Selling is not a mystical ability or something that is reserved for naturally influential people. Selling is a psychological process that both the customer and the seller participate in – and also understand.
A customer’s journey begins with mistrust. “Am I going to get a good deal? Will I be treated honestly and fairly? When a customer feels secure enough to hire a salesperson, an exchange of questions takes place. The customer, in turn, should also be asked enough questions for the salesperson to truly understand the customer’s needs and/or concerns.
Once an understanding of the problem has been established, the seller must present a solution. If the solution is explained correctly and in depth, the probability of closing the sale increases considerably. And, if the entire buying process runs in a similar and frictionless manner, the customer experience will be dramatically improved, leading to incremental (i.e. unplanned) and repeat purchases. Plus, the customer will also be much more likely to share the experience with family and friends, which will increase your revenue.
The presentation of a solution is a critical moment in the psychological process of selling. If the seller lacks confidence in the products they are selling, the customer will instinctively pick up on the hesitation. If there’s a surprise, like a higher than expected price, a customer can block or end the conversation. To prevent this from happening in the first place, it is imperative that sellers are FULLY trained on all aspects of the product(s), and are able to express empathy for unforeseen expenses and/or difficulties. Part of this empathy may come from the sales rep’s understanding of alternative financing solutions that can alleviate the perceived pain associated with the proposed solution. There are several companies that partner with auto repair shops that can step in to offer flexible financing alternatives to cash and traditional credit cards – eliminating most, if not all, of the perceived barriers to “closing the sale”.
To further illustrate how all of this can happen in an actual customer interaction, there are critical steps in the presentation that must occur to ensure the process continues. The salesperson must present to the customer what the solution is, what it does and how it will help him.
What it is?
Simply put, it is the name of the product, service, or program, along with the main relevant feature. “What I recommend is replacing the front brake pads and rotors” is more effective than “You need front brakes”. Need is a subjective word and will trigger red flags from customers who may still have lingering suspicions, especially for a first time customer.
What he does?
This is the most often missed step in the presentation. What it does is the function of the product – the process of performing the repair. For example, “I recommend replacing the front brake pads and rotors because they are worn out (What is that). When you step on the brake pedal, the pads compress the rotors, bringing the vehicle to a stop. It will take about an hour. While to some this may seem like overkill, it adds value while educating the customer – reducing the potential for debate over price.
How does it help?
This is a perceived benefit to the customer. Often sellers will emphasize one feature, such as noise reduction associated with brake pads. But again, a feature is what the product does, not how it helps. The benefits are often found in the initial conversation when visiting a customer. Also, the best way to communicate with the customer with the problem they are reporting and the proposed solution – “With new brake pads and rotors, this will reduce the noise and vibration you reported when the brake pedal is sunk.”
Also, as stated above, “what is it, what does it do, and how does it help?” applies both to the product or service, but also to the ENTIRE solution, including the financial transaction itself. If a repair shop offers alternative financing solutions, the seller can tie the transaction to the financial burden they face – to show empathy and increase the likelihood of closing the sale – and create a great customer experience and shareable. “With the unexpected price of replacing brakes and rotors that we have agreed on, I wanted to make sure you knew of flexible financing solutions that could help you even more, giving you the opportunity to leave today. today and make no payments for up to 100 days. How does that sound?”
If a salesperson and the store owner can master these three steps, provide clarity on all aspects of the repair and the transaction itself, the customer will trust the salesperson, complete the purchase, and return again and again – allowing your business to thrive in both the short and long term.
For more information, visit www.snapfinance.com
This item is part of SNAP! Finance Series. As more articles are released, they can be found below:
Payment options and payment methods
The benefits of alternative automotive financing solutions