Delivering a Customer-centric Sales Experience

Jeff Williams

Change is occurring rapidly, but there are some things in selling cars that remain constant

(This article is the last in a series of three articles. Read the first article here and the second article here.)

DELIVERING a consistent customer experience in the retail car business today is hard work, very hard work. As we explained in the last two articles, sales team staff dynamics have drastically changed. So have consumer demands, and so has the market.

So what hasn’t changed? Three things: Gratitude, value, and confidence.

Regardless of your selling process and your means of communication, I promise you that if you focus on these three things EVERY day, if you talk about them, and you model them, you will have the foundation on which to build a consistent and a quality customer experience.

First, let’s talk about gratitude.

Every time a customer interacts with your dealership it is a gift. You might believe that it was your great reputation or your marketing genius that generated their enquiry, but you are just one of hundreds of automotive shopping choices they have.

So treat these people with gratitude and sincerely thank them for giving you the opportunity to assist them with their vehicle purchase. Chances are, you will be the first one to do this, ever.

Secondly, let’s talk about value.

This is not just about “building value before serving the numbers”, this is about valuing the customer.

Make it your mission to get in their head and their heart. Ask yourself with every customer: “What problem will a new vehicle purchase solve for them today?”

At our appointment-driven events, Absolute Results trainers ask each customer questions like: “What one thing different do you want in your new car?” and “If you could do it all over again, would you buy the exact same vehicle, same model, options and colour, or would you buy something different?”

Valuing the customer takes time, and it also means that you need patience and you really need to care.

Thirdly, what about confidence?

A successful customer experience isn’t about customer leadership, it’s about sales leadership. It’s about leading the customer to a purchase decision that they feel is in their best interest, a decision based on trust in your confidence and your recommendation because you have earned that trust.

So assuming that we are grateful, that we do value the customer, and that we earn the customers’ trust as we confidently lead them to a new vehicle purchase, what else can we practically do to ensure a consistent and positive customer experience?

There is a very practical strategy that can help your team substantially increase the odds. It’s the secret weapon of hundreds of top dealers around the world and if you have read my last two articles, by now you should recognize it.

This strategy is to create an Appointment Culture.

Why? Very simply when 50 to 75 per cent of your daily traffic arrives by appointment, your team has the opportunity to be prepared for 50 to 75 per cent of your customers, every day.

Your team can have a vehicle selected and ensure it’s running with plenty of fuel for a test drive. The sales manager can personally meet them and express your commitment to their experience, and you can prepare and do the little extras to deliver on your commitment.

So, delivering a consistent customer experience in the retail car business today is very hard work.

But it’s also very noble work. And the preparation afforded by an appointment culture combined with gratitude, value and confidence is the edge dealers need today.

Jeff Williams


Jeff Williams is the CEO of Absolute Results and has dedicated the last 20+ years to helping dealerships, OEM’s, and sales people across the globe rethink how they sell cars. His three greatest passions are his family, his business, and his charity work.

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