WHY, WHY, WHY???
My husband and I went car shopping the other day. Why, you ask? Well, it’s funny that YOU ask, because not one of the car salesmen on any of the lots we went to did. As it happens, we are in the market for a mini-van because we are expecting ANOTHER set of twins in April. And the utterly dismal performance by each and every salesperson we encountered got me thinking about—and criticizing—their approaches.
One of the fundamentals of sales is the concept of asking open-ended questions to get the most useful information out of someone you are trying to forge a relationship with. These are typically the five W’s and an H that we learned back in grade school—the “who, what, where, when, why and how” questions.
Not only did the sales reps NOT ask very many questions, but the way they asked them was very counterproductive. Here’s another bad example. “Do you care about DVD players at all?” How about, “How important is having a DVD player in your new car to you?” See the difference?
So here is my recommended version of how our interactions should have gone:
How can I help you folks today?
Well, we are in the market for a used mini-van.
Great! Why are you shopping for a minivan today?
We are expecting a set of twins in April.
Congratulations! Do you have any other kids? How old are they?
Yes—we have two girls that will be three in February.
WOW! So you’ll definitely need a six-seat vehicle that can accommodate four car seats. Am I right about that?
Our best-selling and highest-rated vehicle that fits that bill is the Honda Odyssey. Would you like to come take a seat so we can talk more about options, price range, your time frame, and purchase, lease and financing options?