So often I try to illustrate how professional sales really works. Simply, it works by helping your prospect self-realize that they need (or in some cases don?t need) your product or service. One of the best examples is the story I tell about buying a Jeep.
Years ago, I got engaged to a man who had two children. I had one child of my own and between the two of us we needed a more “Brady-esk” car. We decided after much research that a Jeep Cherokee would do the trick. At the time a Jeep Cherokee Loredo, the base model, would cost $299 per month to lease for three years with $1,000 down. This was a “good deal” by all accounts.
Since I know how car dealers work (or so I thought), I felt strongly about staying emotionally detached and just purchasing the car for the price I wanted. I called the Jeep dealership in Stuart, Florida and asked for the sales manager. Richard (who I believe is still there) answered the phone.
I explained to Richard that I wanted a Jeep Cherokee Loredo, dark green in color, and that I would be willing to buy it today if he could match the price I wanted — which was $299 /36 months and $1000 down. I was strong in my demand, making sure he knew I was in charge. Richard said he could match the price but he only had the vehicle in army green, not dark green. Even though I was disappointed since the dark green was so much more “me,” I decided this was the route to go.
Upon arrival at the dealership, the kids and my fiancé at the time piled out of our car. “Wait here,” I commanded. “I’ll handle this!”
I entered the showroom, and a man came out to greet me. “You must be Greta,” he said smiling and seeming sincere. “Yes, I am,” I said cautiously. “Well, let’s go drive the car.”
“Oh no,” I exclaimed. “I want to talk money first.” Richard responded, “Okay, but didn’t you say $299 for three years with $1000.00 down? Well that’s what we agreed to, so that’s what it is, right?” With a half smile on my face I proudly proclaimed, “Right.”
As we walked through the lot to the army green (a bit pea green if you’d asked me) Jeep, Richard asked, “So, which car is yours?” I pointed to a blue BMW in a customer parking lot. As we got into the car, Richard pointed out, “This car doesn’t have a leather interior, it has cloth… but that’s not a problem, I’m sure you kids don’t spill things at their age.”
“No, no that’s okay,” I quickly replied. As I pulled out of the dealership in the car for the test drive, Richard asked, “What type of music do you like?” as he played with the radio.
“Oh gosh, jazz, top 40, lots of different things.”
“Really, do you have a lot of CD’s?” he continued.
“Oh yes” I proudly proclaimed.
“Hum, you know this car doesn’t have a CD player, but I’m sure you still have cassettes.”
“Or, I can just play the radio,” I said with some reservation.
“Of course you can,” he said confidently.
As we pulled back into the dealership lot, Richard asked, “So what do you think?”
“Pretty nice,” I replied with hesitation. “It drives more like a truck, but, hey, it’s not a BMW and you have to give up something, right?” Silent, I walked into the showroom to sign the papers.
“Hey Greta, that emerald green down there on that car — was that the color you originally asked me for?”
Excitement filled my face. “Yes, but I thought you didn’t have one.”
“Oh no, that’s a Grand Cherokee. It has all the bells and whistles, you know — CD player, leather seats and a smoother drive train, but you didn?t want that,” Richard said.
“Ummm… how much more is that one?” I couldn’t resist.
Guess which one I drove away in and paid $70 more a month for? You got it! And guess what I said to my fiancee when we were walking toward our new Grand? “Honey, it’s more expensive, but I am in sales. My car is like my office, I have to be comfortable…”
So what happened? Well, Richard did a really good job of finding out what was important to me. But, he never told me those things were important. Instead, he asked me the right questions to get me to self-realize that I wanted them.
And what did I do? I made an emotional decision and justified it intellectually to my family. Remember, people love to buy, and they just hate to be sold. So help them buy, and stop selling them. It even worked on me… and I saw it coming.
Click here to share this post.