Would A Woman Consider You A Good Salesman?
If you really want to know what makes a good salesman, ask a woman. Holy mackerel! Ask that question of any woman who has shopped for anything and then had to depend on that company to do the work or repairs. You will learn volumes about making customers happy and the proper way to sell work and end up with the woman raving about how wonderful you are.
A Trip to the Local Repair Facility
If you ask a woman about her favorite places to shop, I don’t think you will find that getting repairs done on her car is anywhere near the top of the list. This is the primary indicator that shop owners don’t know how to sell a product or handle people. There is a technology to selling a product and to handling people. If most shop owners were properly trained and understood the basics of dealing with people, then women would not complain that going to get their cars repaired is like a trip to the dentist.
Moving Too Fast
Let’s take a typical situation of a woman having to take her car to a repair facility. A good example is the wife of a friend of mine. She needed some work done on a little sports car she loved. She took the car into a local repair facility and got the car checked out. The shop did a complete inspection of her car and told her that she needed about $1100.00 worth of work. She had the work done, but told my wife that she would never take her car there again and she would never recommend that shop to anyone.
What happened!?! The shop moved too fast. They didn’t bother to make her a customer first, instead they went for the big sale. There was a very well known shop in Texas that used to do a complete inspection on a car and then sell the first time customer anything and everything they could. Everyone raved about how successful this shop was and it was touted as an example.
But if you kept statistics on the first time customer becoming a repeat customer, it would not have been very high. The rule is good customers don’t complain, they just don’t come back.
Making Them a Customer First
I visited a shop in Portland and watched how they handled their customers. They had a reputation of having a lot of women customers and were doing extremely well. What I found in watching them was that every person who drove up to the shop was made a customer first.
How do you make them a customer first? You find out exactly what they want and expect in terms of a repair facility. What kind of customer are they? What speed do they move at? How knowledgeable are they about cars? How much explanation do they want about what they need? Taking the time to understand what the customer really needs and wants is the first step to being able to give it to them.
There are 4 kinds of customers in terms of speed.
1. The High Speed Customer
2. The Normal Customer
3. The Slow Customer
4. Not Your Customer
The High Speed Customer
The high speed customer is confident and moves very quickly. They know what they want. The key indicator is that they usually want their car in tip top shape. They don’t want problems. They got money, but not enough time. They are in a hurry. So they want everything checked and fixed. These are very good customers and are not the normal. They want it done right.
But the primary indicator is that they will tell you up front, without asking, that they want everything checked completely. A good example of this is the customer going on a trip and they bring their car in to make sure everything is in top?notch shape and tell you to do a complete check up.
The normal speed for customers is a little more conservative. They don’t necessarily believe everything and it usually takes 2 or 3 visits before they become comfortable and start to trust you.
If you go too quickly for them, they will never say anything, but they will not come back. But even worse than that, they will tell others not to take their cars to you. So doing a complete inspection the first time you see them and then trying to sell them the works is an absolute bozo nozo. It is a fatal mistake to go too fast and try to sell too much.
You get a few customers that are very slow and it will take a lot of time and effort to gain their trust and develop a relationship. These guys will only buy what they absolutely have to have. They often seem to be quiet and it can be hard to get them to talk to you. Normally, they are not outwardly friendly. One could say they were a little “tight” or “tense” when they came in.
Your repeat customers are more open and friendly and will listen to you and your recommendations as long as they trust you and do not feel that you are trying to oversell them.
Not Your Customer
Unfortunately, some shop owners fail to recognize that not everyone that comes into their shop is really going to be a customer. Once the owner clearly defines who and what type of customer he wants, he will be able to recognize the customer that he doesn’t want.
1. They only want the special done. If it is going to cost more, then don’t do it.
2. They are never happy. If you go out of your way to do something extra, they could care less and are afraid you are going to charge them for it.
3. They never say thank you. Again, no matter how well you treat them, they never say good things about anything.
4. They are super critical. When they pick up the car, they meticulously walk around the car and check everything.
5. When they drive in the driveway. You instantly recognize their car and start to get the hives!!
There are many important abilities and skills needed to be a successful salesman. One of the major ones is learning the speed of your customer. Remember, women tend to move a little slower, so you really have to be careful with this. The reward for handling women right is the fact that they will come back over and over with tremendous loyalty and refer you to others. But of course, that is true with any good customer.
By Mike Lee, Co-founder Management Success!