Confessions of a Used Car Salesman: Overcoming the Stigmas

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Automotive industry professionals are aware that the used car salesman stereotype isn’t exactly a compliment. Even without the slick hairstyles and flashy suits, your sales staff can still battle the outdated views customers have of pressure tactics meant to close a quick deal rather than start a beneficial relationship.

It’s time to overcome the stigmas that are stalling your used car sales team. Here are a few ways to show the passion you have for the cars you sell, while differentiating your dealership from the competition and building trust and transparency with customers.

4 Ways to Rethink the Used Vehicle Sales Experience

1. Be Transparent from the Start

Before prospective customers even arrive on your lot, ensure your store has an accurate online presence. Display clear, detailed descriptions of each vehicle, including any imperfections. Highlight features with high-quality photos and add virtual tours for more engagement.

Many customers expect some uncomfortable negotiations, so you can help ease their concerns by offering fair and upfront pricing. Move away from the haggle model and implement a “no-haggle” pricing strategy or clearly display fair asking prices. Having history reports such as CARFAX┬« or others readily available can help reassure customers about the used model they are considering.

2. Empower the Customer Journey

Car shoppers don’t want to feel pulled through the process. Put them in charge by focusing on the needs, not sales. Actively listen to what the customer is looking for in a car, their budget, and lifestyle needs. Prioritize finding the perfect fit for them, not just pushing the car with the highest commission. Explain financing options clearly and avoid hidden fees. Offer a variety of financing options to cater to different budgets and credit situations.

To keep current and potential customers coming back, become a resource! Offer not only payment calculators and virtual test-drives but also information about the car buying process, the value of different features, and maintenance tips. This helps builds trust and positions you as an industry expert, not just a used car salesman.

3. Build Long-Term Relationships

Don’t disappear after the sale. Provide excellent customer service and be readily available to address any concerns promptly. Encourage satisfied customers to leave online reviews. This helps builds trust with potential buyers and showcases your commitment to a positive experience.

Getting involved in your local community is a great way to stay connected with current customers and discover new ones. Sponsor or participate in local events and charities to build a positive reputation within the community. Seek industry certifications and awards that demonstrate your commitment to ethical sales practices and excellent customer service.

4. Shift Your Company Culture

Your sales staff spends face-to-face time with your customers every day, so it’s crucial to ensure that your company culture is a great one to encourage the best out of each team member. Base performance evaluations on customer satisfaction surveys and positive reviews, not only sales numbers, to incentivize a customer-centric focus. Reward salespeople for creating positive customer experiences rather than just closing deals to reinforce the importance of trust and transparency.

Train your salespeople to prioritize customer needs and build trust through honest communication. Invest in ongoing training programs that emphasize ethical sales practices and customer service best practices, and equip them with the advanced technology tools they need to break down old-fashioned stereotypes and provide customers with an unforgettable vehicle sales experience.

Leave Stigmas in the Dust to Drive Better Sales

Overcoming stigmas in the automotive industry requires acknowledgment and intentional actions to not only adjust operations but also provide customers with a positively unexpected vehicle sales experience. The experts at Affinitiv have developed solutions that can help dealerships attract prospective customers, equip staff with digital sales and service tools, keep current customers engaged with multi-channel marketing, and more. Browse our entire suite online, or contact us today for your live demo.

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