I remember my first car sales job. I don’t know what specifically drove me to take that job other than the fact that I was good at sales, needed a job and they hired me. I’m really not a gearhead and I didn’t know much about cars but I figured I’d give it a go. It was a multi-line straight-sell store. I didn’t get any training other than the basic – Say Hi. Land them on a car. Take them for a test drive. Do a four square. – type thing. This “training” still exists within our industry, believe it or not.
One of my first sales managers (and I swear this is true), told me to watch this movie called “Suckers” and that it was a good training video.
Here’s a short clip for those who have not seen it so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. (Caution: Rated R)
So, now you get the idea. (If you haven’t seen this movie, the story sucks but the cars sales-bits, which account for about 1/2 the movie are hilarious).
There are very few dealerships that have transitioned away from this mentality. The wrappers have changed but the candy bar is still the same. I see sales managers (and salespeople) acting this way all the time. It truly is special when I meet someone who sincerely cares about their customers aside from how much money they will make off of them.
How many times have you offered a customer a screaming deal to move a unit, maybe even at a loss in profit, and they don’t believe you? Why?
Do you treat the person with excellent credit differently than the customer with challenged credit? Why?
This stereotype still exists because this type of behavior does.
I challenge you to truly reflect on your staff and identify the individuals that exhibit these types of behavior. I guarantee you have some. Chances are, you already know who they are. Is this acceptable behavior? If not, will you let it continue?
Before this perception can go away, a true change needs to happen. We can tell customers how great we are and how much we care about them all day long but until all of our processes (and employees) that further this stereotype truly change, the customer perception of us won’t.
Perception is reality.