We all have our fears. For some people, it is going to the dentist; for others, it is the fear of speaking in front of a large group. But if you ask around, going to a car dealership and working through the process of purchasing a vehicle can be just as (if not more) scary than anything else they experience in their lives. One of the main reasons is that clients deal with unprofessional salespeople that start off the initial greeting wrong.
One of the things that a professional salesperson can do to help relieve the tension of coming to a car dealership is to have a proper greeting. The saying, “You never get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression” is especially true in this scenario. So what are some things you can focus on to start the experience off right for your client(s)?
- SMILE! Not only do you need to smile with your mouth, but it is also crucial that you smile with your eyes. People can easily pick up on body language, so when you are showing a GENUINE smile, clients will naturally feel relaxed around you. Practice this by both looking at yourself in the mirror smiling, and also with other sales people. Even when you don’t feel like smiling, it will help you relax the defensive mechanism that many clients have when walking into a dealership.
- Greet EVERYONE in the group. It is very important that you acknowledge everyone (including kids) because you never know who the vehicle is for initially. It pains me when I see a salesperson only greet the male and ignore the female and kids, especially when it is the woman that makes the decision the majority of the time! By not acknowledging everybody, it can kill your chances of selling a vehicle before you even start.
- Greet the woman first (if possible). One of the keys to being great in this business is to be different from the competition. In a typical scenario, when a salesperson greets a couple, they usually acknowledge the male first then the female. I am telling you to do the opposite. However, if the male is the first one to acknowledge you when approaching them, then you definitely greet them first. Is it possible that you offend the male in this situation? Highly unlikely! There have been plenty of times where I have been somewhere and my wife gets acknowledge before I do. I personally don’t mind it at all, and you will find out that most guys don’t mind as well.
- Use eye contact. When greeting the party, make sure you look everyone in the eyes. This is where the “smiling with your eyes” comes into play. You want to look interested and excited, but not too strong. Looking too intense could backfire on you.
Overall, your goal in the initial greeting is to extend your positive enthusiasm and attitude to the client(s) that you are interacting with. By doing this, you will be able to smoothly transition to the interview process and start to build the trust that is needed for a client to want to do business with you.
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Client Advisor at Advantage BMW Midtown