You can learn a lot from a car salesman

I got to spend a few days with a group of car salesmen. What an interesting group of men! I really had a good time and I liked each and every one of them. They were outgoing, friendly, and had a crazy sense of humor. I felt right at home.

Car salesmen have to be good at many things but mainly how to sell since their income depends on it. They work closely with their managers negotiating the best deal, and then they have to be able to close the deal with the customer. I watched closely as managers stepped in and out during negotiations with clients when they were needed to close the deal. Sometimes, they helped the salesman if he was having a hard time closing, or sometimes they just let the the salesman to succeed on his own. The most important thing one of them said to me was, “If you want to be in sales, you must know how to close the deal.” He is right.

What I learned and took away from these gentlemen (men, because there were no women) was their attention to detail. They had thought and discussed every aspect of the sale. From where to stand, when to sit, when to be funny, when to be friendly, what the bottom line is, where they are willing to give, and where not to, and most importantly which skill set to use with which client. How do they do this was my question. Well I came to a few conclusions:

1) Lots and lots of practice
2) Accepting the help of some one who has done it longer and better
3) And they are prepared!

To me the whole thing looks stressful, but these men always had a smile on their face. If you want to know about sales who better to talk to than these men?

I got to ask them what advice they would give to novices.

This is what they told me:

“There is no trick on how to be a good salesman, but for me I enjoy my job, I enjoy doing the mundane things. This is what makes me successful. Each day, Monday through Friday, I make 50 phone calls, 50-100 faxes, and 200 letters. When others are waiting for customers to come in, I am bringing them in.”

“You need to spend 2 hours a day prospecting. You need to tell them why they should buy today and why they should buy from you.”

“Do not believe anything anyone says. Trust your gut, I get a feeling about people, whether they are going to buy or not. I trust that.”

“Be nice. People like to buy from nice people, every conversation is establishing trust. But not-so-friendly-people can make big money, because the bottom line is, people want to buy regardless of the salesman.”

“The experience customers have in your office/business is not about what you do; it’s about what attitude they walked in with. You need to be able to read quickly what attitude your customers bring to the table. If you can read people you will be amazed your self about how right you can be but also how wrong.”