Who’s Going to Close, You or the Customer?

Sell or Be Sold, Close or be Closed, in every interaction a sale is made…

All of these are true, and the boil down to who believes in their convictions the most. I don’t think that enough salespeople consider this concept. However, it really is sales 101. Think about it. In any sales transaction there are two potential outcomes:

  1. The customer buys
  2. The customer doesn’t buy

I cannot think of a third option, can you?

“A sale is made with every customer you talk to. Either you sell them a car, or they sell you a reason they can’t buy. Either way a sale is made, the only question is, WHO IS GOING TO CLOSE?”

Adapted from Jim Young, Boiler Room

With an industry average of less than a 20% closing ratio of all opportunities, that puts the customer’s closing percentage at over 80%. That means in the average transaction the customer is the better closer, does that sound right? Not to me, it doesn’t. You are the professional salesperson, how can you let someone else control your success?

The answer is simple, you don’t believe. You don’t believe in your product, the deal, your dealership, or you more than the customer believes they are not buying. As a whole too many salespeople believe the customer. The salesperson believes everything the customer says:

  • “I am not buying today.”
  • “I need to speak to my spouse.”
  • “I can get a better deal somewhere else.”
  • “I only want to buy this stock #.” – But they don’t
  • “I will only buy a red car.”

The list can go on and on, and even include the dreaded, “It’ too hot to buy a car today.”

Don’t be this salesperson. Now I would not go so far as to say buyers are lairs, even though some of them are. Heck even some salespeople are liars (which I would never condone). It is this fact that some salespeople cannot be trusted as the reason I believe customer do everything they can to protect themselves, even if it causes them to be a little less than honest.

So, how can you prevent this from happening to you?

6 Ways to Earn Your Customers Trust and Believe in Your Own Convictions

  1. Believe the Customer is there to BUY – If you do not believe the customer is there to buy, then they won’t either. Research has shown that over 80% of customers leave their house with the intention to buy. That 80% doesn’t include the percentage of people that can be convinced to buy. Salespeople need to get out of the mindset that a 25% to 30% closing ratio is good. The majority of customers that you talk to are yours to lose. The more quickly you can make the mindset shift to believe that ALL customers are buyers the more sales you will make.
  2. Always Operate in the Customer’s Best Interest – If you are not operating in the customer’s best interest, the customer will know it, or at least feel it. And if the sense this, they will never trust you, and if they don’t trust you, they will never buy from you. Now, I have expressed this concept the several dealers, managers, and salespeople, who have argued that they should operate in the best interest of the dealership and themselves. I would argue that operating in the best interest of the customer IS operating in the best interest of the dealership and the salesperson. The reason a lot of managers and salespeople argue against operating in the customer’s best interest is they believe that means you have to give the customer to lowest price possible and that is not true at all. I believe that making profit on a customer is in their best interest. This affords the salesperson and the dealership to support the customer over the long term. In order to operate in the customer’s best interest and earn your desired pricing, you must deliver more value than you are asking for in pricing. So if you want to make a ten thousand dollar profit, just deliver a million dollar sales experience.
  3. Never Lie to the Customer – You will always get caught and once a customer feel that you have lied to them, nothing you do can save the deal. Customer’s will not buy from someone they don’t trust, at any price. I have seen customers who will attempt to set the salesperson up to see if the salesperson will lie to them by asking questions the customer already knows the answer to, just to see how the salesperson responds and if the customer can trust them. If you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, never lie, just ensure the customer that you will find out the answer for them. Reality is most questions the customer will ask of you
  4. Invest the Time to Learn What is Important to the Customer (Problem & Desired Outcome) This is probably the most mishandled step of the sale. It is so easy for a salesperson to skip this step of the sale or half-ass it. Especially when the customer comes into the dealership, calls in, or submits a lead to gather information on a specific vehicle. When the customer says they are there to gather information on a specific vehicle, the salesperson gets all excited because they have the car in-stock, and they never find out why the customer “thinks” this is the vehicle they want to buy. The salesperson never learns what problem the customer is looking to solve and what desired outcome the customer is looking for. At this point, one of two things happen, the customer changes their mind about the vehicle and the salesperson does not understand why nor do the understand what to do next. Or the customer does want to move forward with the figures, however the salesperson does not have anything to build value on and can only offer discounts to attempt to close the deal.
  5. Believe you are Offering the Right Solution – This one goes hand and hand with learning what is important to the customer, what problem they are looking to solve, and the desired outcome they are looking for. If you don’t take the time to learn these things you cannot have the confidence that you are offering the customer, the best solution possible. More deals are lost because the customer is not on the right vehicle, than any other reason.
  6. Believe in your “WHYs” – You MUST believe in:
    • WHY YOU!
    • WHY NOW!

If you don’t believe in your “WHYs” then your customer never can.

If you earn the customer’s trust and believe in your own convictions, you will be the one doing the selling and closing and not falling victim to the customer closing you on why they are not buying. So, what’s it going to be, are you going to be sold or is the customer? WHO’S GOING TO CLOSE!



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