This summer, I stepped into a new direction in my career and started selling Chevrolet vehicles at Holz Motors.
With just over a month under my belt at the dealership, I’m starting to hear stories from prospects and customers about the cars they drive, where they’ve been, and what they hope their next ride will bring into their lives.
This past week, I sold a vehicle to an older couple that may have literally bought their last car in their lifetime. Given that it was a quite memorable experience, I thought I’d share their story so you can get a glimpse of life on the car lot.
My customers, George and Martha were like many others, just a pleasant couple I encountered wondering the car lot looking at vehicles and sticker prices. I introduced myself, handed them a business card, and started asking questions about what brought them into Holz.
Following our brief meet and greet conversation, George and Martha decided they wanted more specific information about a 2015 Chevrolet Impala they had seen.
With a chosen vehicle in mind, the sales process began. Customer information was gathered, keys garnered, and a test drive was soon underway.
Up until that point, I was fairly confident I was on my way to earning a sale and sending another happy couple down the road. Yet, as we all know, any journey can have many bumps, twists and turns before you reach your final destination. Thus, my story continues…
As George and Martha were 85 and 80 years old respectively, I got the impression this couple may just be buying their last car. With that said, I wanted their experience at the dealership to be smooth.
Yet, my road to the sale was about to get bumpy instead. Why? During negotiations, George quickly turned perturbed, upset and dissatisfied with the discussion and promptly ended our conversation. Realizing I may lose a sale, I asked for managerial assistance to resolve the situation. Sadly, it was not meant to be. Within moments, the customer was out the door.
The next morning, after rehashing the conversation in my head, I picked up the phone and dialed George to thank him for coming in and see what feedback he may have had to offer in regard to our meeting. Surprisingly, his tone was cordial and pleasant. George thanked me for calling, told me specifically how impressed he was with my “good salesmanship skills,” and he agreed to stop back to the dealership with his wife later that afternoon to negotiate further.
In the end, we closed the deal and I was fortunate enough to send them on their way last night in their new Chevy. George’s final comment during the vehicle delivery was that I handled the whole transaction “beautifully.” As he smiled at me, wished me luck in the business and grabbed his keys to go, I couldn’t help but think how much he had taught me about in just a few days about the importance of the customer experience and how listening, negotiating, and being genuinely helpful to others will earn you that sale.
Lessons learned. Now to go sell a few more cars today…
(Customer names were changed for privacy.)
Duane is a business professional that is passionate about helping individuals, entrepreneurs and small business owners tell their story online. In addition, in early 2014, he began helping Milwaukee become more sustainable by launching Compost Express, an organic recycling business. Follow him on Twitter @duanedrzadinski