Home > Personal Selling > Engaging the prospect in auto sales.

Engaging the prospect in auto sales.

Here is the scenario... you work as a sales person at an automobile dealership. A prospective buyer drives up and starts looking around at the different vehicles. What next steps do you recommend with the goal being to engage the prospect in meaningful dialogue? - by Community Mailbox
I'm assuming that, in your scenario, the prospect has gotten out of his vehicle and is walking the lot. Here's my advice in that situation:

1. Don't approach the prospect too quickly. Let the prospect settle into the environment. Allow him to look at window stickers and meander a bit. Few people like to be accosted by a salesperson at a car dealership.

2. If possible, approach the prsopect face-to-face, not to the prospect's back.

3. The opening line should be designed to get a response from the prospect that can be leveraged into building a relationship with him. Relationships can be built quickly, and must be in car sales. You want to avoid getting the "I'm just looking" response. To do that, you can use any of the following:

- A non-business opening (a comment or question about the weather, the prospect's child, the sports-team jersey he/she is wearing, etc.).

- An open-ended question (such as "What brings you by XYZ Motors today?"' or, "It looks like you're checking out the new Chevy Malibu; How much do you know about it?", or, "What do you think of the new Chevy Malibu?").

- A personal introduction. (such as "My name is Skip Anderson...welcome...what's your name?").

- A leading question (such as "Man-oh-man, the weather is beautiful today, isn't it?)

- A sincere smile is an asset. So is an engaging vocal tone.

- Remember, different prospects have different personal preferences for speed of speech, volume of speech, and quantity of verbal communication. Monitor your rate of speech, volume, and quantity of words spoken as you begin to determine your prospects' preferences. You want your communication style to be in the "sweet spot" of the prospects' personal preferences.

At all costs, avoid "Can I help you?" and related questions, because you're likely to get a response of "no!".

Engaging a prospect is a real skill (especially at a auto dealership where many prospects have their self-defense mechanism fully employed). - by Skip Anderson
That's easy. You ask him/her what brought them into your dealership today? Listen without interruption. This will give you a sense of his motivation. You might even ask - why your dealership, but do this discretely in the conversations somewhere.

Then ask him to wave a magic wand. What would he buy if he could buy anything? Have him explain all the details and then ask how come he wants those things or that car. This will give you a sense of what he really wants. Once you know what someone really wants, you can structure your presentation to give it to him. Don't frett that he may want some exotic car - that's not what he wants. He wants what that exotic car will do for him. So in your presentation show him how he can get the same experience with something on your lot. Remember it's about him and not what you thing he should have. - by Sam Manfer
Greeting them with your name, welcoming them to the dealership and asking their names are first steps. If it is a couple, acknowledge both of them by giving both a business card. Make sure and talk to both, until you determine who the car is for. Otherwise, you might turn the buyer off before they even look at cars. Focus more on open-ended questions about what they want, rather than small talk. You can and should find ways to build a relationship by doing this. Trust, integrity, good questions, attentive listening and sincene interest in helping the customer will go a long way toward moving the sale to the next stage. - by GerryMyers
Then ask him to wave a magic wand. What would he buy if he could buy anything?
I've said this before. A key to a successful sales interview is to talk the way people actually talk--not the way you think salespeople are supposed to talk. A lot of people have trouble with that for some reason.

I've been around...been to a few rodeos and a picnic or two. I can't remember the last time I