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By: Su Rin

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Monday, 20-Dec-2010 16:30 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Your job as the salesperson is to understand that a customer can come to you with a state of mind such as this and that you must deal with it. The way for you to deal with it is to be patient and to serve the customer. The way to serve the customer is by gently guiding him or her in the decision-making process (Steps to a Sale).

Regardless of what you hear, if you treat the customer as a buyer, and not as a tyre kicker (non-buyer), you and the customer can make progress towards finding the right vehicle.

In order for you to treat the customer as a buyer and to help him or her act like one, you should keep in mind that some specific chain of events has brought this customer to you. Regardless of whether this customer is someone you prospected for and invited in or is a walk-in, the person who sets aside time to visit your dealership has experienced some dramatic change in thinking that has brought him or her to this point. (As a rule, people do not casually drop by a motor vehicle dealership to "look around".) This change of thinking could have taken place yesterday or it could have begun several weeks ago. For some reason, this person has become dissatisfied with his or her present transportation.

This change in thinking is spurred by what is called an "activating event". Remember that the activating event is something you will begin to look for as you talk with your customer. It will usually have a very strong relation to the customer's buying motive.

Following are a few of the reasons you can look for:

• The age of the present car
• A recent inconvenience (mechanical breakdown)
• A recent accident
• A neighbour bought a new car
• His/her spouse said something
• The family is growing
• He/she got a promotion
• The family needs a second/third car

Whatever the reason, once this dissatisfaction sets in, the customer's mind opens to all of the automotive advertising that bombards him or her daily. The customer becomes very attentive to any discussions about cars, and begins paying much more attention to the other cars on the road. Eventually the decision is made to visit the dealership. You must recognise this fact and stay aware of it throughout your contact with the customer.

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