tell them I don't know the answer. I've gone back into the shop to help swap stuff out from a customer's trade in to their new vehicle (toolboxes, brush guards, lights, etc.).

I do enjoy my job, as I'm a people person - I just don't like the feeling of being manipulative and a liar (your typical car salesman stereotype), and I told them in the resume I sent that I wouldn't work in such a fashion.

Does ANYONE have any tips on how to sell without coming across as pushy and manipulative? I would MUCH rather take an approach where I am helping the customer solve a problem - work with them instead of view as me vs. them.
This is more so your managers problem - by John Hughes
Well Done, Just remember that if the buyers mouth is moving they are more then likely lying.
Don't you feel that the salesperson plays a part in whether this is the case? When the prospects trust the salesperson they are less likely put up a front. Your thoughts? - by Mikey
Don't you feel that the salesperson plays a part in whether this is the case? When the prospects trust the salesperson they are less likely put up a front. Your thoughts?
I disagree, a study done by Alen Pease - Sales Guru showed that even those that believe trauth is always the better find themselves when they are approached by a sales person to lie more then tell the truth with small simple things. - by EmmaC
Don't you feel that the salesperson plays a part in whether this is the case? When the prospects trust the salesperson they are less likely put up a front. Your thoughts?
Thanks for the input Mikey, No doubt at all the Salesperson has a big part in it however it seems EmmaC beat me to it. Alan Pease done a study on this only a couple of years ago, the findings were that for no particular reason the customers lie in order to (what they think) trick the sales team into giving them somethig more.

However in saying that obviously the ultimate goal is to maintain your own integrity as a Sales professional and not your guard down but trying to establish a relationship strong enough with your client/customers that you can one day hopefully trust them.

Someone I once was trained by used to say to me - If the pope had a $5 dollar watch and wanted to sell it and get %100 for it - when presented with a question - How much do you want for it? - What would his reply be? - I think it would $10. - by Snowboy
I disagree, a study done by Alen Pease - Sales Guru showed that even those that believe trauth is always the better find themselves when they are approached by a sales person to lie more then tell the truth with small simple things.
I agree EmmaC - by Snowboy
I disagree, a study done by Alen Pease - Sales Guru showed that even those that believe trauth is always the better find themselves when they are approached by a sales person to lie more then tell the truth with small simple things.
I see both points. David Sandler's "Buyers are Liars" came with a description of why that is so and I think he was on the mark. However getting the customer to drop their defenses is something the salesperson needs to work on in my opinion. - by SpeedRacer
Absolutely, Definately the salesperson's responsibilty - by Snowboy
Someone I once was trained by used to say to me - If the pope had a $5 dollar watch and wanted to sell it and get %100 for it - when presented with a question - How much do you want for it? - What would his reply be? - I think it would $10.
You have a point there. ;co - by Mikey
You have a point there. ;co
Cheers for that - by Snowboy
I think your point there SNowboy is very valid. Congratulations and keep them coming. - by EmmaC
GReat point Keith - by John Hughes
That is my main objective - show 'em I'm not going to lie and swindle them... however I know that THEY *are* going to lie and try to swindle ME.

First question, invariably, is "How much is your bottom line on this?"

Well Mr. Customer MY bottom line is (list price +$2000, maybe I'll sell it at sticker then <provided only if sticker is not in window of the car> otherwise, bottom line is sticker).

I had one guy tell me over and over "I know you can come down I know you can come down". Then he got a phone call - turns out he's trying to sell his dirt bike, and what does he say? Right off "I'm not coming off my price, it's worth the $5000". Point blank asked him "So a dirt bike is worth almost half of what an actual vehicle is worth?" And his response was "Well, I've done this... and I've done that..." - like a car lot sells it without even looking at it and doing repairs as needed to make it dependable.

Looking back, there are several moments that I just find hilariously inane. Like a woman who wanted us to fix some scratches on a 2000 Lincoln Navigator, and then lower the price because "It had scratches". :dun

I always said that working at Sonic and Dollar General I met the weirdest people society has to offer - but I was wrong.

And now, when I'm working on closing someone - my manager asks me every time "Are you sure you'll be able to sleep tonight?" I look him in the eye and say "I'm not forcing them to buy - it's their decision, therefore if anyoen can't sleep because it's too much, it'll be them for agreeing to something they can't afford" - by Bardicer
That is my main objective - show 'em I'm not going to lie and swindle them... however I know that THEY *are* going to lie and try to swindle ME.

First question, invariably, is "How much is your bottom line on this?"

Well Mr. Customer MY bottom line is (list price +$2000, maybe I'll sell it at sticker then <provided only if sticker is not in window of the car> otherwise, bottom line is sticker).

I had one guy tell me over and over "I know you can come down I know you can come down". Then he got a phone call - turns out he's trying to sell his dirt bike, and what does he say? Right off "I'm not coming off my price, it's worth the $5000". Point blank asked him "So a dirt bike is worth almost half of what an actual vehicle is worth?" And his response was "Well, I've done this... and I've done that..." - like a car lot sells it without even looking at it and doing repairs as needed to make it dependable.

Looking back, there are several moments that I just find hilariously inane. Like a woman who wanted us to fix some scratches on a 2000 Lincoln Navigator, and then lower the price because "It had scratches". :dun

I always said that working at Sonic and Dollar General I met the weirdest people society has to offer - but I was wrong.

And now, when I'm working on closing someone - my manager asks me every time "Are you sure you'll be able to sleep tonight?" I look him in the eye and say "I'm not forcing them to buy - it's their decision, therefore if anyoen can't sleep because it's too much, it'll be them for agreeing to something they can't afford"
Well said Bardicer. - by Snowboy
I agree - Very well said indeed - by EmmaC
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