When you think about it, sales is a lot like dating. From the first encounter, complete with small talk, to the end of the date where you’re wondering if you’ll seal the deal, meeting with a customer often feels like a first date. And like a first date, you can’t simply swipe right and expect them to marry you. You need to make the effort to nurture your relationship if you expect it to go anywhere.
How can we apply the rules of dating to the sales process? Let’s look at some similarities...
It Often Begins Online
Maybe today I’ll find the one… You say to yourself as you scroll your inbox. BING! You’ve got mail!
This may sound like a typical day on Tinder or EHarmony, but alas, it’s your sales office.
According to Google Reports, 63% of purchases begin online. That means for every 10 sales appointments, at least 6 of them began with a Google search for - or about - the vehicle they have in mind, and where they’re going to buy it.
So how can you make this work in your favour?
Improve your online presence. Make yourself look good! Just like online dating, your virtual “profile” will determine if your lead will be interested in having an initial meeting. Customers on social media want to see the faces behind the business, and to feel a connection with them. Do you have your headshot on the company website? Does your store share pictures and videos of staff regularly? These are things that will build familiarity with your audience and help to gain their trust.
Interested, but Reserved
We have a whole post focused on developing your EI specifically for auto sales. Read it here! The main point you need to look at when nurturing your leads is what energy are you putting out? Be mindful of your attitude throughout your appointment. Put out positive energy, and it will be met with positive energy in return.
Close the Deal: The Goodnight Kiss
Okay, the metaphor takes a bit of a detour here. Please don’t kiss your customers at the end of your appointment… You will, however, want to close the sale. Or, at least try to book a second “date.”
Pick Up the Phone
I hate to break it to ya, but your date has other options out there. If you don’t stand out from the beginning, they’ll begin talking to other people.
So how do you nurture the relationship with your lead, after the initial contact?
We know sales take an average of 8 points of contact. Yet 80% of salespeople give up after the first message. The way you are going to make yourself stand out is your persistence and consistency. Pick up your phone, and make those points of contact happen!
And Finally... Be Prepared to Kiss a Lot of Frogs
Anyone in the auto industry knows they will hear a lot of no’s in their career. Much like getting dumped, losing a sale can sting. Focus on your next first date, learn from your mistakes, and move on.
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