Monday, May 8, 2017

Building Value in Yourself

I haven't written on this blog in quite some time for some reason or another but I feel it necessary to start again. The primary reason I wanted to write today is because of the change in the sales industry that has happened over the past few years. It has been said, in the past, that price is never the reason why people don't buy. I have heard that since I started in the car business back in 2010. I can see that point that many of this industry's top consultants teach and preach. I actually see a lot of truth in that though, today, it's much much harder to see that people don't just buy based on price.

In any form of sales now I believe the consumer does some sort of research online and hence also price shops. Usually, an online shopper will order merchandise from the cheapest place that sells exactly what they're looking for even if they have to wait a while longer than usual to get it. I'm not like that necessarily but I know many people are. It's even likely that much of the items people research online they don't even buy but end up with something similar that still meets their needs. This is especially true in the car business.

In this industry, that I work, it gets a little frustrating when people start hitting you with price concerns before you even show them a car. It's a high probability that that same person has already learned about that particular vehicle online and about what they can buy it for so it seems that even if you build a high value in the vehicle that they still may not buy from you. You can even be the most knowledgeable person on the particular unit they are looking at and yet still not be the one they actually buy from though you are the one that sold them the vehicle. 

So, if price is the issue then what can you do to overcome it besides cutting price. Well, it starts with you! It starts with how well you handle yourself and how you present the product you're selling. Sales in general can be tough but if you don't put the work in to get better you will never be able to be consistent. When I say it starts with you it's because the customer has to be able to see value in you. They have to know that who they are dealing with is a professional and that you know what you are doing and know what you are talking about. I have a saying that "I may not always have the "lowest or best price" but value for you doesn't always come from money". What that means to the customer is that there is some value in you that they get in addition to the vehicle or product they are wanting to buy. They have to be able to see how truly valuable you are to their purchase. If they see no real value in you then there will, chances are, be no purchase from you. It's hard to think about it like that but it seems to be true. I see many sales professionals have a hard time actually showing that they bring value to the table even though they tell the customer that they do. You can't just say you bring value... you have to show them that you do!

Now, I guess he question is "how do I build value in myself?" What is it that you can do to make sure that the customer sees the value that you bring to the table? There are a number of great resources out there from many smarter guys than me so I won't get too specific but I will tell you what I think I bring to the table and maybe you can build on yours. I have 5 points that I've narrowed mine down to. 1) I'm honest and have integrity... I know this one is a hard one to convey to the customer since most everyone, in the US especially, ranks car salesmen right up there with attorneys and politicians... ouch! So, you can believe that when you tell a customer that you are honest they are rolling their eyes inside and saying "yea right". So, how do you prove it? For one it helps if you know what you are talking about so that way you can affirm what they already know since they have researched online. You have to train in your craft and practice. If you seem to be making things up as you go then you can rest assured that they don't believe what you are saying. Also, you need to be able to answer questions or concerns immediately if possible. That way there is a less likely chance that the customer thinks you are lying. I can tell you that no matter how many times I tell a customer that it's hard to make money on new cars anymore they likely are saying "yea right" in their mind. Besides that they were already skeptical before they even got to the lot. So, just remember that most salespeople claim to be honest and have integrity but aren't able to prove that mainly because they don't know how to be honest. It's sad to say but many have given our profession a bad name. 2) I'm upfront... I have no reason not to be. I can be upfront and honest about everything and yet still not close the customer. It's very aggravating actually because I know that I'm not making more than a mini on most new cars but they don't believe that. So just remember that even if you are upfront and honest about everything there is still a chance that they won't buy from you because they don't believe you so you just have to do the best with as you can. 3) I have a good reputation.... in a time when I hear many people that "they don't care what people think about them" I do. I am all over social media and the internet so I can't afford to get a bad rep. If people know about you online then chances are they already know your reputation and therefore may be more receptive based on that. I've worked hard to build my professional reputation and have no desire to mess that up so I try to communicate that to the customer. 4) I'm knowledgeable... Though I don't know everything I do my best to try and find an answer to all questions. It takes a lot of practice and training to get the answers that customers desire. I guess that's why I have my YouTube avenue for the customer. That also helps me keep on my toes with speaking and knowledge about the product. I also have confidence in what I sell and what I do know. 5) Streamlined process... In order to be considerate of the customers time I have fine tuned the sales process. I don't skip steps but I try and make sure what I am going to need and try to be predictive about where the deal is going. If the customer understands how considerate of their valuable time you are then there is a higher chance that you will close the customer. 

These are 5 of the ways to show the customer value that you bring. There are many many more and I may touch on them later. Just keep in mind that ,even though you claim that you have value and can talk about that value, that you must be able to show your value to the customer. They are more likely to believe what they see and not what they hear or what you say.

Thanks for reading!

Fist Pump Guy Out!