Don't believe everything you read. Just because the average customer now spends 11.5 hours of online research some bloggers and "industry experts" claim that the role of the salesperson is diminished or even unnecessary. Don't you believe it! It's true that buyers today have more easy access information than ever before. Does that mean they know it all and understand it all when they make a vehicle selection? Are they 100% confident that their selection is the very best match to their needs?
As always there is a large variance from one individual to another and it is our assumptions that can get us into trouble. Don't assume:
They know the car and understand all its features
They don't need a full presentation
They don't need to drive the car
They want everything to go fast
They only care about the price
There are only a few assumptions we can safely make. We can assume:
They have a need or a want
The time is right
Our brand is acceptable
Our dealership is acceptable
Our vehicle price range is acceptable
Something about their old vehicle or a lifestyle change is motivating them
They are hoping to find professional help
They need confidence in their selection before they can feel comfortable saying yes to the decision
So how do we approach the buying process? We meet them where they are in their shopping process and help them to the next step. Understand them so you can validate their selection or show them a better match to their needs. You're not a mind reader so you'll need to ask questions to understand them.
Don't assume they know everything - find out what they know
Don't assume they want the process to be fast - find out what they want to get accomplished today
Don't assume they don't need a presentation or demo - know that most people just can't feel comfortable making a decision without experiencing the vehicle.
We used to say that the number one job of the salesperson was selection.
Now we think the number one job of the salesperson is to understand their customer. Only then can you bring value and make their decision easy.