Archive for November 3rd, 2009

Modern Selling: Creating a Friend

November 3, 2009

By Guido Ebert

Research shows that the two main reasons consumers often dread visiting motorcycle and automobile dealerships are 1) the disrespect inherent in being ignored while on the showfloor, and 2) the way in which salespeople tend to descend upon them like hawks on a field mouse. Polar opposites, but equally harmful to the selling process.

I make it a habit of visiting the five local dealerships near my home in the Minneapolis area. While I’m greeted like a long-lost friend at three dealerships — Hitching Post Hopkins, Leo’s South and Scooterville — at the fourth dealership, I often spend 20 minutes walking the showfloor, milling around the Ducati, Triumph and KTM sections, without anyone speaking with me. At the fifth dealership I’m followed around like I’m a thief on the prowl, explained every vehicle or product I stop to take a look at, and never left to simply enjoy the practice of “browsing.”

Ignoring the customer has obvious drawbacks and has long been taught to be among the top reasons for losing a possible sale, but is attempting to capture and control the customer — considered a “must-do” in many sales textbooks — any better for the selling process?

Some sales trainers working in the industry now say selling shouldn’t be a matter of controlling the customer, but a matter of creating a fan of (more…)