Marketing Without Selling
I remember back in the mid 90s when I was "in between" jobs, in debt and broke. My "in between" job status at that time for a period of about one year was a car salesman. Now, I know what your thinking. Why? My answer.hmmmmmmmm. Anyhow, it happened and as it turned out, it became quite a learning experience. What I experienced as a car salesman in my very brief career by choice, was rather disturbing. This is by no means an article on selling cars. This is what salesmanship is and is not.
So I was in the car business, and was virtually taught the wrong way to be a salesman or salesperson. When it comes to shopping for a car, overall it becomes somewhat a rather unpleasant experience for all parties involved. Here is a typical day in the car business: You wake up in the morning to put on the shirt and tie for the day in the middle of July in Florida. Its about one hundred degrees with humidity. You get in the car and drive to work asking yourself, why.why. because you know there is going to be an unpleasant experience waiting somewhere around the corner.
You arrive at work and find yourself getting ready for the morning "meeting abuse" which always ends up that we are terrible salesman and we need to sell cars! Really? We need to sell cars? Ok. So, after the meeting we all leave the room with bruises and bumps and we are ready to practice the art of being a salesman. For those of you who do not know, when a person arrives on the lot to car shop, he is referred to as an "up" in the car business. Usually, all of the salespeople are lined up outside like vultures waiting for an "up" so we can swoop in and turn on the really lame salesman charm. Now, at this point, you meet the customer. "Hi, my name is Dave" (smile). Then, the customer replies, "Were just looking". Of course they are just looking. Not by the time I get through with you. By the time we get through with you, you might be running out the door and never look back.
So, Im following the "We are just looking" people around the lot because if I don't, I will get yelled at by the powers that be. The potential customers that I am with do not want me near them at all at this point.And with good reason. Car shopping and or buying is the equivalent of going to the dentist. It can be a painful experience. Now I am asking the nice folks on the lot all types of questions, trying to create trust and learning something about them that will help me sell to them. This is an ok method for the car business, because this is the way it has been taught. Now the problem from the "get go", is that most customers back then were the old school. To them, car buying was rolling up your sleeves and get ready to do battle. That's really not the way I want to make a living, but that's what it was.
So, what do you really have from this? You have uninformed people at all angles. First of all, customers come onto the lot thinking their "trade-in" is worth a fortune. And to there surprise, it's not. They did not do their own research on their "trade-in". Second, they don't know what they want. They want to spend no money on a car they can not afford to begin with. Again, they did not do their research. Now, another problem. As a salesman, if you are going to make it in the business of selling anything, you have to rise above everyone else and figure out a strategy that is going to attract people to you automatically without being annoying and pushy from the start.