Once you have greeted a customer with a cheerful smile in a friendly manner, you are in a position to develop a friendship and remove the skepticism that many customers have towards salespeople. The best way to make a friend out of a complete stranger is to listen to what the person has to say. This is done by asking questions about the customer’s comments to you.
One great question is to ask the customer what got them interested in their choice model. Most of the time you will get one of two answers, either they will say that someone they know has one or they have been reading about it. A perfect follow-up to that statement is, “What did your friend or the article say about it?” Rest assured they will say good things, or they would not be in your dealership looking at it. This will at times convert your customer to becoming his or her own salesman. It is much better to have the customer tell you how great the bike is than you.
A question I feel is of the upmost of importance is, “Would you be happier if you had one?” If they say no, then you have my permission to say, “Please don’t buy one.” But really, who would say no to that question?
Once you have heard them say they would enjoy life more with a new motorcycle, then you should not be a salesman trying to make a commission but a “Help you to be happy” man, trying to make your new friend happy.
I will always believe the winner is the buyer. Sure, you get paid, but it will not take long to spend the money. The dealership owner is glad you sold a bike, but after a pat on the back, your boss wants you to go out and make someone else happy. But the customer is living the dream. You have changed the quality of their life. You have done a great thing.
Remember the probing stage is ongoing. You might ask the following questions while looking at the bike, while they are sitting on it, or maybe while they are at your desk. The customer is chalk full of information for the asking. Here are just a few of the questions you should find out from the customer.
- Do they have a bike now? Have they ever had one?
- If so, what do they have or had, and what is their favorite story about it?
- Are they married? If so, does their spouse ride?
- Do they have any children? Do they have a picture of their kids?
- Will they be riding to work? Where do they work?
- Will they be taking any long trips on the bike? If so, where are they going, and when do they plan on leaving? Will they be going with any of their friends? If so, who are they? What do they ride?
These are just a few of the probing questions you should ask. I am sure you can think of many more. Getting your customers to talk about themselves and their desires is the surest way to make friends out of complete strangers. Sure, we want the sale, but at the least, the customer should feel he or she has made a friend in the business, and when the time is right to buy, the customer will think of you.
Steve Lemco is the youngest brother of the late Ed Lemco and has been doing sales training and hiring for motorcycle dealers since 1983. Steve has trained in every state in the U.S., as well as England, France, Australia and New Zealand. Steve incorporates motivational boards and games along with his training and hiring because he believes the best way to get the job done is to make it fun.