Women’s Wednesday #80: Be a Solution Specialist, Not a Salesperson
Posted: August 8, 2018 by Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate
Salesperson or Solution Specialist – What is Your Culture?
Do you have sales personnel or solution specialists at your dealership? Is there truly a difference between the two terms? Can changing the language you use really increase your sales?
When selling to women, language can make all the difference between a successful customer engagement and sending a prospect out the door. Why? Women rank trust as their #1 reason for buying from a dealership. Trust matters more than price. This means that language matters when creating a customer experience and a dealership culture. Here are 5 ideas for creating a culture of solutions and trust:
- Salesperson or Solution Specialists? As the terms imply, a salesperson sells, and a solution specialist creates a solution. While this may seem trite, it is key to creating a trusted culture. The term “Salesperson” implies that their goal is to sell. Period. Sales are obviously the objective for a dealership, but your customer expects much more. The term “Solution Specialist” implies that the customer comes first. So many guests come into your store not knowing the exact car they want to buy – they expect to be guided and assisted, not sold and pressured.
- A Title Change Isn’t Enough. Once you change your front-line team title to Solution Specialists (or Solutions Ambassadors or Value Creation Managers), what’s next? The next step is to create “customer first” emotional language throughout your store. On your website, for example, indicate the employees are “Your Team” instead of “Our Team.” Their goal is to create a culture of service and trust with every individual that walks in the door or visits you digitally.
- Help Employees Spread Your Culture. To assist your employees in knowing what to expect, hold regular training sessions and role-playing practice to help them understand how to “convey” your company culture. Provide handbooks and online links for employees to understand how to provide solutions. Offer regular feedback to let them know how they are engaging with the consumer and guest, personally.
- Ask Customers for Authentic Feedback. The best way to understand if you are conveying a solutions-based culture is to seek authentic feedback from your guests and customers. Focus groups are a great way to create dialog. Encourage honest reviews of team performance to expose areas for improvement during the customer experience. Capitalize and use the proprietary first-party Women Satisfaction Index®Dealer Data from women buyers to ID key areas that are working and those that need improvement.
- Use Culture to Cultivate Retention. It is imperative to move from simply tracking sales to fully reviewing your dealership’s culture of engagement. Each step of a customer’s experience impacts their perception of your performance. Sales are important, but understanding the customer experience and contact strategies that pay dividends with women make the difference between a one-time customer and one who returns for repeat service and for her next vehicle. Retention is truly the future of your business – use culture to cultivate loyalty.
In today’s competitive climate, there are many ways for women + families to locate and buy the car she wants. Dealerships must compete by providing a total solution. Positive, solution-based experiences create trust and the likelihood that a customer will return.