Do you believe that today’s customer only cares about the price? Do you think that discounting or even losing money on deals is the only way to win a customer?
I believe that price alone is not a strong enough motivator of buying, especially as a long-term strategy for a business or individual salesperson.
Any dealer that is always the cheapest will eventually go out of business. And any dealer who is always the highest will also go out of business.
A better philosophy to win customers is to create an experience for which customers are willing to pay more. I call it OUT-EXPERIENCING your competition. The car is the commodity, but the real value is in the experience for customers. Still not convinced?
Let me give you an example of a product where YOU and almost everyone you know is willing to pay 1,000% more for something that you can get for free.
- Free – watch a pirated version that hits the web
- Free-ish – wait 2-3 years from its opening till it hits a TV channel with commercials
- $1.00 – watch it from a Redbox DVD near you
- $2.00 – watch it from a Redbox Bluray near you
- $5.00 – watch it in 2D when it comes to a small theater near you and go to a matinee
- $6.00 – watch it when it hits your cable provider and rent a standard definition version
- $7.00 – watch the 3D version from a small theater during a matinee
- $8.00 – watch it from your cable provider and rent an HD version
- $10.00 – watch it at a movie theater in standard 2D after 5pm
- $12.00 – watch it at an IMAX movie theater in 3D during a matinee
- $15.00 – watch it at a movie theater in 3D after 5pm
- $18.00 – watch it at an IMAX movie theater in 3D after 5pm
- $21.00 – watch it at a 21+ only dine-in movie theater 5pm
- $24.00 – watch it at an IMAX, 3D, 21+ only dine-in movie theater 5pm
- $29.00 – watch it at an IMAX, 3D, D-Box, 21+ only dine-in movie theater 5pm
What’s the moral of the story? It’s the same commodity but what changes is the experience! The difference from $2 to $29 is a 1,350% increase in price for the same commodity.
Obviously, a customer is not going to pay $135,000 for a $10,000 car. BUT will someone pay $500, $800, or even $1,000 more for a $10,000 car because they knowingly choose the experience at your dealership? ABSOLUTELY!
So many people have had bad experiences shopping for a car that I believe providing a different and better experience is actually not that difficult. Doing just a few things differently, more effectively or more efficiently will set you apart.
Here are some examples of my students creating unique experiences that customers are willing to pay more for.
Engage the Children
Engage the children by offering coloring books, games, or toys for them. As an additional extra touch, some of my students order coloring books that have their personal brands on them, such as a cartoon version of the salesman and the vehicles they sell. Other salespeople have taken the time to learn how to do balloon animals and take requests from kids to make different balloon animals.
Give Free Stuff
Offer drinks or snacks for your guests: chocolates, popsicles, granola bars, etc. Some of my students go the extra mile by keeping frosted mugs in the freezer to offer cold drinks to their guests. Other salespeople have partnered with local businesses and collected gift certificates to restaurants and movie theaters that they give to prospects. How does it change someone’s buying experience if you could say, “I understand this is a big decision to make. Here is a gift certificate for a free lunch for two at the best BBQ place in town. Why don’t you go have lunch on me and think about it?”
Ask Good Quality Investigative Questions
Do customers compliment you on the questions you ask because they are insightful, interesting, or unique? Can you identify your customer’s hot buttons in 2-3 questions? Asking the right questions builds trust and increases confidence. Being good at investigation also minimizes the amount of time it takes to land on the right vehicle. If a customer came to your dealership after shopping around for a while, it means nobody solved their transportation problem. Offer a better experience by solving their problem effectively and professionally.
Attentiveness also creates a unique experience for your clients because so few salespeople demonstrate it. Do you intentionally show customers that you are devoted to them and respect their time? If you look at your phone while you’re with them, take other calls, or “disappear” without them knowing the reason, you’re just like every other underperforming salesperson who has to discount to win business. Small gestures of attentiveness will set you apart from your competition.
Demonstrate the Value
Most salespeople THINK they do demo drives but they don’t actually go on demo drives. If you send your customer out alone on a drive, it’s not a demo drive, it’s just a drive! Or if your customer is driving on your “demo” drive, it is not a demo drive, it is a presentation drive! Demo is short for demonstration. Demonstrating something is an active, intentional, engaging, and interactive experience. You must drive the vehicle first for it to be a demo drive. Take a lesson from the billion dollar infomercial industry – they don’t just distribute products to the audience and ask to use them. A host will use the product first himself in an engaging manner to show how fun and easy it to use it. What’s the last time you went on such demo drive?
Have Fun and Entertain
How often are your guests laughing, smiling, and being entertained by you? People pay big money to laugh or be wowed. I am an amateur magician for this reason. I love performing magic for customers while I’m helping them buy a car. It not only kills down time, but engages the customer’s imagination and wonder. I want customers to be in a state of excitement, joy, and anticipation when they are with me. It makes them want to pay me more.
The goal of every salesperson should be to OUT-EXPERIENCE their competition by adding value in these simple and subtle ways.
Elevate your value and prospects will pay more to buy a car from you!