When you’re dealing with a prospective client, the key question you need to figure out is – if this person actually going to buy?
As a salesperson, it can be extremely frustrating when you put in the hard yards, only to realise someone has wasted your precious time. So, how do you weed out timewasters from genuine prospects, then close the sale? Here are some tips.
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions
Asking lots of questions will help you work out whether the prospect is a serious buyer or someone who is just ‘fishing around’. Importantly: listen to their answers. It sounds like common sense, but not everyone actually listens and absorbs what they hear.
Ask how they found you? Were they referred by a friend or family member (in which case, they’re more likely to be genuine), or did they walk in off the street (they could still be the real deal, or they may just be killing time in their lunch break?
Do they have a budget in mind? If they seem vague when they answer, they may not be serious about purchasing.
What’s important to them? Is it reliability? Cost? Safety ratings? Fuel efficiency? Gadgets and extras?
The better you understand what’s driving your prospect’s decision making, the easier it will be for you to line them up with the right vehicle for their exact needs and lock in the sale.
Steer the conversation where you want it to go
If someone is chewing your ear off and blatantly wasting your time, try to refocus the conversation back to the information you can use.
If they’re banging on about something irrelevant, gently ask them what their previous vehicle was and why they decided to upgrade, for example? If appropriate, ask whether they’re planning to grow their family and likely to need a larger car moving forward? Getting them thinking about what their needs are not just today but in the next couple of years is a great way to plant the seed and pre-empt a sale.
Find out whether they’ve done their homework
If someone is in the market for a new vehicle and they seem to know exactly what they want, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Chances are they’ve done their homework and are genuine about wanting to buy.
The most important thing from a sales perspective is for you to work out what your prospects’ requirements are and how you can meet those needs.
Establish early on who the decision-maker is
The sooner you work out who has the decision-making power, the more you can focus on what’s going to drive them over the line and how you’re going to close the sale.
Take this example. A father and son walk into the dealership. The son may very well want his first vehicle to have Bluetooth sound systems, ambient interior lighting, keyless entry capabilities and heated seating. However, the dad might be more concerned about safety features like lane-departure warnings, reverse cameras and automatic emergency braking. At the end of the day, if the father is paying, he will be the decision-maker and he’s the person you need to convince.
Don’t be afraid to cut them loose
If you do suspect someone is wasting your time, it’s important to know when to move on. Your time is important, and if someone’s not serious about purchasing, it could be better spent closing sales with real prospects. If you hit too many roadblocks, remove the prospect from your funnel and move on.
Thought about sales coaching?
Our coaching services teach sales staff important strategies like how to differentiate timewasters from genuine customers and successfully close a sale. For more info, check out the DTS Coaching Academy.
As the end of the year approaches, now is a fantastic time to give your sales team a refresh and get them pumped and ready for the new year. We’d love to help you take your first quarter to the next level. Get in touch today!
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