There’s a reason not everyone goes into jobs that require selling. Let’s face it: it’s hard to sell things, especially bigger ticket items like cars. In reflecting on different experiences with salespeople, whether in stores, auto dealerships, or even real estate, there are certain qualities that are essential to not only seal the deal, but to create loyal, repeat customers.
- Know Your Stuff
Sales professionals need to be subject matter experts. Customers will feel misled if they ask a question and are given a wrong answer especially if they feel they are being lied to or learn later that the information was inaccurate. What’s especially shocking about customers getting incorrect information is that it happens more often than one would think. In fact, when BenchmarkPortal analysts pretended to be prospective customers asking questions about big ticket items, they found that about 83% of small to medium-sized businesses answered their questions incorrectly or incompletely (BenchmarkPortal via HelpScout). It is way better to be honest and say you don’t know and will follow up with the correct information than to make something up. It can really make the difference between your customer walking away with a purchase willing to return versus empty handed and skeptical.
- Exude Confidence
Customers take on a heightened financial load when they purchase high value items, which can be very stressful. As a salesperson, it’s your job to put their minds at ease and to convince them of the investment. If you’re not confident selling the item, then chances are, your customers will not be confident purchasing it. Studies show that confident people are more likely to succeed in their careers than people who lack confidence (via Telegraph), and the same applies to jobs in the sales industry.
- Be honest
Picture this: a woman comes into your auto dealer looking to purchase a car that is big enough to transport her family of seven. Although the more pragmatic choice would be the van that seats eight, she is immediately drawn to a higher-class SUV that only seats five. She tells you she thinks she can “make it work” since she already has a sedan her husband can drive. Instead of agreeing with her right off the bat excited about making a greater commission on a higher value car, the more honest thing to do would be to ask her more questions about her need and outline the pros of considering the van over the SUV. By being honest and transparent about the SUV and the issues you think it may cause, she will gain your trust and be more willing to return to you the next time she is looking to purchase a car. People in the sales profession that consistently practice honesty are in the top 10% of the sales profession. Honesty has been proven to work time and time again strengthening the relationship between customer and salesperson.
These three qualities will take you to new heights as a sales professional. Not only will you create customer loyalty, but you will likely get more referrals from existing customers based on the spectacular service you provided!