Being in auto sales isn’t easy. It requires you to be on your “A game” every day, especially if your job is commission-based, which many auto sales positions are. Car shoppers can be wary of those in auto sales simply because they’re accustomed to the stereotype of the sleazy car salesman.
When it comes to auto sales, communication skills make all the difference between who’s a top performer and who gets average results, at best. Whether you’re currently in auto sales or you’re planning to get into the field, here are the communication skills you’ll need to be among the best.
It all starts with listening. There are plenty of salespeople who are great talkers, as the profession tends to draw extroverted types who can chat with anyone, anywhere. But being able to actively listen to what the customer is saying and pinpoint their wants and needs is how you’ll sell to them.
Don’t have a script ready for every customer that comes in. It’s better to let them speak, ask the right questions and get the information you need from their answer. This helps you recommend cars with the benefits that they want.
For example, maybe a customer mentions having children, and you bring up the safety ratings on an SUV. Or perhaps the customer mentions high insurance premiums, and you tell them how other drivers found cheap car insurance online with one of your sedans. The customer will tell you exactly what they want. All you need to do is listen and find the car for them.
Understanding body language is vital not just in auto sales but in your day-to-day life. The reality is that the majority of communication is done non verbally. This means you need to be able to read each customer’s body language, and you need to be cognizant of the message your own body language is sending.
The customer’s posture and manner of speaking can help you figure out the type of person they are. You can also use it to assess their interest in certain cars and features by their reactions.
As far as your body language is concerned, it’s important to project openness, friendliness and confidence. This all comes back to the basics. You need to stand up straight, make eye contact and keep your body open to the customer instead of crossing your arms. One technique that has proven effective is called mirroring, and this is when you position yourself similarly to the other person, which creates a subconscious connection.
Unfortunately, you’re already working from a tough position when you’re in auto sales, because people are naturally wary of you. They’re going to be skeptical of what you say, which makes it more difficult to establish trust and very easy for the customer to decide they don’t trust you.
This is why you always need to be honest with the customer. If you lie to them, exaggerate something or make up an answer to something you don’t know, all the trust will be gone and the sales process will be a huge challenge.
The good news is that being honest isn’t hard. The cars you’re selling should have plenty of features that will benefit customers, and you just need to explain those potential benefits. If the customer asks you something and you’re not 100-percent sure on the answer, there’s nothing wrong with telling them that and offering to get the answer. They’ll respect and trust you more for it.
You can develop all these communication skills with time, reading and a bit of practice. As you improve, you’ll start to see better results every day when you’re out on the sales floor. Once you've mastered these three elements of communication, you could find yourself on top of the sales leader board.