The Competitive Sales Edge

The struggle for a competitive edge requires skill enhancement. Knowledge of products, technology and problem solving all take on new meaning while working today’s competitive environment.

Customers no longer accept mediocre presentations, canned closing questions and product demonstrations that lack comprehensive knowledge. The customer is and will continue to be, more prepared for the buying process. They will ask questions that an untrained salesperson will not be able to answer. Customers are prepared with product comparison data, pricing parameters and in most cases, they already have an understanding of the value of their trade-in.

Price isn’t the primary focus for your customer as much as they are assessing the salespersons knowledge. Preparation and the professionalism that the salesperson displays will be a determining factor for the well-informed consumer. Average is no longer acceptable to the buying public.

The sales process has evolved, this much is true. The automotive sales evolution is improved knowledge and skills not the deletion of salespeople. Customers want to have honest answers to tough questions, unbiased responses to product comparisons and a non-confrontational buying process. Professional sales people embrace technology and change with the demands of their customer base.

Sales skill regression continues to be a genuine concern as outdated sales processes and techniques dominate the sector. Technicians must constantly be tested and retrained on their skill set. Technician training consists of updated modules, technical service bulletins, and renewals of certifications. Other professionals such as; Doctors, attorneys’, CPA’s and other well-compensated professionals are continuously being trained on the latest technology. Athletes’ and coaches are constantly reinventing themselves and their playbooks to become more competitive in their environment.

Sales professionals need to adapt the approach and acquire new skills until they are consistent with desired results. There are thousands of books written about the latest advances in sales communication and seminars offered by outstanding innovators.

In general, most sales organizations have lacked the work ethics needed to progress. The demand on the business has been strenuous and dealerships of all sizes need to adjust their budgets for selling fewer cars at smaller profit margins. Discretionary expenses like “training” have been either eliminated altogether or depleted to cover only the essential.

The internet sales model has grown exponentially and social networking has given consumers more choices and more control than ever. Chat rooms, buying clubs, online reviews and other social media outlets provide an endless array of options and streams of information. Buying decisions are made every day based on information shared through social media. Preparedness through continuous education is a sure-fire path to improved performance.

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