“Great salespeople are relationship builders who provide value and help their customers win.”
– Jeffrey Gitomer
Consultative selling forms trust and focuses on building a relationship with customers. It enables customers to do more of the talking and brings their needs to the surface. Showing how products will fill a need and make for a better ownership experience leads to a more comfortable process. Why sell any other way? There are three powerful truths that consultative selling is based on that makes it successful and so welcomed by customers. Let’s look at those and commit to their implementation in our efforts.
TRANSFORMATION THRIVES IN TRANSPARENCY!
A transparent process transforms an anxiety-filled effort into a trustbuilding conversation, and when trust goes up, everything else goes up with it. Customers want protection from the unexpected and will pay for the coverage if they trust the person discussing it with them. We must adjust our process so we become the trusted advisor as opposed to the suspected seller. That begins with clearly disclosing the principal and interest payment with nothing additional added. Then show the value of the products offered and how they will affect the overall payment.
Customers have never been as concerned with the uncertainty of the economic climate. They want protection from the high cost of a computer failure on a vehicle. Many customers are turning to buying service contracts online because they are not comfortable with the way it was presented to them in the dealership. Turn to transparency. Make the process with your customers an open discussion with all information clearly displayed, disclosed, and discussed. This will lead to a more productive discussion and more customers will leave with the coverages they need and feel they were understood. That’s a win for everyone.
POWER RESIDES IN PROOF!
Providing proof of information that shows the value of the product offered eliminates fear of exaggeration. Sharing general information makes many feel the information could be made up or a distortion of the truth. Selling with proof takes effort and skill, which is what makes it both so effective and less common. You must be relentless in your research, reading and gathering of information to have real information that will move customers to make a decision other than what they had planned.
A great example would be to ask your customer: How many networks do you have in your home? Most would respond with “only one.” On average, there are 20 networks in vehicles so that the 50- plus computers can effectively communicate with each other. That is proof of how advanced the technology is on a vehicle today. When you couple this with other proof you have discovered recently, it moves customers to act on that information and leads to a better outcome for everyone.
THERE IS COMPLETENESS IN COMPLIANCE!
A process in any sales situation that operates in the grey areas and seeks to hide information is not only a violation of compliance principles, but it is also simply the wrong way to sell anything. A compliant process seeks to inform and educate the customer and assures they understand and feel understood. It is totally possible to be completely compliant and extremely profitable.
Based on over 16 years of working with dealerships, the most compliant are also the most profitable. When customers see the process is centered around them and effort is applied to make sure they understand the entire transaction, the trust level is extremely high. We listen to people we like, yet we buy from people we trust. Our goal is not only to get customers to like us, but to trust us. Then we can help them make great decisions that make sense in their situation. A complete deal is a complaint deal, and one that everyone enjoys.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick McCormick is national account development manager at Reahard & Associates.