Death of a Salesperson

I am always looking for ideas, inspiration, and continuous ways to help salespeople sell more cars. This morning I received an email with the Subject Line: Death of a Salesman, Birth of a Strategist. Immediately, I opened the email, I had to read this one. The email proceeded to talk about salespeople and the perception of them. It also revealed two shocking statistics:

  • 83% of customers say they have no brand loyalty and will leave to a competitor very quickly
  • 97% of prospects feel that salespeople are too pushy and self-indulged

So, what is a salesperson to do?


A traditional or typical salesperson only cares about the sale. They obsess with the sale and the commission attached to it. Thinking nothing about the customers wants and needs, nor operating in the customer’s best interest. This typical salesperson is always the one talking, listing off every feature their vehicle has, thinking they are selling their customer on why they want to buy from them. When in reality the only person who is listening to them, is them, and all they have actually done is explain to the customer all the reasons they should ask for a large discount. I mean, why should the customer pay for a bunch of features they do not want or need.

Now on the other hand, a consultant is always looking to be of service and add value to a sale. They seek to understand their customer’s wants, needs, and current problem the customer is looking to solve. All this just by asking the right questions and once a consultant has gathered all of this information, they will always present the right solution to solve their customer’s current situation.

After reading the email and breaking down the concepts, I was reminded of an event that just the day before.

Yesterday, I was visiting one of my dealerships. Not for a specific purpose, just stopping by and saying hi. After I had made my way around the dealership I was walking out to my car when I was passing a salesperson just wrapping up with a customer. As the customer was walking away, I began to talk to the salesperson, when the customer turned around and asked, “are you his manager?” I explained to the customer that I was not the salespersons manager, but a sales trainer. The customer told me that I must be doing a good job because of the excellent job the salesperson had did with the customer. The customer told me how he and his wife had come into buy a CRV, however it was not the right car for them. They then proceeded to tell me how this salesperson was the first to ever ask him questions and then actually listen to what they had to say. After listening to what the customer had to say, the salesperson showed them a Passport and both the husband and wife fell in love with it. The customer told me it was way more car than they ever thought they could afford, yet some how the salesperson was able to fit it in their budget. This customer continued to go on and on about how much they loved their vehicle and the salesperson. Once, the customer was finished, I let them know that I would pass the kind word on to the manager and asked the customer to please write an online review, this is exactly the kind of customer you want writing reviews for you.

After the customer got back in their new Passport and drove away, the salesperson turns to me and said, “that was an MSRP deal with full backend. It was my highest commission of the month. It is always your highest profit customers, that are the happiest.” My only possible response, “you are 100% correct and I am sure a referral, is not going to be far behind.”

So, the moral of this story is, Stop being a typical salesperson and start being a consultant. You will earn higher commissions, sell more vehicles, and have happier customers. You will also earn repeat and referral business. Every dealership I go into, salespeople tell me, how I just do not understand customers these days, all the customer cares about is the ‘best price.’ I think maybe they are just trying to be a typical salesperson, instead of being a consultant and earning a higher commission.



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