For decades the Australian Automotive Industry has received loads of unfavourable reviews; some justified and some born of ingrained misconceptions. Sales has for such a long time been a dirty word… but in fact we all sell something, to someone, every day!
Times are changing, and with them is the need to shift the way consumers view the stereo typical car salesman. Why? Because if we don't, some dealers stand to see major declines not only in their bottom line, but also across staff retention.
There is demand for better practices, and more customer centric solutions across all industries and automotive is no different. Particularly in a world where we have everything at our fingertips and no shortage of selection. For decades I've heard people in our industry say "… every customer just wants to know our best price" and yet, when critiquing the hundreds and hundreds of sales calls that I have over the years, the complete opposite is true!
We no longer need to visit a newsstand or newsagency to buy the paper nor go to a library to research a topic. Our kids sit in their bedroom and call out to Google… and parents sit and say "…. in my day…." you can almost feel their eyeroll can't you?
You could be forgiven for thinking that autonomous and electric vehicles will be the pivotal shift that changes our industry. But I believe, that more critical to this is the necessary shift required in changing the consumer viewpoint on the car sales person.
When was the last time you reviewed your processes? Is your 'Six Position Sell' or 'Road to a Sale' the same as decades ago? Change needs to happen at the very infancy of a sales enquiry. How you handle the enquiry, how much information you gather about your consumer and truly understand their wants and needs is the starting point.
Consumers want choices, they want to be heard, not spoken at, they want you to earn their business not chase their business.
I was blown away recently when a Dealer Principal proudly told me that he instructs his staff ring the customer repeatedly until the customer tells them to go away. Sadly, I can tell you there are so many dealers in this industry who share his same sentiments.
I don't know about you, but personally I'm on a mission to raise awareness and create a much needed change. Isn't it time we turn the stereotype around and be proud of our profession and our industry?