The car business can be a funny one. Where else do so many people purposely create detractors? And is it really the salesperson’s fault? After all, they’re paid on actual sales, not to be information-givers. On weekends, they may even get an extra $10 bonus just for appointments that show. But we call them weak when they can’t switch someone.
In my last post I discussed the dangers of hustling clients. Here are some real life examples of this preaching in practice:When they were green peas, they heard countless stories from sales guys bragging about how they lied to someone just to get them in the door and made a pounder. Say I walked up to that discussion and said I just gave a customer a list of dealers that had the car in stock, because no one that has the car would trade with us. Most of them would step back, give me a funny look, and throw me under the bus within the hour. Or, they might say to the green pea after I’m gone, “Next time you have a jack, turn them to that guy.”
Here’s a case in point.
On Saturday, a salesman dropped two shoppers off at my desk and told me they just want numbers. The shoppers told me this was the first place they’d stopped, and they wouldn’t feel comfortable buying until they’d visited a few dealerships.
Hustler Move: “Well, get your best number and bring it back to me.”
My reaction: “I’d be happy to give you more information.”
When I worked up the lease, they asked me to print off the sheet with the calculation. Not only did I do that, I showed them how to read it. I also printed up a lease structure for each CR-V trim level they were interested in. Lastly, I walked them outside so I could go over the specific differences while they had printouts in-hand. Then, they left.
Two hours later, they pulled back in and apologized they couldn’t buy from me earlier. They said the other dealers hadn’t been as helpful or willing to give them information. Another hour later, they were pulling out in their new CR-V.
Did I win their business on price? Nope. Did I win their business by promising something I wasn’t sure I could follow through on? Nope. I won their business by being as helpful as possible. Something three other dealers couldn’t do.
Let me repeat.
Three dealers had customers in front of them, ready to buy a car. These customers had printouts in-hand that the dealers could’ve easily matched or beat, and all three missed the mark. They couldn’t match the level of helpfulness or clarity I provided. Those salesmen probably told their bosses, “They were jacks. They wanted our best number, and they were on their way to two other dealers.”
The “Hustler Move” is a function of fear, laziness, and hasty conclusions. Hustlers choose NOW regardless of the consequences for the future. Being a Hustler is a constant struggle. I’m not saying it’s easy to switch into a different sales mode or that acting in selflessness as a salesman makes a whole lot of sense at first. But once you do, selling more cars becomes a heck of a lot easier.
Especially if your competitors don’t see it that way.