Today’s world is becoming less and less personal all the time. When you call almost any company, rarely does a live person answer your call. When you go to the grocery store, you’re likely to check yourself out and bag your own groceries. And you might even find that your server at a restaurant doesn’t take your payment after your meal. Instead, you may end up entering your payment information into a tablet conveniently located at your table that spits out a receipt after your transaction is complete.
Even the process of buying a car can be automated with companies like Carvana and CarGurus. As the world becomes more and more automated, people are less likely to give and receive good, personal and caring service. Obviously, automation allows businesses to scale and removes the requirement for personal service, but that doesn’t mean the desire for it is gone. And the byproduct of more automation means that fewer salespeople develop the skills needed to offer that good, personal service that most customers still crave.
When asked what they miss most about sales and services being more personal and less automated, one woman said that “service is usually poor because there is a lack of real communication. Human interaction is important to human beings.”
Another man’s answer was simple but very poignant: “Relationships and Trust.”
So how do automotive sales and finance professionals overcome the culture of impersonal automation to offer positive human interaction in which real communication takes place so that relationships and trust are built and the customer receives excellent personal service?
The answer is simple: With Love.
What’s Love Got To Do With It?
To answer that question, we must first answer this one: What is love?
According to Wikipedia, “The word ‘love’ can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts…. Abstractly discussed, love usually refers to a feeling one person experiences for another person. Love often involves caring for, or identifying with, a person or thing.”
The Berkeley Well-Being Institute drills down more to the heart of the matter when it says that “Psychologists have determined one characteristic shared by all the behaviors and experiences that we think involve love: ‘investment in the well-being of the other for his or her own sake’ (Hegi & Bergner, 2010, p. 621).”
But “love” has been around since the dawn of time, so even psychologists have to base their definitions on something that goes back much farther than 2010. Perhaps the best description of love can be found in the ancient Biblical Scriptures when it offers the following definition:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
In other words, the actions of being patient, kind and selfless (investing in the well-being of others) in addition to perseverance and protection of others are key elements of love, and key elements of a highly positive sales process. When automotive sales and finance professionals incorporate these elements into their interactions with customers, excellent personal service occurs and a strong foundation for life-long relationships is built.
The Most Effective Automotive Sales and Finance Strategies Have EVERYTHING To Do With Love
When a customer sees that a sales or finance professional is doing things for their benefit, it builds trust. This always involves kindness, selflessness and patience. While this might be easier with some customers than with others, it’s always essential to stay in kindness with your customers during the sales process. Beyond the sale, it’s important not to “keep a record of wrongs” as you follow-up with your customer and continue to offer exceptional personal service thereafter.
To piggyback on that concept, it’s also essential to remember that love is not self-seeking, but instead, it seeks to protect. When you seek to protect your customer and structure a deal that maximizes the benefits to them, you further stabilize the foundation of a trusting relationship – even if it means you don’t make as much on the deal in the present. It will all come back to you as you continue to build that relationship over time, and those customers begin to refer their friends and family members to you!
Truly loving the customer is far beyond being nice so that someone will buy from you. That’s the wrong motive, it’s phony, and customers will see right through it. Loving the customer has to be a decision you make, even if you do not profit from it. You make the decision to love because it is part of the person you choose to become. Then, and only then, can you experience the real power of love to win over the hearts and minds of customers by being their friend first. This excerpt from the Automotive Career Training at the College of Automotive Management will further explain this concept, and how to shift yourself into this approach with each customer:
Breathe new life into your business, with Love
In the wake of supply chain struggles resulting from Covid shutdowns and strikes, many automotive sales and finance professionals got out of the practice of building relationships that create trust and result in long-term repeat business. The process of loving the customer has been under-utilized more recently and many are now facing challenges as a result. But it doesn’t have to stay that way!
The Dual-Certification Complete Automotive Management and Lending program at the College of Automotive Management, which offers the nation’s most effective and highest-rated sales and finance strategies, can be a timely game-changer for individuals as well as dealers seeking a “reboot.”
Imagine filling your sales skills toolbox with new and improved tools that are designed to bring you repeat business and increase your personal profitability by incorporating love into your sales strategies! Consider what it would mean to be cross-trained across all areas of sales, internet sales, sales management, finance management, the desk and beyond – how would this improve your value in a dealership? What could it mean for your personal bottom line, and your personal job satisfaction?
And how might your life change if you had strategies for building your own book of business right inside your dealership, even to the point of working by appointment only?
If you have been considering refreshing or augmenting your skills and getting cross-trained so you are both prepared and well-qualified for higher-level management positions when those opportunities arise (or when you decide to pursue them), why not get started now?
The entire program can be completed online, on demand, in approximately 45 hours at your convenience. There are no deadlines, and you can review the content repeatedly if you choose. You’ll also have a dedicated career coach who can assist you if you have questions or get stuck along the way.
In just a few hours, you could be implementing new skills that breathe fresh life into your business, in the midst of a culture that is becoming less and less personal by the day. That could be a game-changer for your career! And today is a great day to start a new and improved chapter in your career!