Buyers have evolved and are hyper-educated. Even before connecting with a salesperson, they have spent a copious number of hours researching product and service offerings, getting a general idea of options. Although the buyer’s role has changed to being more informed, salespeople have not adapted their selling approach. For any business to be successful, its sales approach must evolve as well.
When you think about the car salesperson, what comes to mind? Right; friendly, caring, and trustworthy. Clearly, I am being facetious. A survey by DMEautomotive (DMEa) of car buyers, suggested only 21% claimed they perceive them [salespeople] as “trustworthy,” a lower trust rating than reported for lawyers, mortgage brokers and insurance salespeople. Why is that? Could it be because they come from a tradition of high pressure sales? Perhaps, that their focus is still on “closing” the customer?
“This avoidance of physical dealerships is in stark contrast with how much online vehicle research is happening: 4 in 5 people now use the Internet for car buying, visiting 10 auto websites in the process,” said Dr. Mary Sheridan, Manager of Research and Analytics at DMEa. She continues to add, “More people are stealthily comparison-shopping dealerships and inventory online, and then swooping in to buy when their minds are already made up. Dealerships can no longer rely on in-store visits and the old ‘be-backs’ to drive sales: they need to have the most powerful online presence wherever dealer/vehicle selection is happening, and work far harder to keep customers close throughout the ownership cycle, using every retention marketing tool possible, like a constant-connection mobile app.” In addition to this, the car salesperson needs to take a customer service approach instead of just selling.
Don’t be so quick to think your industry is excluded from the same research scrutiny. If you are in the industry of sales, there are some lessons to be learnt. Many research companies out there have surveyed hundreds of executives and sales leaders from various industries, markets, and company sizes to assess the changing objectives and challenges facing sales organization.
If you are in the business of sales, you fall into the trap of describing your products and services to your prospective buyers at the initial contact – either in your marketing/advertising and networking. But remember, buyers have evolved and are hyper-educated. And they most likely already know all about what you offer. Instead, start by identifying the problems and issues they are facing. What they don’t know is how you will frame the solutions you present in terms of their specific problems. This allows your buyer to feel understood and more likely to connect the value you offer.
About the Author: Kyle Kalloo works for Change My Life Coaching as the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, and Executive and Business Coach. With two decades of experience in senior management positions, Kyle Kalloo has established a robust record in Strategic Positioning & Brand Management, Operations Restructuring, Feasibility Assessment, Change Management, People Engagement, Executive Development, and the recipient of awards for Innovation & Improvement in previous roles, including companywide initiatives. Change My Life Coaching is a team of professionals who provide practical and inspiring whole-life coaching solutions that positively impact every aspect of our client’s lives, careers, and businesses. http://www.changemylifecoaching.ca