Closing Through the Buyer’s Eyes

By: Tom Hopkins

Closing Through the Buyer’s Eyes

Years ago, I spoke at a banquet for top salespeople. Before I gave my talk, the speaker introduced someone in the audience and said, “This man earned twice the national average in sales last year…” The speaker’s manner suggested that it was quite an achievement. But, considering the large number of successful sales professionals in the room, that feat wasn’t all that impressive, so everyone craned their necks and looked at the man in puzzlement. The next words out of the speakers’ mouth made all the difference. He said, “and he’s totally blind.”

There was a burst of applause. Then, the speaker said, “I’m sure many of us are wondering how you got into the top third in sales achievement with your handicap.”

“Wait a minute,” the blind man replied, “I don’t have a handicap. I have an advantage over every other salesperson in my field. I have never seen a product I’ve sold, so I have to close through my buyers’ eyes. What I do is what all of you sighted people could do. And you’d make more money if you did.”

He’s 100% correct. You must see the benefits, the features and the limitations of your vehicles from the buyer’s viewpoint. You must weigh them on their scale of values, not yours.

Get yourself out of the way

Potential clients don’t come to your dealership to find out what you like. They don’t know you and don’t care what you drive…unless you drive a competitor’s vehicle. If you do, don’t mention it. It will make them doubt your sincerity as you tout the benefits of Brand A when you’ve just told them you drive Brand B. Also, if you would drive a Brand A vehicle but can’t afford it, don’t tell them. They’ll wonder just how good a salesperson you are. Don’t do or say anything that might raise their sales resistance.

Always keep in mind that people don’t just buy your vehicles. They buy the dealership’s reputation. They buy the brand credibility. And, they buy you. They need to feel that you’re a product of the product—that you truly believe in what you sell.
People will say yes to you based more on your conviction and enthusiasm than your product knowledge. If you don’t truly love the vehicle brand and models that you sell, you need to either fall in love with them or find another brand to represent. Your lack of love for what you do will show and instill something other than confidence in your potential buyers.

Don’t tell them what you like about the vehicles

Stop turning potential buyers off by saying, “What I like most about this feature is…” As I said, they don’t care what you like. They need you to care about what they like…and want…and need.

The only way to learn what their needs are is to ask questions. Typical automotive salespeople think their job is to capture the clients when they walk in, ask generally what they’re looking for and quickly start walking in the direction of those models.

Champion automotive salespeople don’t do that until they’ve gotten the buyer talking about what their new vehicle needs to do for them. The only talking you should be doing at this point in the sales cycle is asking questions.

  • “What brought you in to our dealership today?”
  • “Are you interested in a new vehicle, or were you thinking of something used?”
  • “What type of driving do you do? Mostly in town or longer highway driving?”
  • “Do you typically carry a lot of cargo? Or, are you more likely to have a car full of passengers?”
  • “What type of gas mileage do you get in your current vehicle? Is that an important aspect of your decision today?”

Do you see how these types of questions help you mentally filter through the hundreds of vehicles on the lot? Even if Jim Martin comes in saying he wants a new 4-wheel-drive truck, you may learn that Jim’s wife is expecting their first child soon and that they’ll need an extended cab at the least…something young Jim may not be thinking of because he’s always had a single-cab truck and likes them.

Mary Porter may come in wanting something sporty, but in drawing her out, you learn that she has two big dogs that she takes along on trips out of town on the weekends. In that case, the definition of “sporty” just went from being a two-seater to something larger, didn’t it?

You are an expert advisor in the automotive industry. When people talk about their needs, you think solutions. Most of your potential clients will make vehicle ownership decisions once every 2 – 3 years. You are involved in those decisions daily and know so much from the experience your clients have with their vehicles. You think beyond basic wants and needs and go deeper into what’s truly going to be the best choice.

There’s an old saying that “Knowledge is power, when properly applied.” Keep that in the forefront of your mind when you speak with potential buyers. The better you are at seeing the vehicle purchase through their eyes, the more likely you are to help them make a wise decision about not only this vehicle, but their next vehicle…and the one after that.

This article was written by:

- has written 33 posts on Agent Entrepreneur.

Tom Hopkins is world renowned for teaching practical, how-to selling strategies. His training increases competence and builds confidence when it comes to qualifying, presenting and closing sales. www.tomhopkins.com Or, Click Here to download a free e-book titled, “6 Practical Tips for Making More Automotive Sales.”

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The views expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Agent Entrepreneur or any employee thereof.

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