September '15

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126 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2015 rv-pro.com don't have to dress up. They don't need to impress you with their appearance – you need to impress them with your attitude. 3. Not Asking Enough Questions Whenever I interview salespeople, they always assure me that they ask their pros- pects lots of questions. And then when I observe them in action, they invari- ably ask two or three questions at most before launching into a spiel about which- ever vehicle their prospect happens to be standing next to. When a salesperson pushes an RV that isn't a good fit, prospects get annoyed, because their time is being wasted. Pros- pects would much rather you spend a few extra minutes asking about their wants and needs, so you spend less time pitching the wrong vehicle. When I train sales teams, I arm them with 20 to 40 questions, because if you ask enough of the right questions, your pros- pect will tell you everything you need to know to make the sale. So, what questions do you need to ask to get the information you need? 4. Ignoring Women This is one of the biggest complaints of female buyers. Ironically enough, even female salespeople frequently commit this mistake. Keep in mind that not only are women often buyers in their own right, but when a couple is shopping, the woman controls the checkbook 80 percent of the time. Her opinions, con- cerns and desires matter. Whenever you are talking with a couple, be sure to ask questions of both of them, make eye contact equally with them, and treat them both with courtesy and respect. 5. Not Knowing the Competition Well Enough How do your RVs stack up against the competition? What are their relative strengths and weaknesses? What, specifi- cally, makes your RVs better? And how does your dealership compare to your competitors? If you don't know your competition, you can't make a good case for why your prospect should buy from you rather than from someone else. Invest time studying competing manu- facturers. Know their RVs as well as you know your own. And study the other deal- erships in your area – browse their website, examine their social media, and mystery shop them if you can. 6. Confusing Features With Benefits This is a common mistake not merely among salespeople, but among marketing professionals as well. Just glance through any manufacturer's brochure and you'll see page after page extolling the features of their RVs. As a result, when most salespeople conduct a walkthrough, they simply list the features of the vehicle they're showing. The problem is that buyers don't care about features – they care about benefits! Which means if all you're doing is talking about an RV's features, you're going to lose the sale to someone who knows how to translate them into benefits. Ask yourself about each feature: "How does this benefit the user? Why would a buyer care about this?" 7. Failing to Listen Too many salespeople are so busy spewing all the features and benefits they've memorized, they don't make any effort to actually listen to their prospects. When prospects aren't listened to, they feel that the salesperson doesn't really care about them. By contrast, when prospects are listened to, they feel respected, valued and impor- tant. The more you listen, the more rap- port and trust you build. So talk less and listen more. 8. Using Clichés Because everybody uses them with such frequency, words like "quality," "perfor- mance," and "service" no longer have meaning by themselves. Ditto for phrases like "customer satisfaction" and "best value for the money." If you're only speaking in clichés, you're not really communicating anything at all – and your RV will be perceived as no dif- ferent than anyone else's RV. Don't rely on clichés. Provide an example of your manufacturer's quality. Tell a story about your service department. Prove your dealership's uniqueness with some kind of verifiable fact. 9. Talking Down to Prospects Talking down to prospects is a triumph of ego over good sense. Prospects don't like salespeople who come across as arrogant. Prospects also don't like to feel stupid and will avoid buying from salespeople who make them feel that way. Curb your ego. Respect your prospect's intelligence. Make them feel smart. 10. Fumbling Objections Often, when salespeople encounter an Prejudging prospects by their appearance is a notable way to lose a sale. So is ignoring women customers.

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